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European Projects To Explore Accessibility of Terminals

A European working group to develop guidelines and standards for the accessibility of self-service terminals such as cashpoints and transport ticket machines has been revived by the European standards body CEN.

The group – to be convened by user interface consultant Julian Jones – is a successor to the former user interface working group WG6 of CEN technical committee TC224 on ‘Personal identification, electronic signature and cards’, which has lain dormant for two years.

The revival is needed “because human interfaces have moved on a lot in last couple of years, with i-pods, i-pads and so on,” Jones told E-Access Bulletin this week. “There is far more use of touch-screens and operations which use multiple fingers. We also want to reflect the use of near-field communication and the use of tokens on personal handheld devices as well as contactless cards.”

These developments mean the range of possible user preferences has become much wider, he said. Preferences could now include colour combinations, font size, volume of audio feedback, cursor behaviour and many other factors.

The new group will run a UK open meeting at the end of the summer to explain the workgroup’s objectives to interested parties and gather input before the membership is nominated by national standards bodies, Jones said. All those interested in attending should email him on .

Meanwhile a European research project into personalisation of digital self-service terminals, ‘APSIS4all’, has been launched with the aim of overcoming accessibility barriers faced by people unfamiliar with ICT, people with disabilities and older people.

The three-year project is being led by the Technosite Foundation in Spain, with other partners from across Europe including John Gill Technology and AbilityNet from the UK. It will focus on two areas – first, how users might be able to connect a mobile device such as a smartphone to any self-service terminals so they can carry out interactions on their own personal device; and second, that of personalisation according to preferences held either on a smartcard or in the cloud – work which will overlap with that of the revived CEN working group.


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