ATMs in Qatar for the disabled and elderly
Qatar Assistive Technology Center (Mada), in partnership with the Qatar Central Bank, has approved 11 ATMs for various banks in Qatar as usable devices for people with disabilities and the elderly.
The approved ATMs provide a screen reader that allows blind people to access all services independently and enables them to read currencies and arrange and collect cash denominations, taking into account screen dimming if the reader is activated in consideration of privacy and providing a screen with colours with great contrast that enables visually impaired and elderly people to access content easily.
The accreditation comes within the framework of the strategic partnership between Mada Center and Qatar Central Bank, as all identified machines were audited and 11 machines passed the evaluation conducted by the representatives of the bank and the digital access team at Mada Center.
The accreditation is an important step towards laying the foundations for the independent living of people with disabilities, integrating them into the digital society and ensuring their privacy, especially in banking transactions.
It is also a result of the efforts made by Mada Center, which consisted in holding training workshops for a number of Qatar Central Bank employees and various banks to raise awareness about the concept of access, as well as consultative and audit sessions with the participation of people with disabilities to ensure the readiness of ATMs for accreditation, and to find out their opinions and the challenges they face in completing their banking transactions, such as withdrawals and deposits, and so on.
The accreditation takes into account all the criteria that help people with disabilities and achieves safe banking transactions for them, based on the ADA and WCAG 2.1 standards that combine the digital accessibility of the ATM and its location with appropriate measurements for all segments of society, especially people with mobility disabilities.
After it is confirmed that the accessibility standards are applied to the ATM, the accreditation logo is placed by Mada Center to guide people with disabilities that this machine is accessible.
CEO of Mada Center Maha Al Mansouri emphasised the right of people with disabilities to access all information, applications, electronic services and digital content on the same basis as others.
He pointed out the centre’s keenness to empower people with disabilities and the elderly, and to integrate them fully into society through information technology and digital access, as well as raising the percentage of digital access to various digital platforms to the highest possible degree.
Mansouri valued the partnership with Qatar Central Bank and their interest in creating ATMs to facilitate access for people with disabilities and help them perform their banking transactions with sufficient privacy.
In 2019, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Mada Center and Qatar Central Bank during the Qatar Information Technology Conference and Exhibition (QITCOM) to build a partnership for cooperation and coordination between the two parties to increase the rate of adoption and implementation of digital access policies to ensure improving digital access for people with disabilities to all digital platforms affiliated to Qatar Central Bank.
The launch of the new version of the ‘Qatari Currency Reader’ application was one of the most prominent strategic achievements between Mada Center and Qatar Central Bank, which contributes to a qualitative leap in the lives of people with visual impairments and the elderly in terms of banking transactions.