Accessibility Self Service – Phil Day of NCR

Accessibility Self Service

At Accessibility Scotland 2018Phil Day of NCR deep dives the accessibility challenges and opportunities building self-service technology at NCR, one of the world’s largest providers of self-service technology.

Phil Day NCR
Phil Day is a member of the KMA ADA Accessibility and ADA Working Group and contributed very much to the recent ADA guidelines produced by the KMA.

Phil Day video talk from Accessibility Scotland on Vimeo.

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Well, thank you very much. I’ll start with the apology.

I’m using Elina’s slides, so anything that’s good is probably her work. Anything that’s disjointed and wrong is probably me.

NCR, we’re one of those brands that you, probably, never really thought about, but we do … I’m trying to say it politely, but we do the things that you, probably, have to use, but might not want to use.

One of the things we do is automated teller machines, or ATMs, or as they’re known in the UK, cash machines.

These are the things that you have in the street, but you can get money, any time, anywhere. On this particular slide, we’ve got a photograph of a person using an ATM, holding a receipt, and just looking at the amount that they’ve just drawn out.

We also do my personal, not favourite, self-checkouts.

These are in many supermarkets around the UK.

They’re popular elsewhere in Europe, as well. The idea behind these is that you can scan your shopping without having to wait for a cashier to do it for you.

This photograph has a slightly older generation of self-checkout. On the left, is the area where you would put your bags. In the middle, is the actual guts of the thing, where there’s a scale, there’s a scanner, there’s a display, and there’s a card reader for entering your cash. Then, on the right, is where the basket is.

Then, we also do check-in kiosks for things like hotels and airlines. This particular photograph is a gentleman using an airline check-in kiosk at an airport.

The reason that’s important is that self-service, you can’t rely on somebody having read the manual. You can’t rely on somebody having used it before.

You can’t even rely on somebody reading the language, in some cases. So, it’s really quite a challenging area. You also can’t rely on them being able to bring their own assistive technology and bolt it on, because there are various security rules, particularly, when you’re handling money.

I’ll talk briefly about the team, just to give you a flavour of how we try and make things accessible. There’s a lot of people, in this room, who do similar jobs and, I think, it’s sometimes useful in gatherings, like this, just to talk about the practicalities, the nuts and bolts, of what we do. We have a user-centred design team.

I manage about a third of the team with particular responsibility for accessibility and usability. I also handle interaction design, as well.

Then we have a few usability and accessibility specialists. The majority of the team is made up of industrial designers, so that’s product designers if you like, and also interaction designers. What our team does is it provides support for all the hardware products that NCR provide. That’s the kind of things that I showed you earlier, so ATMs, kiosks, check-in, that kind of thing.

Because we’re based in Dundee, the majority of our team … That happens to be where most other people look at financial products, so that’s where we spend most of our time.

If you’ve had a problem with an ATM, I’m sorry.

We also, a number of years ago, we noticed that although accessibility was important, and we had a few key people in the company who knew about it, and cared about it.

Usually, these were in little pockets and the information wasn’t shared, wasn’t disseminated, and also new people in didn’t know about it.

What we did was we set up this task force. This is a fancy name for a quarterly call of a few people, and email addresses that we shared out.

There’s people from my team there. There’s people from the UX department, who design software, user interfaces. There’s people from the law department, who, obviously, care slightly about accessibility and government relations. They’re the guys who work with governments on forthcoming regulation and also other parts, generally, sales and customer engagement.

The reason I pull that out was before we did that, we were confident we knew what we were doing, but other parts of the business didn’t tend to know we existed, or that they could get help. That was particularly important because large corporations tend to go on spending sprees and buy new companies. What we found was when a new acquisition came into the fold, they didn’t know they could have any help at all.

And, unfortunately, that often meant that they were propagating bad practice.

What we have are regular calls. We have an internet site, where we share information. And we try and help the rest of the organization to know about accessibility, but not to have to read all the standards and guidelines. I know it’s heresy, but there we are.

How we do it, well, really it’s pretty basic. We have a specialist. They’re assigned to a project at the start, and they give input for the duration of the project.

That’s sounds great, but you probably all know that’s not the way it works always in practice. What should happen is, right from content phase, through requirements, through early planning, and then deployment … development, sorry.

