ADA Blog


ADA Blog #110

Past blogs have included information about the new ADA standards pertaining to accessibility to automated teller machines (ATMs) that took effect on March 15, 2011. All ATMs were required to be upgraded to meet these new requirements by March 15, 2012 which are especially important to people with visual impairments. Compliance with the standards is mandatory so that customers with visual impairments can use the machines without assistance.

Within the last 30 days, at least 10 class action lawsuits have been filed in Pennsylvania for alleged violation of these standards. As a result, banks may benefit from this reminder to take immediate action.

Among the new standards are the following requirements:

  • Speech Output: Machines shall be speech enabled. Operating instructions and orientation, visible transaction prompts, user input verification, error messages and all displayed information for full use shall be accessible to and independently usable by individuals with vision impairments. Speech shall be delivered through a mechanism that is readily available to all users, including but not limited to, an industry standard connector or a telephone handset. Speech shall be recorded or digitized human, or synthesized.
  • Input Controls: At least one tactilely discernible input control shall be provided for each function. Where provided, key surfaces not on active areas of display screens shall be raised above surrounding surfaces. Where membrane keys are the only method of input, each shall be tactilely discernible from surrounding surfaces and adjacent keys.
  • Numeric Keypads: Numeric keys shall be arranged in a 12-key ascending or descending telephone keypad layout. The number five key shall be tactilely distinct from the other keys.
  • Display Screen: The display screen shall be visible from a point located 40 inches (1015 mm) above the center of the clear floor space in front of the machine. Characters displayed on the screen shall be in a sans serif font. Characters shall be 3/16 inch (4.8 mm) high minimum based on the uppercase letter "I." Characters shall contrast with their background with either light characters on a dark background or dark characters on a light background.
  • Braille Instructions: Braille instructions for initiating the speech mode shall be provided.



This information should not be construed as “legal advice” for a particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject. Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.