SEOUL, Oct. 14 (Korea Bizwire) — Unmanned kiosks are spreading through restaurants, movie theaters, and train stations to make orders and purchases.
In many cases, however, these systems are still inaccessible to persons with disabilities.
Most of the systems come with a touch screen without any auxiliary devices for persons with disabilities, such as braille keypads for the blind.
Unmanned kiosks in train stations, restaurants and other facilities in Seoul are left inaccessible to persons with disabilities.
One fast food chain has been relying on the system to make orders, without any staff to provide an alternative means of placing an order.
The unmanned kiosks at this chain do not have any devices, not even a braille keypad, to assist persons with disabilities.
Another unmanned kiosk installed in Yongsan Station had braille only on basic instruction panels, such as destination and fare.
To purchase a train ticket, a user should access the touch screen to choose the destination and pay for the fare. For persons with visual disabilities, however, there are no supportive devices to help them use the system.
Government standards require all unmanned kiosks for administrative assistance to be equipped with a braille keypad, voice instructions, and braille labeling.
However, only 57.5 percent of all systems meet the standards.
While there are available technologies to maximize accessibility for persons with disabilities, such as braille keypads and vibration notifications, they have yet to be included in the basic requirements for unmanned kiosks.
“The lack of a standardized model for unmanned kiosks is allowing manufacturers to come up with thousands of different models and standards,” said Kim Seong-yeon, secretary-general at the Solidarity Against Disability Discrimination.
“The government should create official standards for these machines with accessibility for persons with disabilities.”
H. M. Kang (email@example.com)