CUNA Regulatory Comment Call
April 11, 2000
Proposal To Require Talking ATMs To Satisfy ADA
(A MAJOR RULE)
- The Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) published in the November 16, 1999 Federal Register proposed changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG) that would significantly alter the current requirements for ATMs.
- Comments are due to the Access Board by May 15, 2000. Please submit your comments to CUNA by May 8, 2000, by fax at 202/371-8240 or by e-mail to CUNA's Assistant General Counsel Michelle Profit at Mprofit@cuna.com. The proposed rule is available on the Access Board's Internet site at (http://www.access-board.gov/ada-aba/guidenprm.htm).
- The proposal requires that ATMs, through headsets, etc., provide audible and visual instructions and verification of a member's input.
- Receipts must also be available in audible form. The audible receipt would require that variable, personal data, such as account data be transmitted from the credit union to the talking ATM.
- 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.
- Also, currency would have to be dispensed in descending order with the lowest denomination on top.
- The Access Board would not change height and reach requirements for ATMs, but others may comment on these changes.
- The guidelines may force existing ATMs to conform to the rules if retrofitting does not pose an undue burden. The determination of whether a change would be an undue burden is made on an individual basis based on whether there would be "significant difficulty or expense" to make the change.
- ADA may require any part that is altered to conform to new ADA standards. For example, a keyboard that is replaced would have to meet the new standard, although the other parts of the ATM would not need to be updated.
- ATMs that are relocated also may have to comply with the new standards to the extent that "it is readily achievable where the alternative designs and technologies will provide substantially equivalent or greater access to and usability of the facility."
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:
- Tactually discernable key surfaces raised at least 1/25 inch from the surrounding surface with outer edges having a radius no more than 1/50 inch
- A minimum 1/8 inch separation between keys with function keys separated from numeric keys
- Arrangement of numeric keys according to the standard 123 key telephone keypad, with the number five key designated by a single raised dot
- A standard arrangement tactile marking, and color coding of function keys so that the keys are provided in the following order (left to right or top to bottom) with the tactile markings and color indicated: enter or proceed key (raised circle/green), clear or correct key (raised vertical line or bar/black), cancel (raised ex/red), add value key (raised plus sign/blue), decrease value key (raised minus sign/yellow)
QUESTIONS REGARDING THE CURRENT SYSTEM
- The Access Board seeks comment on the appropriateness of these specified colors, particularly for
people who are colorblind. Please provide an opinion. Are the other technical requirements related
to keypads, currency, etc. acceptable?
- CUNA could argue that ADAAG should allow other solutions to provide access to blind users? Are you aware of any alternatives for blind users? Would other alternatives be more acceptable?
- How feasible is it to install an ATM that audibly provides information that is located at the ATM? How costly is it?
- How feasible is it to install an ATM that audibly provide variable data, e.g., balance account, transmitted from the host? Please provide all the reasons why this might not be feasible.
- How often do you relocate ATMs? What percentage of your ATMs has been relocated in the last five years? Last year?
- Do you believe that it is prohibitive and unnecessary to provide receipt information audibly? CUNA could argue that this balance information is conveniently available through telephone banking and PC banking?
- Should the Access Board apply all rules regarding talking ATMs only to ATMs made after the effective date of the new? If the rules are applied to existing ATMs, there could be costs associated with retrofitting and credit unions may be exposed to lawsuits.
- Currently, many ATMs are not designed to add audio. These ATM models will have to be redesigned, a project that requires several years. Should the Access Board provide a lead-in period of several years to allow vendors to redesign these ATMs?
- Should the Access Board include a specific requirement that would allow users to extend the maximum time intervals between transactions beyond the amount of time typically allotted?
Eric Richard General Counsel (202) 508-6742 firstname.lastname@example.org |
Mary Mitchell Dunn SVP & Associate General Counsel (202) 508-6736 email@example.com
Jeffrey Bloch Assistant General Counsel (202) 508-6732 firstname.lastname@example.org
Catherine Orr Senior Regulatory Counsel (202) 508-6743 email@example.com