Kiosk Accessibility: The Law is Paying Attention

Digital accessibility is not just about websites, and the law is taking notice. This post highlights cases about kiosk accessibility. I use the term “kiosk” broadly to include tablets and any piece of technology offering services, products, and information. Who will use that technology? People — and that means disabled people. Read more…

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…

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…

Blind Turkish Pop Star Advocates for Talking ATMs and POS devices

[quote from=”CNN News article on blind Turkish pop star Metin Senturk”]Technological innovations are also widening access to some everyday activities, such as banking. Earlier this month, Turkey’s Yapi Kredi bank launched an ATM which talks visually-impaired customers through their transactions. It also rolled out point of sale machines that act in a similar manner.[/quote]On December 17, 2010, CNN ran the story reprinted here about Turkish pop star Metin Senturk who is blind. Mr. Senturk, who holds the Guinness record as the world’s fastest blind driver, started a disability rights organization in Turkey, and mentions disability issues on his weekly national television show. Another aspect of disability advocacy in Turkey? As explained more fully in the article here, the leading bank in Turkey rolled out its first Talking ATM on December 3, 2010. Talking Point of Sale devices have also been introduced. Read more…

Revised ADA Regulations (Finally) Include Detailed Talking ATM Requirements

On September 15, 2010, the United States Department of Justice published, in the Federal Register, its revised rules implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act. Official publication is one of the last steps on a very long road leading to new ADA regulations for both public and private entities on a diverse set of issues including Talking ATMs, ticketing for accessible seating, effective communication, service animals and more. The next steps? The new rules take effect on March 15, 2011 – six months after publication in the Federal Register. Compliance with the new 2010 Standards for Accessible Design (revising what is often erroneously referred to as ADAAG), is required as of March, 2012. Read more…

American Express Talking ATM Agreement

This agreement was negotiated by Lainey and Linda Dardarian using Structured Negotiations on behalf of the California Council of the Blind and individual blind advocates in California and Illinois. This was the first agreement in the United States in which a non-bank ATM owner agreed to make its ATMs accessible to blind users. Read more…

Access World Talking ATM Article

This article Lainey wrote about Talking ATMs was published in January, 2003 in AccessWorld(R), a publication of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB). Part 2 of this Article, titled “You Can Bank on It, Part 2: Advocacy, Outreach, and Legal Authority for Talking ATMs,” can be found in the March, 2003 issue of Access World. Read more…