I do not understand the necessity of ATMs having audio feedback of "You have inserted a card", "Please type in your password", etc. I can just find them on the screen, and I just find the speeches annoying.

I have thought about whether the speech is for the blind, but at last I do not think a blind man is able to use an ATM.

  • An example: youtube.com/watch?v=6dQuAGJakHM - also indicates there is still some more UX to improve on...
    – Inca
    Commented Oct 30, 2011 at 18:17
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    Why wouldn't blind people be able to use an ATM? They are able to use far more sophisticated apparatus then a simple "stick in your card, numeric key pad and a few other buttons, money drop slot" machine... Commented Oct 30, 2011 at 18:55
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    @Marjan: mostly because the way you use the 'few other buttons' are different from ATM to ATM and rely on screen feedback only. For example, the 'print receipt' is usually at the end, but if the receipt can't be printed some ATMs put that message out first and require you to select 'continue' or 'cancel.' Some ATMs use buttons on the right side only when presenting 2 choices, others use left and right. Etc.
    – Inca
    Commented Oct 30, 2011 at 19:29
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    UK ATMs don't have this speech function - and this also applies to a number of other European Countries I've visited.
    – PhillipW
    Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 11:26

1 Answer 1


Talking ATMs were created explicitly for use by the blind. In the United States the Americans with Disabilities Act now includes explicit regulations for talking ATMs. The ATMs near you may be different, but in the US and other countries it may be a requirement that ATMs have to be usable by the blind.

  • Are out of service messages also required to be usable for the blind?
    – JohnGB
    Commented Oct 30, 2011 at 16:49
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    Actually, I have thought about using an ATM as a blind, but I do not think I can manage. Because there are a lot of other things required other than speeches (though they might be useful).
    – user7232
    Commented Oct 30, 2011 at 16:53
  • @JohnGB as per ADA regs in the US, yes, all errors messages are required to be audible. As for the out of service case I'm not certain, but I would assume any attempt at interaction with an out of service machine would read the out of service message;the prompt isn't mentioned explicitly in the ADA regs. ada.gov/regs2010/2010ADAStandards/…
    – Zelda
    Commented Oct 30, 2011 at 17:12
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    @DanteisnotaGeek I have no doubt the experience for a blind user is relatively painful for a blind user, but all functionality and (non-private) messages displayed on the ATM are required to be operable for blind persons and braille instructions are provided esp. for initiating speech mode on talking ATMs. I haven't tried one without the use of sight myself, but blind Americans do use them and it's required by law that they can.
    – Zelda
    Commented Oct 30, 2011 at 17:14

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