RNIB have been running a campaign to persuade Banks and building societies to make their Cash machines(ATM’s) accessible to blind people. Subsequently Barclays Bank is the first high Street bank to commit to installing a headphone audio jack on all ATMS by the end of 2012.
Bob Bond, chief UK distribution officer at Barclays said:- “Our announcement today will mean that blind and partially sighted people will have greater access and choice when using ATMs, providing increased independence and privacy. We will be speech enabling our cash machines towards the end of next year and see this as an important part of our financial inclusion commitments”
I provided information to RNIB about my knowledge of ATM’s. I worked at HSBC(Midland Bank) in the 1980’s when ATM’s were first introduced in the UK and was aware then that all the Atm’s we were installing already had a talking facility which was disabled by default and the Audio Jack covered.
ATM’s produced by NCR still have this facility and are manufactured with a cover over the Audio jack. So there is very little to stop all banks activating this.