Majority of ATMs, bus stands, state govt websites in Goa not disabled-friendly: Report

The report conducted an accessibility audit of 50 public utility websites owned by the Goa government and found that most did not accommodate users with disabilities

Representative image of a wheelchair user
Representative image of a wheelchair user


A majority of ATMs, bus stands and state government websites dealing in public utility services in Goa are not disabled-friendly, according to a survey by the Goa Institute of Management (GIM) and the Confederation of Indian Industry Young Indians (CII-YI).

The B-school recently unveiled the report as part of the B-School's 'Give Goa' initiative, commissioned by (CII-YI). It is the outcome of a seven-month-long "survey and audit" by its students of public utility facilities in the state from a disability perspective, a statement said.

V. Padmanaban, who was one of the professors who mentored the students, said the ATM audit covered a hundred randomly chosen cash-dispensing kiosks in rural and urban parts of Goa.

The findings indicated that faulty error messages and audio cues, lack of Braille-powered ATMs, improper ramp designs and complicated transactions were major issues, he said. "The GIM-CII study has recommended that each locality should have at least one fully disabled-friendly ATM," Padmanaban said.

Padmanaban's fellow professors who mentored the survey and audit team include Mantasha Firoz, Arpita Amarnani and Kingshuk Sarkar.

Yet another finding was that the design and functionality of bus stands largely fail to meet the needs of Goa's diverse user base, particularly ignoring the less privileged.

'Ten bus stands, including the busiest KTC bus stand in Panaji and the Porvorim Depot, were audited. Most bus stands were found lacking in basic accessibility features due to poor construction, lack of communication channels and [inadequate] awareness of disability-related issues,' the report said.

The report also conducted an accessibility audit of 50 public utility websites owned by the Goa government, and found that most were not able to accommodate people with disabilities.

'Official websites of [the] "Fire and Emergencies Services" and "River Navigation" departments reported a score of 3.12 and 3.85, respectively, making them the two most unfriendly websites for persons with disabilities,' noted the report.

The CII-GIM report further stated that the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) website had a score of 6.13.

'The audit has also advocated a rehaul and streamlining of the Goa Police website because of its unfriendly design and cluttered content, negatively impacting individuals who are visually impaired and those with cognitive disabilities,' the report added.

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