Learning from accessibility: ‘When we embrace inclusive design, everyone benefits’

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Individual speaking on a cell phone

Voice technology is an area of interest to accessibility researchers: the Barclays app can make a payment to a contact using a smartphone’s voice assistant. Photograph: Westend61/Getty Images

For Robin Christopherson, who is blind, getting cash out has traditionally been a socially uncomfortable and not entirely secure process. “Whenever I’m lining up at an ATM, I have to grab a person next to me and say to them: ‘Here’s my card, this is my pin, and this is how much I want,’” he says. “Luckily, I’ve never been ripped off as far as I’m aware, but it wouldn’t be hard.” The scenario will be familiar to thousands of banking customers with visual impairments or other accessibility challenges. And versions of it will apply to other interactions with banks that most of us take for granted. Yet, we all need to bank. “You’ve had the option of getting statements in braille or large print for a long time,” says Christopherson, who knows a bit about accessibility as head of digital inclusion at AbilityNet, a UK charity that works with companies, including banks, to improve access to digital technology. “And there has been phone banking for a long time, which has been helpful for some, but while some banks have been ‘on message’ in the digital era, many have also put obstacles in the way.”
Source: Learning from accessibility: 'When we embrace inclusive design, everyone benefits' | Barclays Let's go forward | The Guardian


The North Carolina Assistive Technology Program (NCATP) leads North Carolina's efforts to carry out the federal Assistive Technology Act of 2004. We promote independence for people with disabilities through access to technology. Visit our website at http://ncatp.org
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One Response to Learning from accessibility: ‘When we embrace inclusive design, everyone benefits’

  1. Ian says:

    Ironic given that the ATM was designed to enable disabled users to access to their cash

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