11/06/2020

This Accessible Pregnancy Test Has Results You Can Touch

16:35 minutes

a bright pink pregnancy test stick that is larger and has a longer broader tip and textured surfaces that are easy to find and feel
The accessible pregnancy test by RNIB. Credit: RNIB

Whatever answer you’re hoping for from a pregnancy test, taking one is rarely a low-stress occurrence. And for many who are blind or vision-impaired, taking a pregnancy test can be even more tricky: the tests use visual displays, and often the only solution for knowing the result is to call a friend, family member, or even stranger into a very private moment. 

The app Be My Eyes is now partnering with pregnancy test maker ClearBlue to offer volunteer services in reading pregnancy tests—but that still brings a stranger into the process. The UK’s Royal National Institute for the Blind, however, now has a new design for a tactile, accessible test that could be taken privately. It’s colorful, high-contrast, and big enough to use without full sight. And the results appear as bumps that anyone can feel. 

SciFri producer Christie Taylor talks to Gizmodo reporter Victoria Song, Blind Motherhood blogger Holly Bonner, and Procter & Gamble accessibility leader Sumaira Latif about the value of accessibility in pregnancy testing, and how a good idea might become an actual product.

Learn more about the new pregnancy test design from Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB). Credit: The Design For Everyone Campaign (Subtitled) from Design For Everyone


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Segment Guests

Victoria Song

Victoria Song is a consumer technology reporter at Gizmodo in New York, New York.

Holly Bonner

Holly Bonner is founder and owner of BlindMotherhood.com, based in Staten Island, New York.

Sumaira “Sam” Latif

Sumaira “Sam” Latif is the Company Accessibility Lead at Procter & Gamble in London, United Kingdom.

Segment Transcript

The transcript for this segment is being processed. It will be posted within one week after the episode airs.

Meet the Producers and Host

About Kathleen Davis

Kathleen Davis is an assistant producer at Science Friday, which means she spends the week brainstorming, researching, and writing, typically in that order. She’s a big fan of stories related to strange animal facts and dystopian technology.

About Christie Taylor

Christie Taylor is a producer for Science Friday. Her day involves diligent research, too many phone calls for an introvert, and asking scientists if they have any audio of that narwhal heartbeat.

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