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It is essential to have multiple methods of biometric identification. Eye disease can prevent adequate imaging of the iris or retina, or an inability to hold the eye still.
Not all blind people are knowledgeable about operating touch screens. The learning curve is too steep for the airline check-in process.
If only some kiosks are accessible, how will a blind customer entering the airport or waiting in line know where to find them?
Currently the airlines have used kiosks to replace personnel. When I arrive at airports, I often have a great deal of difficulty, and waste a lot of time, finding a person to help me check in.
Passengers who require assitance to get to the gate need to check in with a person who can arrange this help, not at a kiosk.
A person with a disaility who cannot drive has the right under the ADA to rent a car and have another person drive it. If I were paying for a rental car or conducting some other transaction, however, I would need the privacy of an accessible kiosk.
I agree that regulations should be established before biometrics are in common use. Designing a feature to be accessible from the ground up is cheaper and takes less work than retrofitting. If regulations don’t appear until biometrics are already required to fly or in wide use, there will be a delay and some kind of burdensome process for people who cannot use the technology. If equipment manufacturers know the rules before they design technologies, they can incorporate it. People with disabilities are often left behind with technology upgrades and putting regulations into effect now would prevent that.
Yes, a keypad with distinct keys as described on this page for ATMs or mass transit ticket machines is much more readily accessible.
Hi lhare, thank you for sharing your knowledge. Since you see biometric identification technologies as a potential barrier to accessibility, what do you think of jbjordan’s comment that DOT should propose accessibility regulations for biometric readers even though they aren’t widely used right now?
Do you have any suggestions for how DOT can resolve this problem? Cherylechevarria has suggested that airport kiosks should be more like ATMs. Would that help?
Some commenters and DOT have expressed concerns that requiring persons with disabilities to seek assistance from an agent might be somewhat stigmatizing. DOT has also listed several benefits for travelers with disabilities from accessible kiosks. Is there a better way for DOT to address these issues?
Thanks for your comment lhare. Would you feel that your privacy was protected if DOT required airlines’ non-airport kiosks to meet the same accessibility requirements as kiosks in airports? You can read about the privacy protections under the proposed accessibility standards in Section 2 of the Kiosk Accessibility Standards post.