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RBI / 2007-08 / 358
DBOD.No.Leg BC. 91 /09.07.005/2007-08
June 4, 2008
All Scheduled Commercial Banks
(excluding RRBs)
Dear Sir,
Banking facilities to the visually challenged
It has been brought to our notice that visually challenged persons are facing problems in availing banking facilities. It may be noted that banking facilities including cheque book facility / operation of ATM / locker etc. cannot be denied to the visually challenged as they are legally competent to contract.
2. It may be recalled that in the Case No. 2791/2003, the Honourable Court of Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities had passed Orders dated 05.09.2005 which was forwarded by IBA to all the member banks vide their circular letter dated October 20, 2005. In the above Order, the Honorable Court has instructed that banks should offer all the banking facilities including cheque book facility, ATM facility and locker facility to the visually challenged and also assist them in withdrawal of cash. Further, in Para 14 of the above Order, the Honorable Court has observed that visually impaired persons cannot be denied the facility of cheque book, locker and ATM on the possibility of risk in operating / using the said facility, as the element of risk is involved in case of other customers as well.

3. Banks are therefore advised to ensure that all the banking facilities such as cheque book facility including third party cheques, ATM facility, Net banking facility, locker facility, retail loans, credit cards etc. are invariably offered to the visually challenged without any discrimination.
 Banks may also advise their branches to render all possible assistance to the visually challenged for availing the various banking facilities.

Yours faithfully
(Prashant Saran)
Chief General Manager-in-Charge

Need for Bank Branches / ATMs to be made 
accessible to persons with disabilities
We have been receiving several suggestions including from Government of India to make bank branches and ATMs easily accessible to persons with disability by providing ramps so that wheel chair users can access them and the height of the machine is also appropriate for them. Further we have also been receiving suggestions for installing speaking software and key pads with letters in Braille to facilitate use by persons with visual impairment.

2. We have examined the above suggestions and banks are advised to take necessary steps to provide all existing ATMs / future ATMs with ramps so that wheel chair users / persons with disabilities can easily access them and also make arrangements in such a way that the height of the ATM does not create an impediment in its use by a wheelchair user. Banks may also take appropriate steps including providing ramps at the entrance of the bank branches so that the persons with disabilities / wheel chair users can enter the bank branches and conduct business without much difficulty.

3. Further, banks should make at least one third of new ATMs installed as talking ATMs with Braille keypads and place them strategically in consultation with other banks to ensure that at least one talking ATM with Braille keypad is generally available in each locality for catering to needs of visually impaired persons. Banks may also bring the locations of such talking ATMs to the notice of their visually impaired customers.

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