The entries on this site are organized by category and by date. You are in the Talking ATM History category. Content is posted within each category in chronological order, with the most recent entries first. For a complete list of categories and sub-categories on this site, visit the categories page. You may also find content by using the search feature or the site map. Consult the archives for content organized by date and title.
Talking ATM History
Tactile keypads are a crucial element of accessibility for people who are blind and visually impaired. Apple has shown that a touchscreen can be made accessible, but in the absence of tactile keypads, significant swaths of today’s technology and electronics are off limits to persons who cannot see, and to others with disabilities as well. As with many ubiquitous elements of the built environment, we often fail to appreciate the origins — or the originator– of the technology we rely on. This is certainly true for tactile keypads, or it was true until a fascinating obituary of John E. Karlin published in the New York Times earlier this month. Mr. Karlin deserves to be called the father of today’s tactile keypad.
On March 15, 2012, federal regulations with detailed Talking ATM requirements will finally be mandatory. The Talking ATM standards come at the end of a long (and continuing) road of grass-roots and legal advocacy in the U.S. and around the globe. March 15, 2012 is more than twelve years after the first Talking ATM was installed in the United States. Tens of thousands of ATMs now talk, but still too many do not.
October 10 - 16, 2010, has been designated by the California legislature as the state’s first ever “Disability History Week.” The official designation is the result of disability community advocacy efforts spearheaded by “Youth Organizing! Disabled and Proud”, a project of the the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers. This historic week provides a welcomed opportunity to look at the history made by blind advocates and their organizations in California as part of the on-going push for accessible technology.
This post is one in a series about the history of Talking ATMs in the United States and worldwide. Structured Negotiations depends on the commitment, effort and creativity of many individuals, including members of the disability community who serve as Claimants. This post, about the history of Citibank Talking ATMs, includes an excerpt from a longer profile of disability activist and attorney Steve Mendelsohn that appeared in the Equity e-Newsletter published by WID. Steve was instrumental in advocacy efforts for Talking ATMs and was one of the Claimants in the Structured Negotiations with Citibank that resulted in that bank’s agreement in 1999 to install accessible ATMs.
The press release posted here was issued by the American Council of the Blind to recognize October 1, 2009 as the tenth anniversary of the first Talking ATM in the United States. As a result of extensive advocacy by the blind community and industry effort, it is estimated that there are now close to 100,000 Talking ATMs in the U.S. and around the world. Congratulations to the blind and visually impaired community for this accessible technology milestone.
This post is one in an ongoing series on the history of the advocacy and technology behind Talking ATMs. A short summary of all articles in this series is available by selecting the Talking ATM History link on the Categories Page of this website. In this post you can read about early Massachusetts Talking ATM advocacy and Talking ATM efforts in Chicago and the Midwest.