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BELFAST, U.K. – Northern Bank has announced that it is the first bank in Europe to install software in some of its ATMs which will allow blind and visually impaired users to use the machines via a set of headphones and a voice hookup. The U.S. Department of Justice is currently considering requiring U.S. ATM deployers to install similar technology on ATMs in the U.S. under the Americans With Disabilities Act. A Canadian software company, Phoenix Interactive, provided the software which allows the text-to-speech connection to be made. The connection allows an automated voice to guide visually impaired people to the exact locations of items such as the numbers on the keypad, the cash dispenser and all other devises on the machine. It will also talk them through each stage of the process whether they are checking balances or withdrawing cash, the bank said.

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