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Why Is There Braille On Drive-Thru ATMs?

PAI – Apr 15th, 2013

If you’ve ever used a drive-thru ATM machine, you may have noticed braille next to or on the standard keypad. This may seem a bit odd, as a visually impaired person is not likely to drive a car up to the ATM machine, but as with most things there is a perfectly good explanation. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that there are several reasons why drive-thru ATMs have braille.

ADA Accessibility Guidelines

The first reason is simply because it is required bysection 4.34.5 of the ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities. This section states that "instructions and all information for use shall be made accessible to and independently usable by persons with vision impairments.” Complying with ADA Guidelines is reason enough for drive-thru ATMs to have braille, but there are other, more practical reasons as well.

Manufacturing ATMs

You may have noticed that most ATMs look very similar. Whether they’re walk-up, lobby, or drive-thru ATMs, many manufacturers use the same parts on each different type of machine. A manufacturer can save money by mass-producing a single part that can be used across all of their products. Keypads that include braille are often one of these mass-produced parts, meaning they are used on walk-up, lobby, and drive-thru machines even if a certain aspect of the part (such as braille) may not be needed on all ATM types.

Another Driver

The visually impaired person may not drive, but sometimes others drive them around. Whether it’s a friend, family member or a taxi driver, a visually impaired person may need to use a drive-thru ATM from the back seat of the car. Having braille on the machine allows the visually impaired to use the ATM independently, making the transaction much more secure than trusting someone else with their sensitive banking information.

Now that you understand why braille is on ATMs, you may be wondering how a visually impaired person uses the machine when they can’t see the screen. The answer to this is just as simple: Most ATMs have a headphone jack that will give audible instructions when headphones are plugged in. The audible instructions tell the listener what is on the screen, and they can use the braille to find the correct buttons to press.

Interested in learning more about ATMs? Discover why no one knows ATM Management Solutions like we do, or contact us today with any questions or comments.

Tags: [ATMs]