Then deployment, and then being out in the field. We should be involved in all those phases. In practice, we’re not always, but one key thing that I’ll share with you, that really made a difference, is that we got sign-off at two key points in the development progress.

When a hardware product comes out of engineering, and goes to our production facility, there’s a particular sign-off there. We sign off on usability and accessibility.

Then, again, we do the same after production out of habit. It does mean there’s a lot of boring paperwork for us to do, but the flip side of that is it means that, if people haven’t involved us, we have the right to say, “No, that product is not good enough.”

Of course, that causes issues, because then schedules go out the window, costs spiral, and everything else. But it does, very quickly, make the point that, if you’re not speaking to us, you’re going to have a problem, so you better speak to us soon, and safe issues later on.

The accessibility specialist evaluated products at specified stages, as I’ve said. We also decided to try and put a lot of the knowledge, that was in my head, when I started, because I was the only person there. Then a number of other people, as we developed the team.

We tried to put that knowledge down on paper. First of all, that was when we were training new people, it really helped. But, second, it means that you can actually offload some of the information. If somebody asks for help, rather than you going to see the product and evaluate it for them, you could say, “Well, what are you worried about?

Okay, if you look on this document, here’s some principles for you to think about. Then you can come back to me and we can have a more reasoned discussion.”

The bit that I get excited about, standards are great, please, everyone who works on standards, you’re great and we all love what you do, but this is the bit that I really like, and it’s user testing. In the field of accessibility, in a large corporation, like NCR, there’s often the danger that it’s seen as you have to meet standards. You’re there to reduce legal risk. You’re there to make sure that we meet ADA, or UK, I call it exact, or anything else. That’s true, but if that’s all we do, I don’t think we bring much value. One of the things we try and do is we try and innovate. We look for opportunities to innovate.

In the past, we’ve worked with groups like, RNIB, the Royal National Institute for Blind People.

That was, typically, on large-scale user tests with blind, partially-sighted people, but it was also to get input very early on in the concept phases. We also work with local disability groups.

Just a few months ago I worked with two, much smaller blind societies, who were just on our doorstep. That, actually, gave us access to people who really didn’t like using technology. They were very challenging users, but, for us, it was great because it meant that we got to speak to people who, normally, wouldn’t come through the door.

They didn’t use a computer. They didn’t use a smartphone. They didn’t use any online materials. They didn’t like using ATMs. Obviously, that made our job quite tricky, but it was good to get them involved.

We also work with … I’m based in Dundee, I should, probably, have said that. We have a local university and teaching hospital on our doorstep.

We’ve worked with them on a number of things, as well.

This slide has a couple of photographs, just of very early concept testing. This was RNIB, I think, in London, and these two gentlemen gave us very early feedback on a couple of concepts that we were thinking about developing, and then taking to a user test. As a result of this pilot test, by the way, we abandoned all but one of the concepts, and had to create some more. It was good to have that feedback early, before we wasted lots of time.

Having said, monitoring standards, it’s not all we do. It is an important part of it. ATMs are one of those boring areas that tends to end up in legislation.

We have things, like building codes, and they often refer to how you get in and out of the building, the access. Then some of the facilities within the building. And ATMs, often, fall into that. You have things, like public telephones. You have water fountains. You have accessible toilets. Then, sometimes, ATMs are in that.

Because of that, and because ATMs have been around a long time, they’re involved in the legislation. Other things that we do, like self-checkout, are beginning to fall into some of these regulations, as well.

There’s differences between the standards, some of them are voluntary, some of them are mandatory, some of them are law, some of them are industry guidelines, so on and so forth.

The big lesson I wanted to leave with you is that, we really struggle because they’re not harmonized. When you look at the detail, they don’t join up.

Although, they all say the same thing, “Make an ATM accessible to someone in a wheelchair. Make it accessible to somebody who can’t see.” These are all fine principles, but when they actually give you a functional requirement, those requirements differ.

My boss has been around a lot longer than I, reliably informs me that we’ve been involved in this stuff since the ’80s. I haven’t been there since the ’80s, I’d just like to say.

