From shopping centres to public buildings, from airports to train stations, barrier-free constructions are a common sight all over the world. But widespread as this practice may be, barrier freeness is not nearly as advanced when it comes to the use of communication technology in the same public places. This is despite many legal equality provisions claiming barrier-free information systems as a right for the disabled.
With its new Series WS 211V DA, Commend offers probably “the world’s most barrier-free Intercom stations”: a solution that has been designed specifically with the special needs of people with vision or hearing impairments in mind.
What does “barrier-free” mean?
Barrier-free communication – as defined, for example, in the Austrian “Bundes-Behindertengleichstellungsgesetz” (Disabled Persons Act) – requires technical equipment (including information technology) to be “accessible and usable for disabled persons…without particular difficulties and without requiring the help of others”.
The demand is based on the “two senses principle”: information must always be represented for two complementary senses. This means, for example, clearly visible information and user feedback for hearing impaired users, and audible or tactile (touch perceptible) information for users with visual impairments.
The legal demands (and some additional convenience standards) have always been a key concern of Commend’s product engineers. This commitment is reflected in the comprehensive, well-designed technical features built into the multi-functional Intercom station to allow for easy Intercom use despite any aural, visual or mental impairments:
- Large (25 sq cm), easily operable call button with tactile bell symbol
- LED pictograms and automatic playback messages provide audible information about processes and functions (Call initiated, Please talk now, Door is opening, etc.)
- Particularly clear, high-volume voice transmission
- Natural conversation mode supported by Commend’s OpenDuplex® technology
- Integrated, IEC 60118-4 compliant hearing aid induction loop system transmits the Intercom signal directly to hearing aids for better audibility
- Highly fail safe, thanks to permanent automated verification of relevant functions and connections
- Vandalism resistant, weatherproof construction, suitable for use in public open-door areas
- Unit can be fitted in wall constructions, building facades and wall panels, ticketing and vending machines, etc.
Equipped with this powerful feature set, Commend’s disabled friendly Intercom stations are suitable for implementing a variety of national disabled legislation and trans-regional requirements such as EN Directive 1107/2006.
Overall, Commend’s multi-functional Intercom station can be said to lower barriers for disabled users while raising their opportunities for easy, convenient communication in any environment.
Commend develops and manufactures Security and Communication systems for protection of people, buildings and values. The Commend International GmbH was founded in 1971 and is one of the world’s largest providers of Intercom Systems.
Currently about 150 employees are stationed in the headquarters in Salzburg; in the international partner network about 350 people are working together. The annual turnover 2012 was about €55 Mill., export rate 95%.