My Turn, said Bashin, "has been a moving target" — due a combination of scarce appointment availability and the inaccessible elements of the state's site itself.
On his own experience using My Turn to find a vaccine, Bashin said that he "personally faced situations where I was notified that there were vaccines, and then watched as I struggled with the app and the website to try to get an appointment — only to find that those appointments disappeared because of the inaccessibility of some of those first websites."
"Things like, 'Take a picture of the front and back of your health insurance card,' " noted Bashin. "A beautiful exercise to do if you can't see."
Some of these kinds of elements have been improved, said Bashin, calling My Turn "now very much better than what it had been."
Bashin said there's also the issue of physical vaccination sites themselves. "Frankly, some of the major vaccination sites like the [Oakland] Coliseum or [San Francisco's] Moscone Center are giant million-square-feet behemoths. Great if you can drive in," said Bashin.
"But if you're a person who doesn't drive, like the 40,000 blind and visually impaired people in the Bay Area, or people with other disabilities, perhaps we want to offer a more convenient way for people to get in, get out, and get their vaccine accessibly."
The city of San Francisco is offering a call center for people with disabilities who are unable to easily access the internet or schedule a vaccine appointment through their provider: call them at (628) 652-2700.
If you're experiencing issues using My Turn, you can call the California COVID-19 Hotline at 1-833-422-4255 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m.-5 p.m PT) and sign up over the phone. Both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking operators are available. Callers needing information in other languages will be connected to translation service that offers 254 other languages.
A Stop-Start Vaccine Rollout for Disabled People
As of March 15, the state opened COVID-19 vaccination up to people ages 16-64 who have certain disabilities or health conditions that put them at "the very highest risk" from the coronavirus. See the list of eligible disabilities and conditions.
Some counties and health providers have chosen to expand on the state's list. San Francisco has a longer list of eligible conditions and disabilities, and Kaiser Permanente has also included more health conditions and disabilities in its own list.