The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Missing the point

I'm at the ATM pulling out some money when I notice the Braille writing beside the buttons. Now, the standard joke is “Why do they put Braille on drive-through ATMs?” I suspect the answer to that is it's cheaper to make all ATMs that way, or less prone to accessibilty issues (“I'm sorry there's no Braille, we installed the wrong ATM”).

So this is going through my mind when I suddenly realize—how does a blind person know which button to press? Yes, there is a keypad used to input your PIN, but there are also four buttons along each side of the screen used to select which type of transaction, language selection, do you want a receipt among other questions. And you know which button to press because the selection is printed beside the button.


What's the point of Braille if the only sound the ATM makes is this beep-beep noise? There's no voice over going “To select a withdrawl, press ‘A,’ to check your balance, press ‘B’ …”

Now that seems silly to me …

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