Under the coordination of the Austrian Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted (BSVÖ), six Austrian banks, ATM manufacturers and two software companies are currently working on guidelines and a catalogue of criteria’s for enabling accessibility to Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) for blind and visually impaired people. The overall goal is to produce an Austrian norm for accessible ATMs.
Ms Doris Ossberger, Coordinator of the working group, emphasises that the standardisation of ATM operation principles ensures that blind and visually impaired customers will be able to use any cash dispenser without difficulty regardless of the bank or location. The accessibility guidelines on which the various stakeholders agreed upon form the basis for the development of future ATMs and the adaption of already existing cash machines.
The main criteria agreed upon are the following:
- Each branch of a bank needs to provide at least one accessible ATM that, in addition, can be easily located through tactile guidance systems.
- For partially sighted users a magnified contrast mode needs to be provided. This mode is optionally activated after the bank card is inserted into the ATM.
- For blind customers synthetic voice instructions need to be available after headphones are plugged into the cash machine. The numerical pad and the usual function keys are used for the manual input of commands.