The purpose of this study was to identify changes needed to make the diabetes education materials and programs of the Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland (DAGC) accessible for people who have visual impairment and diabetes (PVID).
Using the principles and techniques of participatory action research (PAR), five PVID and four staff members of a local diabetes association met once a month for a year to plan, implement, and evaluate progress towards full accessibility of all diabetes education materials and programs. The researcher served as facilitator.
Four “transformational moments” are presented through which the PAR process enabled PVID and diabetes professionals to learn to understand and trust each other. Changes made to increase accessibility included: production of two recordings for providing access to print information about diabetes; planning public education program publicity and locations for access; development of guidelines to help speakers make their diabetes education presentations accessible for people who cannot see slides and gestures. and presentation of an inservice for the entire staff of the diabetes association, including information about how they live with visual impairment, and common courtesies that make communication with PVID more effective.