From the NFB May 2021
Editors Note: McDonald’s owns about 5% of its nearly 14,000 domestic locations and the remainder are franchised. McDonald’s has more than 39,000 locations worldwide.
Blind Americans Commend McDonald’s for Commitment to Accessibility
Baltimore, Maryland (May 2021): The National Federation of the Blind, America’s civil rights organization of the blind, and McDonald’s USA announce a collaboration to make McDonald’s self-service kiosks in company-owned, U.S. restaurants even more accessible to customers who are blind. McDonald’s USA’s company-owned restaurants will implement these enhancements by December 31, 2021.
Using new and advanced technology, enhancements to existing accessibility features include screen-reading software, tactile keypads and the ability for customers to connect their headphones or ear buds to the kiosk and independently place their orders by responding to audio prompts.
“More accessible self-service kiosks are a win both for McDonald’s guests who are blind and for its company-owned restaurants, since they will allow us fully independent access to the menu and ordering options without assistance from restaurant employees or other patrons,” said Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind. “We commend McDonald’s for quickly working with us to implement these innovations and hope that McDonald’s leadership in the industry will serve as an example to encourage other restaurant brands to incorporate accessibility into their customer-service technology plans and specifications.”
The enhancements will be incorporated into 100 percent of existing kiosks in California and 25 percent of existing kiosks in each company-owned restaurant in other U.S. states. McDonald’s will also incorporate these upgrades into all kiosks that are installed in any U.S. restaurant after July 1, 2021, including new kiosks that suppliers are approved to sell to franchised restaurants.
McDonald’s and the National Federation of the Blind will continue to collaborate on training for restaurant staff in company-owned restaurants and other innovations impacting McDonald’s guests who are blind.
“At McDonald’s, inclusion means opening our doors to everyone, and finding ways to exceed customers’ unique needs,” Myrna Bell, McDonald’s Senior Director, Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Strategic Engagement, said. “We are proud to partner with the National Federation of the Blind to offer innovative solutions for our customers and help make everyone’s McDonald’s experience even more accessible and enjoyable.”
McDonald’s kiosks currently include multiple accessibility features, including a reach mode for guests with reach limitations, a screen magnifier, ample clear floor space and a customer assistance call button designed to alert restaurant crew members that a guest may require assistance.