Is a Keyboard Required for ADA Compliance – Part 2

By | April 1, 2019

The following may be enough information to support the requirement for tactile controls:

  • Most technical standards for accessible design such as Section 508, D.O.T. and ADA include a requirement for tactilely discernible input controls.


Section 508:

“Tactilely Discernible. Input controls shall be operable by touch and tactilely discernible without activation.”


“Input controls. At least one input control that is tactilely discernible without activation must be provided for each function.”


“Input Controls.  At least one tactilely discernible input control shall be provided for each function. ”

  • Tactile input controls benefit users who are unable to use a touch screen.
    • One approach to designing an accessible kiosk interface for blind users is to provide tactile input controls with speech output.
  • While it is possible to create an accessible touch screen interface for blind users (the technology is built into iOS and Android devices) kiosks must also provide tactile controls.
  • The Section 508 standards include an exception to the tactile controls requirement but this only applies to devices for personal use.
  • People who have difficulty activating touch screen controls because of hand tremors, limited dexterity or other reasons may be better able to interact with the kiosk using tactile controls.

In related legal matter, in 2 recent cases that legal actions brought up against kiosk manufacturers, the advocacy group & regulatory agency explicitly asked the manufacturer to include hardware solution which requires tactile control (such as Storm device), in one case the kiosk manufacturer suggested to introduce software solution but it was rejected by the advocacy group.