Organizational barriers occur when policies, practices, or procedures give people with disabilities fewer opportunities than non-disabled people. Businesses do not create these barriers purposely. Instead, barriers happen because businesses have not thought about how a customer or client with a disability would access their services.
Under the general requirements of the AODA, all public sector organizations must make new self-service kiosks accessible. Moreover, private sector organizations should also take accessibility into account when they design, procure, or acquire new kiosks. Accessible self-service kiosks allow organizations to serve more customers.
What are accessible self-service kiosks?
Self-service kiosks are electronic terminals that users can interact with. Customers or clients can use them to access products or services without staff assistance. For instance, people now use self-service kiosks to:
- Check out at stores
- Order food at restaurants
- Buy tickets at theatres
- Check in at airports
- Print ID cards in government offices
- Withdraw money from bank accounts
In our last article, we explored how technology barriers limit access for people with various disabilities. In this article, we will consider how businesses can prevent or remove barriers. Preventing and removing technology barriers makes businesses welcoming to people of all abilities.
Preventing and Removing Technology Barriers
Businesses can find many solutions to help people access technology.
For example, businesses can have:
Technology often helps people with disabilities perform every-day tasks. Computers, the Internet, and self-service kiosks make it easier for people to interact and do business. However, technology can sometimes be a barrier that limits people’s access to the world around them. Technology barriers happen when technology is not accessible to people with disabilities. For instance, some technology barriers are:
- Lack of computer accessibility, including:
- Hardware, such as key guards, trackballs, large monitors, or head-pointing systems
In Part 1 of this article, we explored how organizations can prevent or remove information or communication disability barriers. For the most part, removing or preventing information or communication barriers involves accessible formats or Communication supports. In Part 2, we outline other things staff should know about preventing or removing information or communication barriers.