by Kim Charlson
The American Council of the Blind has a long history of commitment to the advancement of policies and programs that enhance the independence of people who are blind or visually impaired. Our leadership in the area of accessible prescription label systems is ground-breaking, and our work with Humana will make a true difference to thousands of retirees and Medicare recipients for purchasing more affordable prescriptions via mail order.
Humana, a Louisville, Kentucky-based company, is now offering talking prescription labels, at no cost, to its blind and visually impaired members who fill prescriptions through Humana Pharmacy, Inc. and at its seven PrescribeIT Rx locations in Florida. Humana worked on its accessible prescription initiative with ACB and individual blind members in Nevada, Florida and Georgia. I also want to acknowledge the essential support and assistance ACB received on this effort from attorney Lainey Feingold.
Humana is now offering talking labels provided by the ScripAbility prescription accessibility system, a service of En-Vision America. The talking labels provide people who cannot read standard print a safe and convenient way to access information on prescription labels. Humana members who are blind or have low vision will benefit greatly from this new service. Braille labels are also available through the Humana mail-order pharmacy program.
In addition to accessible prescription labels, and to ensure “equality of opportunity for meaningful access to healthcare services and activities,” Humana customers who are blind or visually impaired may request alternative format communications or plan documents (i.e., braille, audio, large print, or screen-reader–accessible PDFs), at no cost, as their standard communication method. To request a specific format for communication of information, send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org. A concierge representative from Humana will contact members in response to a request.
“One size does not fit all with our blind and visually impaired members. Effective communication, in the chosen format of the member, is extremely important. Braille and talking labels on prescription bottles are two ways that Humana serves its members,” states Dr. Michelle Griffin, PhD, of Humana Language Assistance and Alternative Format Services.
Talking and braille labels are not a luxury for blind people. Accessible labels are critical for people with visual impairments to be able to take medication safely and independently. Through this initiative, Humana demonstrates that as a corporation, it cares about its members who are blind and is proud to be a leader in its field.
Humana Pharmacy members can request talking or braille labels by contacting the Humana Pharmacy Call Center at 1-800-379-0092.