With help from Comic Relief and tech partners BMC Azurri, WESC Foundation – the specialist centre for visual impairments – is engaged in an exciting new project to create a ‘speaking shop till’ (APOS or audible point of sale) that is totally audio descriptive, from initiating the transaction to its completion.
The touch screen interface will provide the necessary voice prompts to the operator. This will essentially be a speaking till, though for additional functionality, the approach will also be to develop a Blue Tooth ear piece. The Blue tooth ear piece will enable a disabled till operator to use the till effectively without the audio prompt being obvious to the customer.
The objective of the APOS system is to facilitate the employment who are disadvantaged in the workplace by disabilities.
WESC Foundation believe that regardless of disability everyone can contribute to society, by offering opportunities and creating environments and equipment that is accessible they help build independence and identity. The APOS till system will help those whose disability would normally be a barrier to employment succeed.
The APOS system will have varying levels of audio description to meet the individual needs of the operator. This means full description for those who are blind or severely sight impaired, customised levels for those who are dyslexic or have mild learning disabilities, to no audio description for your general user.
WESC Foundation has six shops, which they hope to pilot the prototypes and develop a product that could be utilized much more widely, therefore helping a large section of society that is underrepresented in the workplace.
This innovative project is led by Andrew Roberts, Head of Employability and Enterprise at the WESC Foundation, with BMC Azurri providing the technical knowhow to turn this dream into reality.