How Can Checkout Counters Be Made More Accessible?
The biggest barrier to accessibility in any store is understaffing. But if we’re talking specifically about checkout counters, the biggest barriers are the height, the credit card reader, and where the bags get placed after they are filled.
Generally speaking, the counters are way too high. Luckily, some grocery stores are starting to install conveyor belts and counters that can be raised and lowered by the cashier.
The credit card reader needs to be able to, at a minimum, pivot so that it’s faceing towards the user. It’d be even better if it could be removed and handed to the shopper. Stores should also do what they can to embrace systems like Apple Pay that allow users to touch their phones instead of having to hand over a card. A lot of wheelchair users use the larger smart phones as an extension of their hand when the scanner is in a hard to reach place.
As for bagging, the cashier/bagger should ask if there’s any particular way that the shopper would like things bagged or if any items should be left out. Also, the bags should be sat in an area that is fairly low: it’s hard to lift something heavy when it’s already positioned above you.