Rather than waffle on, in abstract terms, I thought it was, probably, more interesting to give you a wee case study. This was something that we did, probably … I’m trying to think, two, three years ago, maybe, maybe a bit longer than that. Looking at the challenge of making touchscreen pin-entry accessible.

Pin-entry is the four digit, or six digit, or whatever, sequence of numbers that you use to identify yourself at an ATM, or for an online, or for a chip reader at retail.

The reason it’s challenging is because it has to be secure. We have a method that works quite well.

This photograph is of a gentleman who’s using an ATM with headphones plugged in. Those headphones are also plugged into the ATM. He’s listening to the voice guidance and it’s telling him something along the lines of, “For cash, press one. For deposit, press two. For transfers, press three.” It’s a very well understood principle, and with the physical pin pad, as well, it works quite well. It’s quite an efficient way of working.

Unfortunately, we saw a great deal of a trend to touchscreens. We kicked off a number of projects that looked at how we could make touchscreens more accessible, particularly, in a public environment.

I’m not going to cover all of these. These are just up there to show you there’s a timeline of activity. This makes it look like we’re really systematic and thorough. In actual fact, it was just the way it happened.

We happened to be working on a project, on the left-hand side, the Universal Navigator, also called the Uninav. We were looking at a kiosk that had a very large touchscreen, 42-inch diagonal. Making that accessible to anyone with limited reach was, obviously, very challenging. Then how you make it accessible to somebody who can’t see very well is also very challenging.

After much iteration, we ended up with what is quite a simple device. Essentially, it’s up, down, left, right navigation device that you can navigate through on-screen options.

Then you push the central select button to activate them. It’s got embedded audio and audio volume.

The next one is the one I’m going to cover, so I’m not going to talk about that, accessible touch. We’ll come onto it, in a minute.

Then there’s a couple of projects, towards the right, that are, actually, still ongoing. We’re still working away on them. One is the use of gestures for secure pin entry. That’s particularly relevant to small devices, and I’ll tell you why later, if you’re interested over a cup of coffee. Then the final one we’re looking at is just starting to look at upper limb prostheses and how people, who use prostheses, can use a touchscreen.

A bit of technical background to that.

Most touchscreens that work well outside are projective capacitive, because they work well with gloves, with rain, with dust, with all the environmental effects that you’d expect.

Unfortunately, they don’t work well with a prosthetic device that doesn’t have a path to ground.

Essentially, if there’s not a good skin contact, wherever the device marries with your body, then they don’t work.

We’ve been doing some very early exploration on understanding the problem, understanding the huge variability there are in these devices, and also trying to work out how we can make things better.

If anyone is working in this area, I’d love to hear from you, because I’ve not really been able to find much in the literature, and it seems a dreadful pity.

Because there’s a lot of upper limb prostheses users out there, who do use smartphones. But, right now, they’re having to use knitted pads that go over the fingers, that they then attach with electrodes to another part of the body. They’re really ugly workarounds, and it would be nice to do something that was more appropriate.

Going back to where we were before I took us on a wee diversion to give you the context. The challenge is how we enter the pin on a touchscreen without any audio guidance.

There are accessible devices that allow you to enter numbers. Most of you are, probably, got a smartphone or a tablet.

Both, Apple and Android, Google, have solutions for that. Unfortunately, they all involve telling you what the number is, or telling you what number that you’ve selected before you enter it.

On an ATM that’s a real big no-no, because then, somebody else could come along, find out what your pin number is, clone your card, and steal all your money. We don’t think that’s a good idea, so we had to find an alternative.

These four concepts I’m going to talk to, in a little more detail, but essentially they were early concepts looking at different ways of entering numbers on a touch screen that didn’t require you to have fine manual dexterity and didn’t require you to have high levels of visual acuity either.

One of the things we saw, pretty early on, is that it’s very difficult with modern touchscreens.

In the old days you tended to have a plastic bezel around your display. Then the active area of the screen was just the bit in the middle, and you could feel the difference.

With the trend to edge-to-edge glass, that’s been popularized by all the consumer electronics, it looks great, if you can see, but if you can’t see, you can’t find the area of the screen that’s active. It all just feels like a piece of glass.

