What Are the Braille Requirements for Kiosks?

By | March 22, 2021

Does a Kiosk need Braille?

Short answer is Yes.  Typically a label or sticker near the main input device.

Long answer –– Yes again but you really need to look at the use case. Telling someone a hamburger is $2.00 is different than completing a multi-form application.  The Kiosk Association recommends a short succinct Braille instruction label in conjunction with device such as AudioPad and headphone jack.

And check local and state ordinances (it is always different in California).  Other states like Illinois and others can be soft targets for “enterprising” legal firms (that specialize in drive by). Likely different in Canada (maybe Quebec?). Best not to assume anything.   And then there are locations which have calculated the potential liability and decided to accept it.  Casinos come to mind ironically enough.


  • With regards to the audionav, we have tested this and we have found this to be a very accessible solution, providing that the kiosk has well designed speech and easy to use navigation that works with the audionav. This solution is accessible to people who do not read braille as well as to people who do read braille so tends to be a more inclusive solution. This together with clear visuals on the kiosk will help a lot of people.

    We have not seen the braille solution (complete Braille reader and keyboard) that you propose and I am not sure how that would work.

    As an addition to for example speech, braille is very useful for people who read braille or deaf-blind people who read braille, but it is important to realize that there is also a large proportion of people for who this would not be accessible if braille would be the only means of accessing the information because they do not read braille.

  • With 20 million blind people, roughly 10% are able to read Braille so designing accessibility for blind can take precedence over providing Braille only.
  • A refreshable Braille display on its own is just one-way communication, as opposed to the AudioNav which is essentially a two-way communication device. (i.e. Audio prompts being sent from the host application in response to button press information received from the AudioNav.)
  • The AudioNav is designed to be used in public spaces so it can withstand hard use and abuse in an unattended public environment. It can also be washed down with strong disinfectants (like bleach or alcohol). It’ll continue to function even if say, a dollop of ketchup is dropped on it or a cup of Coke is spilled all over it. The Braille displays I’ve seen are a lot less rugged than this and wouldn’t be all that suitable for unattended public use I don’t think, so that would be a concern for me.
  • There are also lots of different Braille languages and standards (even within the USA) so there would have to be a way for users to indicate which they prefer.
  • Biggest concern though is what the RNIB explained in the other email you sent us – which is that there’s only a very small % of the blind population who can actually read Braille. This blog post provides a good, albeit brief, explanation about what some commentators have called  ‘the Braille Literacy Crisis’ https://theblindguide.com/braille-literacy/. This is why on the Storm products we’ve used universally recognized symbols as raised tactile idents instead of Braille characters.
  • What Does EN 301-549 Say About Braille?

    Not very much actually. It is included in the definition of assistive technology — assistive technology: hardware or software added to or connected to a system that increases accessibility for an individual NOTE 1: Examples are Braille displays, screen readers, screen magnification software and eye tracking devices that are added to the ICT.

Helpful Links on Braille