Barcelona, home to a European pilot programme to improve ATM access for disabled people
The programme will be trialled at CaixaBank cash machines to analyse the effectiveness of user interface and help to develop a long term option to help the disabled overcome barriers.
Brussels (ACN).- Barcelona is one of two cities that the European Commission has chosen to help to improve accessibility for people with physical disabilities when using public technology, from ATMs to vending machines. From September 1st the Catalan capital will assume this role, with funds from the European Commission. In collaboration with CaixaBank, 65 of the bank's cash machines, will be evaluated. The data will be combined with those from 24 ticket machines operated by Höft & Wessel AG in the German city of Paderborn (North Rhine-Westphalia), which will be start to be collected next January. Altogether, information from some three thousand users will be analysed. The aim is to provide practical solutions when approaching a self-service terminal for the hard of hearing, visually impaired and the physically disabled, problems which are experienced by one in six Europeans.
The European Commission\u2019s Digital Agenda Spokesman, Jonathan Todd, said that the intention is to analyse the data in the first phase and launch new systems, "providing practical solutions" in Barcelona and then later in Germany. The key objective, he said, was to help the disabled and simply "make their lives easier."
According to the European Commission, only 38% of ATMs have options specifically to help visually impaired customers. This figure that is lagging behind the United States' record of 61% and pitiful when compared to Canada, which has modified nearly all of its ATMs to better assist the disabled.
The European Commission will provide 3.41 million euros to fund the \u2018APSIS4All\u2019 project. The aim is to design a long term solution to the every day barriers that many citizens encounter. A future solution could see the allocation of personal magnetic cards which automatically alter the configuration of any given public technology depending on the needs of the user. Such changes might include different sized lettering or a recorded voice service.