Long COVID, Brain Fog, and Inclusive Design Resources

At this point, we’ve all become aware of COVID-19 and the impact it has on people when they are sick with the virus. But the initial infection is just the start of many people’s recovery journey. Approximately 30% will experience Long COVID, a diverse set of symptoms that can last for months. This includes those whose initial illness is relatively light.

Long COVID

Long COVID symptoms are diverse. They include fatigue, breathing and heart issues, neurological impact, mental health (anxiety), and brain fog. Not recognizing Long COVID affects those returning to the workplace and not able to meet previous expectations.

Brain Fog

Brain fog is not unique to COVID-19. It’s also common for people recovering from cancer treatment, menopause, and chronic illness. It includes short term memory loss, difficulty focusing on tasks, blurred vision, and mental acuity.

Working with Long COVID

As we bring our whole selves to work, this includes our temporary and permanent disabilities. There are tools and resources for succeeding while experiencing Long COVID and Brain Fog. This starts with recognition from leaders and managers, working together for accommodations plans, and realistic goals and expectations.

Inclusive Design

With an awareness of Long COVID and Brain Fog, we can make changes to our products and services to support our customers and colleagues. Designs should support readability, recognition instead of recall, and simple vs complex designs.

The following resources have been collected while researching Long COVID, Brain Fog, and inclusive design for an upcoming presentation at CSUN 22. There’s a lack of information about how we can use our roles as accessibility and inclusive design leaders to improve the usability of our products and services for people who have Long COVID and its associated disabilities. Now is the time for us to reevaluate our work to include short term memory loss, anxiety, loss of focus, readability, and alternative documentation formats.

Resources

Podcast episodes for Brain Fog

Articles:

Long COVID

Brain Fog

Accommodations and Resources

User Experience and Accessibility

Continue the conversation by adding links to resources in the comments.

Published by Ted

Accessibility is more than making sure images have alternate text. I work with engineers, product managers, and designers to understand how accessibility impacts the users, set realistic deadlines, and create the solutions to provide a delightful experience to all users, regardless of their physical, sensory, or cognitive ability.

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