CUNA Regulatory Comment Call

April 11, 2000

Proposal To Require Talking ATMs To Satisfy ADA




The Access Board is proposing changes to the ADAAG to require that ATMs provide audio voices through a handset or headset. In particular, ATMs would be required to provide verification of all data added by the member and audible orientation and instruction for operation. In addition, it requires a receipt to be provided in an audible fashion. The ACCESS Board is responsible for developing and adopting ADAAG. The Department of Justice then adopts ADAAG, giving it the force of law.

Once the Department of Justices adopts revised ADAAG as part of its regulation, the provision is applicable to all new ATMs, and possibly existing ATMs, pursuant to any effective date the Department of Justice issues.

Existing facilities may have to be modified or retrofitted. The act and regulation provide that existing barriers must be removed if "readily achievable" and aids must be added if these additions are not an "undue burden". Whether existing ATMs would have to be converted into talking ATMs would depend on whether the conversion was considered readily achievable or an undue burden. This determination is made on a case-by-case basis. This law is enforced through private lawsuit or a Department of Justice action.

To help the visually impaired, the proposal would mandate other requirements related to key surfaces, location of numeric keys, marking, arrangements, and color-coding of function keys, and video display screen placement and character fonts. The new rules would include the following:


Eric Richard • General Counsel • (202) 508-6742 •
Mary Mitchell Dunn • SVP & Associate General Counsel • (202) 508-6736 •
Jeffrey Bloch • Assistant General Counsel • (202) 508-6732 •
Catherine Orr • Senior Regulatory Counsel • (202) 508-6743 •