HC Deb 30 March 2004 vol 419 cc1363-4W
Mr. Berry

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will take steps to ensure that the next generation of PIN pads introduced into post offices will be fully accessible for disabled people, with particular reference to those with sight problems. [163643]

Mr. Timms

The design and operation of the Post Office card account, including the use of PIN pads, is a commercial matter for Post Office Ltd. I can confirm, however, that the Post Office is working to ensure its services are as accessible to as many customers as possible. To this end it has already made improvements to its PIN pads. It has: (i) developed a key guard for the PIN pad which clips over the unused keys to simplify its appearance and help guide customers; and (ii) added a raised dot to the "5" key. Further improvements are planned including[...] (i) producing a guide with RNIB to enhance the enter clear and cancel keys by inserting tactile symbols next to each of these keys; (ii) different beeps for the enter, clear and cancel keys; and (iii) large print, tactile maps and audio guides to be available in post offices to assist customers to use PIN pads. The Post Office is in consultation with the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) and other representative groups about these adjustments.