ATMs are 50 Years Old; They’ve Been Talking for 20

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the first Automated Teller Machine. The first ATM in the world was installed at a Barclays Bank branch in London on June 27, 1967. The first ATM in the United States was installed two years later at a Chemical Bank branch in Long island, New York. For 30 years ATMs remained off-limits to blind people, who couldn’t use the interactive, visual screens. It was not until October of 1997 that the world was introduced to the very first Talking ATM. It all happened because of disability community advocacy. And it’s a good reminder that today, 50 years after that first ATM, all technology should be born accessible. Read more…

Buying a Bitcoin ATM? Make Sure it’s Accessible

Bitcoin ATMs are all the rage. But are they accessible to people with disabilities? The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that every ATM be fully available to people with disabilities. Bitcoin may be the currency of the future, but its infrastructure is being built today. Let’s make sure it is accessible to everyone. Read more…

More Talking ATMs Expected Across India

Twelve years after the first Talking ATM was installed in the United States, accessible banking technology continues to spread across the globe. This month the Reserve Bank of India urged all financial institutions in the country to make sure all new ATMs are Talking. Read more…

Landmark Victory for Blind Advocates in Hungary: CRPD means Talking ATMs

Szilvia Nyusti and Péter Takács are blind advocates in Hungary who wanted their bank (the largest bank in their country) to install Talking ATMs. After all, they paid the same fees as sighted customers, why shouldn’t they have the same access to services and technology? After a five year legal battle in Hungary, they took their claims to the United Nations. On May 16, 2013, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities issued an historic ruling finding that Hungary violated the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) by failing to ensure that Hungarian banks had Talking ATMs. Congratulations to Szilvia and Peter. Congratulations to the United Nations. Congratulations to the CRPD for working as it should in protecting the rights of people with disabilities. Shame on the United States for failing to ratify the treaty. Read more…

NCR Installs Additional Talking ATMs in India (with solar power option too!)

The article posted here about NCR’s Talking ATMs in India first appeared in the Hindu Business Line. The Law Office of Lainey Feingold, and Linda Dardarian, first engaged with NCR in the mid-1990’s as the Talking ATM initiative was getting underway in the United States. This story about NCR’s Talking (and solar-powered!) ATMs demonstrates yet again that accessibility is an international issue. Accessible technology that starts in one country is bound to make its way around the world. The technology corporations are global, advocacy needs to be too. Blind advocates are not mentioned in the story below, but no doubt they played an important role in efforts to bring independent access to financial services to India. Read more…

Talking ATMs in India

The June 6, 2012 Google Alert for Talking ATMs included a news report, posted below, of the “first” Talking ATM in India. It was not the first time the Indian press covered accessible ATMs though. In September 2011 the Hindu Business Times reported on the experience of using a Talking ATM for the first time, but on closer read last Fall’s story may just have been describing temporary installations. Whether or not Union Bank of India has installed the first or second Talking ATM, congratulations go out to advocates in the Indian blind community and that country’s banking industry for recognizing the importance of accessible technology. Read more…

Central and West Java in Indonesia gets First Talking ATMs

International Talking ATM installations remind us that advocacy work done in one country can have ripple affects across the globe. ATM manufactures distribute their technology around the world, and slowly, slowly this technology is becoming more accessible everywhere. Today’s news brought word of the first Talking ATMs in Semarang, Central Java and Surabaya in East Java, Indonesia. The full news report, which first appeared in the Jakarta Post, is reprinted below. Visit the International Issues Category of LFLegal for more stories of Talking ATM installations outside the United States. Read more…

Consumer World Publishes Boston Talking ATM Survey

On April 24, 2012, Consumer World, a consumer education organization based in Massachusetts, published the results of its survey on Talking ATM and talking fare machines in Boston. The results show that far too many ATMs and fare machines are still not accessible to people with visual impairments. One bank that is doing a good job? Bank of America, where every ATM tested was a working Talking ATM. Read more…

Finally: U.S. Talking ATM Regulations Fully in Force

On March 15, 2012, federal regulations with detailed Talking ATM requirements will finally be mandatory. The Talking ATM standards come at the end of a long (and continuing) road of grass-roots and legal advocacy in the U.S. and around the globe. March 15, 2012 is more than twelve years after the first Talking ATM was installed in the United States. Tens of thousands of ATMs now talk, but still too many do not. Read more…