Encouraging Change For Good
If you are blind or have low vision and tried using an ATM just a few short years ago, there’s a good chance it was much more difficult than today. Although the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990, many bank ATMs remained non-compliant until recently. Prior to our involvement and advancements in technology, something as simple as using an ATM meant asking someone else for a ride to the bank ATM. If you wanted privacy, you had to sit in the backseat behind the driver and hope to get the car aligned properly for access to the keypad. Most of which did not have Braille keypads, audio prompts, or a jack for a headset. The only option was to entrust the driver with the pin number; putting privacy and finances at risk.
AccessAmerica has made the process of banking and managing finances easier for our community through through a strategic initiative supported by our team of advocates. By raising awareness that most banks and ATMs were far from ADA compliant, AccessAmerica was able to work with members of the legal community and implement a series of outreach programs. By working directly through a variety of channels, banks themselves are changing their ATMs across the banking and financial industry.
Equipment upgrades were essential to making ATMs accessible, including:
- Installing Braille keypads
- Adding Audio features for members who prefer to use headphones when banking
- Reprogramming the screens making prompts more intuitive
Through AccessAmerica’s efforts, today the overall banking experience is improved (directly and indirectly) at hundreds of banks and financial institutions throughout the community.