ALBERT: “Accessibility Lost – Blind Excluded from Retail Trading”

Blind Citizens Australia Media Release

Responding to recent public debate about the accessibility of recently introduced soft touch EFTPOS terminals BCA President Emma Bennison said today “It’s time to put the Disability Discrimination Act to work to ensure that our ability to complete financial transactions independently is not further eroded”.

Since the start of August, Blind Citizens Australia has heard from more than 30 members with concerns about the continuing inaccessibility of the ALBERT and other soft touch EFTPOS terminals. Several members have already instigated complaints under provision of the DDA, while others are investigating legal remedies relating to the breach of credit card regulations that occurs when a blind customer is forced to divulge their PIN to a companion or staff member.

BCA is concerned to note that while members are siting situations where they have not been able to complete a transaction independently, those involved with the manufacture and roll out of these devices are claiming that complex accessibility features that have been added to the device meet their obligations to provide equal access for blind and vision impaired users.

Ms Bennison said “in our opinion the most appropriate way to resolve this impasse is for all of those who find the terminal unusable, to lodge a complaint under the Disability Discrimination Act.”

Complaints can be directed against the CBA, which is marketing the device to retail outlets, and to the manufacturer and other organisations involved with the development of the product.

“The more people who join this campaign the better” she said. “BCA can assist with the lodgement process and the weight of a substantial number of complainants should ensure the matter gets the attention it deserves” Ms Bennison concluded.

For further information or to find out how BCA can assist you to lodge a DDA complaint contact the BCA Office by phone on 03 9654 1400 or 1800 033 660 or via email bca@bca.org.au

Emma Bennison
President
0410 553 383