23rd August 2011 / Tom Quarry
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.