In a first in the Middle East as well as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a teller machine for blind and visually impaired people has been launched here by the Sharjah Islamic Bank.
The ATM features a large Braille keypad, high resolution screen, wide keys, headphone and external speaker to ensure the user's privacy.
The user needs to choose fewer options than in a normal ATM. Though the machine is designed for the visually impaired, it can also be used by others.
The ATM is located at the Emirates Association for the Blind headquarters in Sharjah, where visually impaired people will be trained to use the machine by a team from the bank.
The ruler of Sharjah, Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, had recently ordered banks in the emirate to offer facilities to the blind in response to a telephone call made by Manar Al Hamadi, a blind lawyer.
The Sharjah Islamic Bank later opened a bank account for the lawyer.