A new standard in the Canadian Transportation Agency's amended Code of practice: Removing Communication Barriers for Travelers with Disabilities introduces automated self-service travel kiosks designed for people with disabilities at airports, railway and ferry terminals.
The standard stipulates that newly installed kiosks used for such things as self-service ticketing, check in and related functions should be accessible to people with disabilities starting December 31, 2016, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that 25 percent of kiosks are accessible by December 31, 2022.
The two-year implementation period gives manufacturers time to design, test and produce kiosks which feature updated hardware and software accessibility standards. The standards address issues such as height, position of monitors, touch screen functions, audio accessories, document readers, and warning tones.
The standard applies to airports within the National Airports System linking Canada from coast to coast, Canadian air carriers that operate aircraft with 30 or more passenger seats, rail carriers and terminals serving 10,000 or more passengers yearly and ferry operators and terminals in respect of vessels of 1,000 gross tonnes or more between provinces or between Canada and the United States every year.
The 25-per-cent minimum applies to each service area - any public location within an airport, rail or ferry terminal where a cluster of kiosks has been installed. If there is only one kiosk, it must be accessible.
The Canadian standards are in line with the latest U.S. Department of Transportation rule. This harmonization will provide greater predictability and consistency across North America for travelers with disabilities.
The standard was developed based on input received during consultations with the Agency's Accessibility Advisory Committee, which consists of representatives from associations representing persons with disabilities, major Canadian airlines, passenger railways, ferries, as well as with air industry stakeholders and the Canadian Airports Council.
"Persons with disabilities have a right to access automated self-service kiosks independently, safely and securely," said Geoff Hare, Chair and CEO of the Canadian Transportation Agency. "Our experience has shown that the Agency's voluntary standards approach is effective in increasing the accessibility of the federal transportation network for persons with disabilities."