This article has been republished from the Government of Canada website.
Gatineau, QC – May 31, 2021 – The Government of Canada continues on the path towards a barrier-free Canada. In this modern day and age, the Government is especially focused on supporting new technologies that help Canadians with disabilities play an active role in society. This has never been more important, as we build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Today, as part of National AccessAbility Week 2021, the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough, participated in the Payments Canada 2021 Summit and in the introduction of new accessibility features for electronic payment terminals by Moneris Solutions Corporation ("Moneris"). Developed in collaboration with the CNIB and the Government of Canada, the new features unveiled by Moneris, such as enhanced font sizes, increased contrast, and bilingual audio prompts giving clear instructions, will help Canadians with visual disabilities when making a payment. Currently, payment terminals require consumers to pay with the help of visual cues creating barriers for Canadians with sight loss.
In Budget 2019, the Government of Canada committed to finding ways to improve the accessibility of electronic payment terminals to help persons with disabilities in their every day lives. This allows persons with disabilities to have greater independence and do things like pay for groceries without relying on someone’s help. A $557,725 investment from Innovation, Science and Economic Development helped Moneris and CNIB develop this new accessible terminal. Developed based on community feedback, it introduces new accessibility features that break down barriers.
The launch of these new accessibility features for payment terminals is a new milestone supporting the implementation of the Accessible Canada Act and the Government’s efforts to create a barrier-free Canada.
“As Minister responsible for Disability Inclusion, and as a person with a visual impairment, I understand the importance of these new changes. Knowing that I could go to the grocery store, to the pharmacy or to the mall with the confidence that I can make payments easily and without assistance is a game changer. This really is an issue of personal autonomy and independence. It is also a matter of financial security. I want to thank Moneris and the CNIB for working with the Government of Canada on this initiative and for thinking outside of the box when it comes to breaking down barriers for persons with disabilities.”
— Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough
“Ensuring access to technology is fair and equitable for all Canadians is the only way we can bridge the digital divide and create a more inclusive payment experience for consumers. We are proud of our work with CNIB and the Government of Canada to create a solution that can be applied to the thousands of Moneris Core devices currently in market. We will continue to expand the availability as we migrate more merchants from legacy to Core devices over the next few years.”
— President and CEO, Moneris, Angela Brown
“As society continues to embrace contactless payment methods, business owners must not overlook providing accessible payment options for the 1.5 million Canadians living with sight loss. Imagine having to choose between disclosing your PIN with the cashier or a stranger in line behind you, or instead walking away from buying your groceries. Every day a Canadian with sight loss is forced to make this decision. These upgraded payment terminals are the first step in ensuring financial independence is maintained for everyone that completes a payment transaction.”
— President and CEO, CNIB, John M. Rafferty