Blind mum banking on talking cash

By Jay Grenby, March 29, 2012
Suzie Simons and children

Suzie Simons and children

A blind mother-of-two from Mill Hill is fronting a drive to get banks to provide talking cash machines.

Suzie Simons, 33, who lost her sight seven years ago, wants the banks to install headphone sockets allowing ATMs to be used by the visually-impaired to withdraw money, check their balances and top up their mobiles. She says the technology is deployed widely in America.

In an email, the Mill Hill Synagogue congregant asks people to support the campaign via the Royal National Institute for the Blind website. The email was originally sent to family, friends, Mill Hill community members and parents at the Mathilda-Marks Kennedy Jewish Primary, where her children attend. But the campaign has gone viral, with Mrs Simons promoting it on BBC shows.

She says that "nearly 400,000 people are registered blind or partially sighted in Britain. We need to stand up and fight for our rights."

Although Barclays and Lloyds have agreed to introduce the technology by the end of the year, she is "baffled why others, including HSBC and Santander, have turned down every opportunity to talk to the RNIB".

Last updated: 6:50pm, March 29 2012