In this photograph, you’ll see, in one of the tests we did, we actually had to stick sticky tape around the edge to give people a tactile indicator of where the active area of the screen was. This was on a concept, we then abandoned later.

The photo also shows you a person using two hands to orient themselves on the touchscreen.

Again, this is quite common behaviour, so you find a reference anchor, with your non-dominate hand, and then anchor off that, to find things on the screen.

But that can cause serious issues with the touchscreen if you’ve not designed for it. We also found something that we really should have known, but we’ve forgotten.

I’ve been doing this for a while, and I have various degrees about this subject, and I put my hand on my heart and say, “We missed this one.” In a user test we had people saying,

“What does it mean to swipe left? What’s a double-tap? How does that work? Why does a touchscreen need to be touched?”

All these really basic things that we had taken for granted. It’s a good reminder, to me, not to think that all this technology is mature, and everyone knows how to use it.

The first, particular, concept that we had was derived around the idea of having the numbers in a line along the bottom, similar to a PC keypad, along the top. You have the numbers one to nine, then zero on the end, and what you would do is, you would find the numbers on a strip, then you’d slide your finger up, onto the screen, to activate it.

That’s the basic principle. This shows an early conceptual illustration of it, where we were playing with the idea of braille. I’ll show you some other representations, here they are, where we quickly moved away from braille and started to use abstract tactile features instead.

So, instead, we looked at using circles. We looked at using lines. We looked at using grooves. Essentially, these are all ways of telling people where the numbers were, and the five had a dot, or a pip, on it to differentiate it, as it does on a telephone keypad.

We also included cancel and enter, because, obviously, if you’re entering something, you need to be able to either, clear it or enter it. In terms of the … I think this is the first test that we did, which was … What was that, 40 people? Sorry, I’m not very good at math on the spot, but there we go.

In terms of the participants that we had, we worked with RNIB in London and Peterborough, and we had 21 participants who reported themselves as not having any useful residual vision.

Then we had 15 who were blind with some useful residual vision. Then we had three reported as partially sighted. We also looked at how often they used an ATM. There was a good spread of that. So we had some, they never used an ATM, we had some that used it more than once a week, and then we had a spread throughout the population.

Of those that used an ATM, only 17 used it independently, 22 had somebody to help them. That was quite disappointing, to me, because by this stage, ATMs have been in the field a long time, and these were folks who travelled across London to do this test, so they were very independent individuals, but they still weren’t using an ATM independently.

Then, similarly, how many of them were using voice guidance, only 13 after the sample size. We also asked about their experience with smartphones and tablets. As you’d expect, quite a number had them; 18 had a smartphone, nine had a smartphone and a tablet, and the rest, 12, I think that says, had neither. And most people used the speech output.

The concepts that we ended up testing. This was in a later test. We actually abandoned, we had, I think, it was 10 concepts in the first round of testing. We tested with approximately 50 people. After the first three hours we realized that out of the 10 concepts, nine had to be thrown away, and one had to be refined quite significantly.

The two, that you see on the left, are the refined versions of that one concept. In each case, it’s a tactile strip with grooves or holes in it. The numbers are aligned along the bottom of the screen, from one to nine, and then zero, cancel is on the far left, enter is on the far right with a raised circle. Then we also had a touchscreen that had haptic feedback on it, which we were quite excited about. Then we also had a traditional ATM keypad.

The tactile strip with grooves, I think, I’ve already explained how this works. You find the number on the strip, and then you move your finger up. You then hear a beep. You know it’s been selected, and the refinement we made was, you then double-tapped and you had to activate it.

There’s a photograph showing the actual strip that we made and we used for the testing. How am I doing for time? I realized I forgot the timer. Nevermind. Okay, I’ll maybe not play the videos then, because, otherwise, we’ll be here all day. Yeah.

In general, this test required … Well, we had the majority of people able to enter their pins successfully. That meant they were able to enter all four digits, and enter without making any errors, at all. Because that’s what you have to do at an ATM, otherwise, you end up with no card, and no money, and it’s quite distressing. People also felt quite confident about the method, but we had some mixed feedback about the security of the method.

The next one was a variation on a theme. Instead of the strip being at the bottom of the screen, and then you roll your finger up, and touch the touchscreen, this time we had holes in the strip, so you touched the touchscreen through the holes. A part from that, it was more or less the same concept. Again, I’ll skip the video. Again, this tested quite well, although, less people managed on the first attempt.

