Access for Sight-Impaired Consumers extends its appreciation to Best Buy Canada for embracing our request and agreeing to work collaboratively with ASIC to overcome the inaccessibility of their flat-screen PIN pad terminals. Best Buy has recently announced it will be retrofitting their flat-screen PIN pad terminals to ensure accessibility for consumers who are blind, sight-impaired or deafblind at all their Canadian outlets by September 2011. Included in the upgrades will be retrofits to the same flat-screen terminals in all Canadian Future Shop stores, which are also owned and operated by Best Buy Canada.
“Our deployment plan is to install 3 of these devices in each store. One at the front cashier, one at the Customer Service desk, and one at our Geek Squad counter,” reported Jesse Wielgan, Manager – RISE Projects for Best Buy Canada.
The VGA flat-screen PIN pad display with its integrated capacitive touch screen, manufactured by HYPERCOM CORPORATION, includes a transparent glass top surface which is designed to facilitate customer-activated transactions. It also supports marketing and promotional campaigns in the check-out lane. Best Buy has initially equipped some test terminals in their Richmond and New Westminster BC stores which have been configured with an optional, integrated Secure Keypad — to address the needs of their customers who are blind or sight-impaired during the transaction payment process.
Members of ASIC’s Board have visited the Richmond location and used the optional tactile keypad terminal from both a totally blind and a sight-impaired perspective. The terminals are capable of accepting either a debit card for immediate transactions or a chip/pin type credit card. Customers presenting the older style of credit cards where a signature is required have the option of signing a printed paper receipt or signing the flat-screen glass display which will capture the signature electronically.
“Like all debit or credit card transactions, some interaction may still need to take place with the cashier,” noted Rob Sleath, President of Access for Sight-Impaired Consumers. “Verbalizing the total purchase amount and assisting those who are unfamiliar with the account selection keys for debit transactions may still be required,” he acknowledged, “however customers who are sight-impaired, depending on their level of usable vision, should have no difficulties independently accessing and interacting with the bright, color contrasted flat-screen display.” Sleath went on to say, “We view this as a viable solution to the previously inaccessible flat-screen terminals for totally blind consumers. Our next objective will be to work with the terminal manufacturers to provide voice output so as to increase the level of independence for those who cannot access the display. We will also need to work with the Canadian Standards Association to develop tactile markings to identify the account selection keys. But this is a project for another time and place.”
In the interim, Access for Sight-Impaired Consumers extends its appreciation to Best Buy Canada and Future Shop and we look forward to improved accessibility at their check-out counters later this year.