Brussels, 30 August 2011 – An EU-funded project is aiming to make self-service terminals, such as public transport ticket vending machines or public information kiosks and cash dispensers, more accessible for the one in six Europeans who have a disability or the 87 million Europeans aged 65 and over. According to an EU study, only 38% of bank cash machines (automated teller machines or ATMs) across the EU provide voice capabilities to customers with disabilities, far behind the US (61%) and Canada (nearly all ATMs). The European Commission is contributing €3.41 million, half of the overall budget, to the “APSIS4All” project which aims to design and validate personalised interfaces, including contactless cards, to help overcome existing accessibility barriers. Trials will begin in cash dispensers in Barcelona, Spain from September 2011 and at ticket vending machines in Paderborn, Germany from January 2012, and will run for three years.
Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commissioner responsible for the Digital Agenda said: “Public self-service terminals can be found everywhere, and their numbers keep increasing. Yet, many present a challenge for persons with disability or for some elderly persons, denying them the service.”
The APSIS4All project sets out to design and validate, in real-life settings, innovative, personalised interfaces that overcome existing accessibility barriers. In a first phase, the project will collect information from 3000 users who will be testing different machines in order to adapt interfaces according to their needs and preferences. Tests will be carried out at 65 ATMS of la Caixa bank in Barcelona, Spain from 1st September 2011 and at 24 ticket vending machines operated by Höft & Wessel AG at Paderborn in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany from 1st January 2012. Here to read more.