If we look at the two strips that we had, we had a few errors that people often made, such as forgetting that the cancel and enter are on the ends, and thinking those are numbers. We also had people touching the holes to count the numbers, and then entering things accidentally, which, obviously, is an issue, as well. Then we had some people trying to press the strip, itself.

The touchscreen with haptic feedback, I thought this was a very elegant solution. We were all quite excited about it. The participants for the test, when they heard that it was included, were quite excited.

But, unfortunately, it didn’t go very well, at all.

This was a metal box, essentially, with a touchscreen on the top, horizontal, surface. That has a 12-key keypad on it, with cancel, clear, and enter on the right-hand side.

Essentially, what you had was a pulse for each number. A stronger pulse for the five, and then clear, cancel, and enter were vocalized.

So you moved your finger around to find the number, and then you pushed harder on it to activate it. It all sounded terribly elegant. I’ll not show you the video. But, suffice it to say, it didn’t go very well. Only 19 of the participants managed to enter their pin on this, and 18 of our very polite, very generous, participants said it wasn’t acceptable.

This told us we really had a problem with this method. The ease of entering the pin was rated as difficult, as well. People just didn’t like it. People couldn’t find where things were. They got confused very easily. They didn’t like it shaking. They either felt the vibrations were too strong, or they couldn’t feel them. We had various people swearing either, at the device or ourselves, because they got so frustrated.

Then the control condition, as you’d expect, is a physical ATM keypad. For those who’ve not used an ATM recently, or didn’t remember, we have a raised pip on the five. Everything is arranged in the same layout, so one, two, three, is always at the top, as a telephone keypad is. Then cancel has a raised X. Clear has a raised bar or a raised left arrow, if you’re in the States. And enter has a raised circle. Those also have colour coding, red, amber, and green, respectively.

These have been around a long time and, as you’d expect, most people preferred this, in terms of rankings. It has the highest success rate. People liked the colour contrast.

They found it quite easy to use and, generally, they were happy. I’m afraid some of these charts were stolen from an academic presentation, so they look pretty grim, so I’m sorry about that. Essentially, what we’re trying to show here, is that, success, in terms of entering a pin, really, you only have three attempts. You have your first attempt, second attempt, and then, on the third attempt, if you get it wrong, your card is toast. So, most people only take two attempts, so that’s what we’re showing here.

On the ATM pin pad, 37 out of the sample managed on the first attempt, two on the second, and only one failed. The tactile strip, 28 on the first attempt, with three on the second. The tactile strip with holes was 17 and 14.

Then the haptic, as you can see, only 12 people managed first time, seven on the second attempt. That told us, quite clearly, that the haptic solution was not appropriate. Again, the ratings, this is self-reported ratings on a five-point Likert scale.

The nice thing about that, without going into the details, is that participants rated the new solution, of grooves, as equally as easy to use as a conventional pin pad, which we found to be quite encouraging.

As a result of that, we chose the groove solution as the winning solution. We did actually put it into production.

This is a photo of a real touchscreen ATM that went out into the field. There’s a touchscreen a the top, 10-inch diagonal, the tactile strip beneath it, beneath that is the headphone jack, on the right is a card reader, beneath that a fingerprint reader, and then the cash comes out the bottom. This was real, but, unfortunately, it was also very innovative and it’s been withdrawn.

It’s a good example of innovation, but it’s also a bad example of innovation, because we tied the innovation in terms of the touchscreen accessibility to other innovations, like cloud-based computing on an Android operating system, which was what it ran.

I’m going to rattle through this. I said earlier that the standards that we need to follow don’t match up. This illustration demonstrates just the height requirement that’s specified for an ATM. This is all about making it reachable for everyone, for tall standing people, for short standing people, for people in wheelchairs, anyone, at all.

There is very little overlap between the heights. This is just a small set of countries, we track over 30. And, unfortunately, there’s very little area of common overlap. In fact, we only have 200 millimetres, if we followed all the standards around the world. That’s not big enough to put a touchscreen in, unfortunately. So it means that we can’t really do our job.

