Driving Blind

Why do drive-up ATMs have options in Braille?

The last time you drove up to use the ATM machine, did you notice that the instructions and options were not only offered for the sighted, but also for the visually impaired?  In case you haven’t, the buttons and other pertinent information are available in Braille in addition to regular print.

I’d like to state that I’m completely in support of helping those with special needs, whether they’re wheelchair bound, deaf, blind, or what have you.  I am by no means an expert on the subject, but I believe that although many efforts have been made to improve public facilities and programs for the disabled, there is still much more to be done.  However, let’s also be realistic and use some common sense.

The probability of a blind person driving up to an ATM is zero (and if it’s a number higher than that, I find that scary and disturbing).  If the person is a passenger in the car, the chance that he or she will get out of the car to use the ATM is also most likely to be zero.  Perhaps a blind person lives near the ATM, but walking to a drive-up ATM is dangerous for anyone let alone someone sightless who can easily be hurt by cavalier drivers.

Wouldn’t it be better to use Braille on ATMs that are in front of bank buildings or inside malls and stores where the blind are more likely to use them?  It seems to me to be a waste of effort and money to make ATMs accessible to the visually impaired in drive-up locations.  Why can’t we just use our brains and resources to help the disabled in ways that will actually benefit them?

Why, indeed.


Driving Blind — 1 Comment

  1. My guess would be that the manufacturer of the ATM uses the same buttons for all models of their machines, regardless of the intended use. What I’m waiting for is the touch-screen ATM that somehow incorporates braille 🙂

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