Self-Service Food and Drink Machines
Resolution 2016-18
 
Whereas, many fast-food restaurants and other entities are beginning to deploy fully automated devices for dispensing food and drinks; and
 
Whereas, most such devices utilize touch screens which have no accessibility built into their design; and
 
Whereas, since many of these locations are parts of large chains, including McDonald’s and Wendy’s, which clearly means that they have sufficient funds to undertake creating accessible platforms; and
 
Whereas, some of these devices can be accessed remotely using apps operable on smart phones; and
 
Whereas, at present, these applications are also inaccessible; and
 
Whereas, the Coca-Cola Company is also utilizing kiosks and applications which allow more than 100 flavors of drink to be produced by a totally inaccessible machine known as “Freestyle;” and 
 
Whereas, the emergence of this plethora of new vending machines that use totally inaccessible interfaces suggests that it will soon be very difficult for people who are blind or have low vision to receive services comparable to those available to other members of the public;
 
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the American Council of the Blind in convention assembled on the 8th day of July, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Minneapolis, Minnesota, that this organization believes it is urgent to immediately challenge this new technology to include accessibility elements; and
 
Be it further resolved that this organization believes that it is insufficient to make just the application accessible and that both the touch-screen kiosk and the app should be independently usable by people who are blind or have low vision; and
 
Be it further resolved that this organization instruct its leadership to make contact with these companies and with associations in the food industry so that standards may be developed and implemented as this new generation of automated kiosks is rolled out; and
 
Be it further resolved that the leadership of this organization is hereby instructed to communicate to such companies and associations that our membership is perfectly prepared to take such action as may be necessary, either through structured negotiation or in a court of law, to prevent the widespread adoption of an inaccessible kiosk system; and
 
Be it further resolved that the American Council of the Blind remains prepared to work collaboratively with companies interested in developing accessible interfaces for automated kiosks and will use its good offices to promote the adoption of such an accessible system.
 
Adopted.
 
Ray Campbell, Secretary