WHEREAS, Northwest Airlines is the fourth largest airline in the nation and occupies a majority of the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport; and
WHEREAS, Northwest airlines, like other airlines, offers self-service check-in kiosks as an option for passengers to check in for their flights; and
WHEREAS, these check-in kiosks offer greater convenience for those who can see the screens but are not usable by blind people; and
WHEREAS, the only alternatives to using the kiosks are either to check in using the internet before arriving at the airport or to check in with an agent at the counter--which is becoming increasingly less available; and
WHEREAS, accessing the internet is not an option for many blind people because of lack of assistive technology and/or lack of training; and
WHEREAS, technology exists today that allows the screen display on information kiosks to be rendered via speech output, and is currently in use on many automatic teller machines, electronic voting machines, ticket distribution kiosks, and other point-of-sale devices; and
WHEREAS, the trend toward emphasis on technological methods of service provision will in effect shut out those unable to read visual displays if alternative access methods are not incorporated; now therefore
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Minnesota in convention assembled this twenty-fourth day of October, 2004, in the city of St. Cloud, Minnesota, that this organization urge Northwest Airlines to require the manufacturers of the self-service check-in kiosks to incorporate nonvisual means of access into the kiosks.