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ATM Access For The Handicapped

We already knew about the law that all public buildings have to have wheelchair access capabilities, but the proposal now before the California Court has the attention of almost all the financial institutions in the United States.

The Appellate Court in California decided that an ATM is a public facility and is therefore covered under the terms of the Handicap Access Law.

This is a reversal of an earlier decision, but one which is more final.

The ruling means that all ATMs in California will have to be able to accommodate handicapped customers.

Banking officials are concerned because in the past the laws California makes governing these areas prove to be models for legislation in other states.

Experts estimate a minimum cost of between $2,000 to $5,000 per ATM to lower the machine and make other adjustments necessary for handicapped access.

We made a very unofficial survey of eight of our local ATMs. One requires going down three steps. One is up three steps. Three are sidewalk walk-ups with curbs. Three are inside doors marked "Pull", which would be difficult, if not impossible, in a wheelchair. All are too high to reach from a sitting position.

How accessible are yours to the handicapped?

Copyright © 1990 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 1, No. 7, 7/90

First published on 07/01/1990

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