Rather than slag off the standards, I thought it was probably useful just to pull out a few key features that we found helpful in accessibility standards. The first one is, if you’re writing a new standard, try and make it harmonize with what’s out there, rather than reinventing the wheel. On the left is an illustration of unobstructed side reach that’s taken from the US American’s with Disabilities Act standard that was re-released in 2010.

That’s freely available on the web, by the way. On the right is a European standard that I should remember the number of, because I help write it, but I can’t. 301549, that’s about the accessibility of public procurement, or public procurement of accessible ICT, I suppose, it would be. But, anyway. You can see that, rather than create something new, they looked at what was out there and harmonized quite closely with the US standard.

Another key feature I wanted to touch on is that … ATMs, you can’t just bolt on a screen reader, because then fraudsters can use that in order to exploit a backdoor and take all the money. They have close functionality, because of the very tight security. If the standard can take that into account, it really helps. Again, EN301549 differentiates between an open system, like your desktop PC, and a closed system, like an ATM, where you can’t easily bolt on third-party apps.

This one, I think, I’m probably preaching to the choir. You should detail functional requirements, not prescriptive features. So, don’t tell us how to do something, just tell us what you want us to do. I’m going to skip through the actual illustrations with that, because I think most people know about that one.

Then, one final one, is forbidding certain technologies outright, is not helpful. When some of these standards are written, the technology, at the time, means that some people have very strong opinions about a certain device. Things can change in the future, and if you exclude things in a standard, that can have long-term effects.

What makes a good standard? Well, we think, involving end users is very helpful.

We think involving disability advocacy groups is very helpful. And we also think involving manufacturers is helpful, as you’d expect.

I realize I’ve galloped through that. I apologize for being a little rough around the corners. I also apologize … If you’ve got difficult questions, you’ll see I cunningly left Elina’s contact details on that. But if we do have any questions, I’d love to hear from you.

Title III ADA Compliance for Digital Kiosks Attended

Reference Article

blind access logo
blind access logo

Good article on Title III and how attended kiosks and unattended kiosks can be affected differently. The article starts however with referring to “spate of suits” but doesn’t identify those suits. At one point vending machines dispensing drinks is referenced.  Those are meant for unattended use however customers can always request assistance. Does that fulfill DOJ requirements?

Sometimes having an employee assist the customer can serve as opportunity for the employee to take advantage of the disabled (typically blind) customer.

Reasonable accommodation effort would seem to be called for in these situations.  Having a POS terminal that allows for a headphone would make it possible for a blind person to materially verify the desired assistance was the actual assistance rendered.


A recent spate of suits against several major retailers has raised questions about whether self-service checkouts and other kiosks must comply with the requirements of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Generally, Title III requires that places of public accommodation be equally accessible to all individuals, regardless of physical limitations. In these suits Plaintiffs, who are blind, allege that the retailers’ self-service checkouts or kiosks are inaccessible to blind and visually impaired individuals and, therefore, violate the ADA. Businesses, in turn, have countered that the provision of staffed registers and kiosks through which blind customers can complete purchases with the aid of store personnel satisfies their obligations under the ADA. As an ever-increasing number of businesses turn to self-service kiosks for all manner of customer interactions, the degree to which these kiosks must be accessible to disabled users presents an important issue.



28 C.F.R. § 36.303(c)(1).

28 C.F.R. § 36.303(b)(2).

See sections 707 and 811 of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design set forth at 28 C.F.R. Part 36, Subpart D (2011) and 36 C.F.R. Part 1191, Appendices B and D (2009).

See West v. Moe’s Franchisor, LLC, No. 15-CV-2846, 2015 WL 8484567, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 9, 2015); West et al v. Five Guys Enterprises., LLC, No. 1:15-CV-02845, 2016 WL 482981 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 5, 2016).

See id.; West, 2015 WL 8484567, at *3.

Read full article — Reference Article

Considerations for accessible kiosk

Paciello Group Kiosk AccessibilityHow To Make Kiosk Accessible

Reprint from The Paciello Group on WCAG considerations 2017

Special thanks to Matt Feldman for his contributions.

