A talking till developed by WESC Foundation has been shortlisted for a second national award.
The audible point of sale (APOS) till – which can be operated independently by users with visual impairment and other disabilities – has been recognised by the Charity Times Awards. It follows a similar recognition by NATSPEC – the voice of specialist further education colleges – earlier in the year.
APOS was developed in partnership with charity retail software specialists BMc Azurri who adapted existing electronic point of sale (EPOS) software to create a new platform that reads out the text of each button on the till to a user as they find or press it, as well as tell users when an error message appears on the screen. Funding came from the “Tech for Good Programme” organised by Comic Relief and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
The till uses hardware from Box Technologies, and is currently in use in WESC Foundation’s five charity shops in Exeter and East Devon.
The winner of the award will be announced at the Charity Times Awards online event on 3rd September 2020.
Andrew Roberts, Head of Employability and Enterprise Development for WESC Foundation, said:
“Most retailers now use EPOS till systems based on touch screen technology that are inaccessible to people with visual impairments and other disabilities. Although we have previously developed a Braille overlay for sensitive touch screens we still found that most of our students were unable to use a modern EPOS till without close supervision.
“Our solution allows users with a wide range of visual impairments and other disabilities to work or volunteer in a retail environment without close supervision. This is a major step to supporting all of them to develop their independence and confidence”.
WESC Foundation has five charity shops and a substantial eBay store that offer valuable learning opportunities and work experience for students, as well as volunteering options for former College students, young people at its St David’s House residential home and the wider community.