updated 04:05 pm EST, Wed March 5, 2014
System prevents visually impaired from entering own PINs
A recent class action lawsuit -- filed last week in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida -- charges that the point-of-sale devices used by Apple Store workers discriminate against the visually impaired. Because shoppers can't enter a debit card PIN by themselves, plaintiff David New argues, Apple is in violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Other retailers use POS devices with "tactiley discernible keypad surfaces," the complaint remarks, meaning that there's no fundamental reason why Apple Stores should be different.
"Plaintiff intends to continue to be a customer of Defendant's stores, and desires to make future payments by debit card. However, unless Defendant is required to install ADA compliant POS Devices, Plaintiff will continue to be unable to independently make payments for any purchases by debit card," the court filing reads.
"Defendant does not provide any auxiliary aids or services calculated to make its POS Devices fully accessible to, and independently usable by, blind people," it continues. "As a result of Defendant's non-compliance with the ADA, Plaintiff and the Class, unlike persons without visual impairments, cannot independently make a debit purchase at Defendant's stores."
Most Apple Store transactions are handled through specially-equipped iPod touches. Because of their touchscreen interface though, they aren't conducive to use by the blind.