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What equal opportunity employers should look for in a biometric time & attendance system - Priti Rohra

In our guest column this week, Priti Rohra, Chief Accessibility Officer at Barrier Break shares some useful insights on making the workplace inclusive.

Inclusion starts right at the door steps!

Being an equal opportunity employer ourselves and with approximately 65% of our staff comprising of persons with different types of impairments, procuring any solution for our offices has always been an interesting task. We have employees with wide range of impairments from hard-of-hearing to deaf, low vision to blind, as well as people with mobility and learning impairments. We take special care to ensure everything that we procure is inclusive to all and it was no different when we decided to procure a Biometric Time and Attendance System.

A Biometric Time & Attendance System is used across offices to login an employee's in, out time and manage attendance as well as leaves etc.

We started with checking out different biometric systems and analyzed them for the modes of input to how the output is rendered. While different systems were analyzed, we involved our staff members with different types of impairments in the demonstration session to try out the system to make sure that we procured the system that will work for all the employees.

We finally decided to go with Biomax - Biometric Time & Attendance System to be installed at our different offices!

A lot of research and analysis was put in procuring the system so we decided to share the learnings with the community at large. In this column, I will be discussing what all points need to be considered while procuring such a system that will be accessible to all employees.

A Biometric Time & Attendance system comprises of:

  • A scanner to take the finger impression.
  • A keypad to enter the password.
  • Display screen showing the output.
  • Punching card.

Checklist before buying a biometric machine

  • Does the machine provide audio feedback for visual information displayed on the screen?
  • Is there a dot on number "5" of the keypad to orient visually impaired people?
  • Are textual and visual alerts used to supplement information displayed using color alone??Screenshot showing the output in text and symbol along with color. Audio feedback, dot on number "5" as well as supplementing color with textual and visual alerts will aid your visually impaired employees use the machine independently.
  • Does the machine provide textual messages for each sound alert? This is required to assist employees with hearing impairments as they can follow the textual message and use the machine independently!
  • Check if successful and unsuccessful attempts are indicated through different colors, i.e. green for a successful attempt and red for an unsuccessful attempt. This will help employees with learning impairments quickly understand the feedback.
  • Check if the machine offers more than one method of input, such as placing the finger on the scanner, type using the keypad or punch a card. This will aid employees with mobility impairments and even those with dry fingers.

The above points should help many organizations in procuring accessible Biometric Time & Attendance Systems for their employees.

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