OREANDA-NEWS. June 9, 2012. From today, blind and visually impaired people can use special aids, such as a specially marked keyboard, headphones and voice-activation, to withdraw money from six ATMs in Tallinn, Tartu, Parnu and Rakvere.

Head of Retail Division at Swedbank Ulla Ilisson said that the bank met with the representatives of the Estonian Association of the Blind and asked for their suggestions on how to improve the way blind people are served. “For example, we started marking steps and stairs in our branches, which makes it considerably easier for the visually impaired to visit our branches,” said Ilisson. She promised that all branches would be marked in this manner by the end of the year. “I am pleased to say that the solution of ATMs with a voice-activated interface was developed with the support of the representative of the Estonian Association of the Blind,” added Ilisson.

Ilisson said that the measures mentioned above are not the only ones taken to serve blind and visually impaired people better. “For example, we tested the user-friendliness of our Internet Bank and the service quality at our branches with the help of blind people, and as a result of the feedback they gave us, we made several changes to make the Internet Bank work better with the voice-activated interface and to improve service at branches.”

All Swedbank branches located by the six ATMs offer headphones in case a blind or visually impaired client has left theirs behind. These can also be used by senior clients, who find reading the screen of the ATM difficult and may have to use voice activation.

The six ATMs with voice-activated interfaces are located at Kawe, Foorum and Sopruse pst branches in Tallinn; at the Dorpat branch in Tartu; in Rakvere (Laada 27); and at the Keskvaljak 1 branch in Parnu.

Please note: Photos of the ATM at Swedbank’s Kawe branch in Tallinn, which is equipped with the voice-activated interface, are enclosed with the press release. The specially marked buttons and keyboard, the voice-activated interface and the headphones that are connected to it can be seen in the photos.