Majority of ATMs, Bus stands, govt websites in Goa are not disabled friendly

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Majority of ATMs, Bus stands, govt websites in Goa are not disabled friendly: Report
Panaji: A survey by the students of B-School, Goa Institute of Management (GIM), has claimed that the majority of the ATMs, bus stands and state government’s websites dealing in public utility services in Goa are not “disabled-friendly.

Through the media statement released here, the B-School has unveiled the report, which is a fall-out of seven-month-long “survey and audit” on “public utility facilities in the state from a disability perspective” by its students.

The report is a part of the B-School’s ‘Give Goa’ initiative, commissioned by the Confederation of Indian Industry Young Indians (CII-YI).

Talking about the report, Prof V Padmanaban, who along with the other professors mentored the report, said that the ATM audit covered hundred randomly chosen cash-dispensing kiosks in rural and urban parts of Goa.

“The findings indicated that faulty error messages or audio cues, lack of Braille-powered ATMs, improper ramp designs and complicated transactions were major issues,” he said.

Padmanaban along with other fellow professors including Mantasha Firoz, Arpita Amarnani and Kingshuk Sarkar mentored the survey and audit.

“The GIM-CII study has recommended that each locality should have at least one fully disabled-friendly ATM,” Padmanaban said.

In yet another finding, the report has said that the design and functionality of bus stands should meet the needs of its diverse and less privileged user base.
“Ten bus stands, including the busiest KTC bus stand in Panaji and the Porvorim Depot were audited. Most bus stands were found lacking in basic accessibility features due to poor construction, lack of communication channels and awareness of disability-related issues,” the report reads.
The report also conducted an accessibility audit of 50 public utility websites owned by the Goa government and found that most were not user-friendly for persons with disabilities.
“Official websites of ‘Fire and Emergencies Services’ and ‘River Navigation’ departments reported a score of 3.12 and 3.85 respectively making them the two most unfriendly websites for persons with disabilities,” the report reads.
The CII-GIM report further stated that the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) website had a score of 6.13 with complaints with regard to the photo-sensitive content which according to the audit could potentially lead to seizures in individuals prone to epilepsy.

“The audit has also advocated a rehaul and streamlining of the Goa Police website because of its unfriendly design and cluttered content negatively impacting individuals who are visually impaired and those with cognitive disabilities,” the report adds.

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