The issue of blind people accessing kiosks in airports is very much a heated and unresolved one.
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has tried to sue multiple airports including the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, alleging that the ticket kiosks are not accessible to the visually impaired.
They claimed that the airports violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by not providing equal services to blind passengers.
But the McCarran operators have now said that if anything their blind passengers get preferential treatment.
The operators say the NFB and several blind passengers are “trying play on court sympathy by claiming ticketing kiosks deny them convenience and privacy when they are actually given preferential treatment.”
A deployed kiosk in an airport enables passengers to; check-in, check flight information, print tickets and boarding passes, select seats and upgrade tickets and pay for transaction.
According to the complaint, the kiosks include a visual touch screen that lacks any auxiliary aids such as voice guidance programs. The plaintiffs say they have to wait extended periods of time for assistance from airline employees and must give strangers sensitive private information.
Now the airport’s counter argument is that the kiosks provide sighted air travellers numerous, unique benefits, including convenience, privacy and independence.
They maintain that the “plaintiffs do not dispute that they are provided with curb-to-gate assistance, including … preferential assistance from airline employees in the course of the check-in and ticketing process.”
Install a Touch screen kiosk in your business today to ensure everyone has equal access, with Protouch.
In November last year we reported that The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) had sued United Airlines on the claim that their airport kiosks, which use touch screen technology, cannot be used by blind passengers.
Around the same, we also recounted how Italian banks had installed ATMs that are accessible for the blind and visually impaired in Rome.
However, it seems that the issue of blind people accessing Kiosks in airports is still unresolved as the NFB is suing again. This time they have filed a lawsuit against McCarran International Airport, alleging that the Las Vegas transportation hub has refused to make its ticket kiosks accessible to the visually impaired.
The claim is on behalf of four blind travellers who accuse the airport owner Clark County, of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and s federal rehabilitation act, by not providing equal services to visually impaired passengers.
Chris Danielsen, a spokesman for the federation, said: “It limits the ability of blind people to get done what they need to get done at the airport.
“Everyone else can just run up to one of these kiosks and get their stuff taken care of and blind people are still confined to consulting with airline or airport employees.”
Presently worldwide, Touch screen kiosk is used in airports as a quick and easy time-saving option for travellers to check-in to flights, print tickets and boarding passes, and select seats.
In the lawsuit, the NFB say they asked the airport officials in September 2010 to modify the kiosks so blind people could benefit from the services. The group say they never received a response.
The McCarran airport officials declined to comment on the allegations.
Touch screen technology in the business industry is ever-growing and the supply and need for them is expanding, for all passengers. Protouch are Europe’s number one manufacturer and distributor of touch screen equipment.
The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has sued United Airlines on the claim that their airport kiosks, which use touchscreen technology, cannot be used by blind passengers.
It seems the nation’s oldest organisation of blind people and three blind individuals in California, filed a lawsuit Tuesday in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
The pressure group alleges that the airline is violating the California Disabled Persons Act and the Unruh Civil Rights Act because the services it provides through its’ kiosks are not available to the blind.
The self -service kiosks in which they are arguing about presently provide flight information and allow passengers to check in for flights, print tickets and boarding passes.
The NFB maintain that audio interface, a keyboard or interactive screen reader technology could easily be added to the touchscreens as many other airlines have done.
Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “The airline industry has an unfortunate history of discriminating against blind passengers, and now United Airlines is repeating that history by deploying inaccessible technology that we cannot use.”
The Air Carrier Access Act requires airlines to provide special services for passengers who aren’t physically capable of using kiosks, such as assistance from staff in using the kiosk or allowing the passenger to come to the front of the line at check-in.
In a rebuttal statement, the airline said: “United Airlines is committed to providing quality service to all of our customers and to remaining in full compliance with the Air Carrier Access Act. We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind.”
Mike May, CEO of the Sendero Group, a manufacturer of technology for the blind, has supposedly said “it is easy” for United to make its kiosks accessible. He said: ”There is simply no excuse for the long wait and inconvenience that other blind United passengers and I continue to experience at airports.”
We recently reported how Italian banks have installed ATMs that are accessible for the blind and visually impaired in Rome.
Touchscreen technology in the business industry is ever-growing and the supply and need for them is expanding.
Protouch are Europe’s number one manufacturer and distributor of touch screen equipment.