From airports and train stations to government offices, restaurants, grocery stores and retailers, the use of kiosk machines is widespread as a convenience for customers and an alternative to human service by the kiosk provider. Long gone are the days where an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) was the only form of kiosk a person might need to use. It is now commonplace to find common service functions are now performed through kiosk solutions. As the use of kiosks grows, so does the need to ensure they are accessible and usable for all people, including those with disabilities.

The application of accessibility standards to kiosk machines

While there is no universal set of standards that provide specific guidance around making kiosks accessible, there are standards that may be useful. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 standards provide direction in making web content accessible. These standards will be most applicable when the kiosk interface is presented in an HTML or web-based format. For example, a bank kiosk may allow customers to access account information from their online banking portal or a hotel might provide a kiosk to allow a customer to manage their stay or account information.

In addition, the U.S. government Section 508 standards may also be used to guide interface development. Specifically, these standards may apply to government related kiosk machines. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) contains standards for physical design considerations that may be useful in determining the physical requirements of a kiosk machine.

In addition to the broadly applied standards such as WCAG 2.0 and the ADA, specific industries may adopt or create specific standards unique to their environment. For example, the U.S. Department of Transportation created the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) which provides requirements around the accessibility of airline industry technologies. The ACAA identifies specific standards on how and when their kiosks should be made accessible. Other industries may wish to use standards such as the ACAA as a starting place when developing their own regulations or standards.

Most Kiosks are considered stand alone or closed system, meaning users won’t have the flexibility to use personal assistive technology to access or interact with content or elements. This requires vendors to consider the needs of individual with varying abilities.

Unlike WCAG and Section 508, which provide precise guidelines and technical specifications related to accessibility, the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) has taken a different approach with performance based objectives, more like the functional requirements in Section 508.

These objectives ensure a wide variety of user needs are built into these closed systems.

CVAA Performance Objectives

§ 14.21 Performance Objectives (read the full section at the Legal Information Institute)

  1. Generally – Manufacturers and service providers shall ensure that equipment and services covered by this part are accessible, usable, and compatible as those terms are defined in paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section.
  2. Accessible – The term accessible shall mean that:
    1. Input, control, and mechanical functions shall be locatable, identifiable, and operable in accordance with each of the following, assessed independently:
      1. Operable without vision. Provide at least one mode that does not require user vision.
      2. Operable with low vision and limited or no hearing. Provide at least one mode that permits operation by users with visual acuity between 20/70 and 20/200, without relying on audio output.
      3. Operable with little or no color perception. Provide at least one mode that does not require user color perception.
      4. Operable without hearing. Provide at least one mode that does not require user auditory perception.
      5. Operable with limited manual dexterity. Provide at least one mode that does not require user fine motor control or simultaneous actions.
      6. Operable with limited reach and strength. Provide at least one mode that is operable with user limited reach and strength.
      7. Operable with a Prosthetic Device. Controls shall be operable without requiring body contact or close body proximity.
      8. Operable without time dependent controls. Provide at least one mode that does not require a response time or allows response time to be by passed or adjusted by the user over a wide range.
      9. Operable without speech. Provide at least one mode that does not require user speech.
      10. Operable with limited cognitive skills. Provide at least one mode that minimizes the cognitive, memory, language, and learning skills required of the user.

Kiosk Considerations when making kiosks accessible

The following considerations are broadly useful when incorporating accessibility into a kiosk.

Kiosk Physical design

  • Are all controls on the kiosk tactilely distinguishable? For example, is it possible to identify the audio headphone jack by touch or by a tactile symbol?
  • Do controls have braille or large print labels? While putting braille labels on all keys on a standard QWERTY keyboard may not be necessary, it may be important to label special function keys or controls that are not standard on a traditional keyboard.
  • Is the height and spacing of the screen and controls appropriate for different types of users? An individual in a wheel chair may be viewing the screen from a lower angle than someone who is standing up.
  • Is there sufficient physical clearance around the machine for users with assistive mobility devices? A person in a wheelchair, scooter, or other mobility device may need more room to maneuver when approaching or leaving the machine.

Kiosk Interface design

  • What types of controls are needed to use the interface? For example, is a physical keyboard needed along with a touch screen in order for someone to enter text? Should a mouse, track ball, or touch pad device be present if a pointer is needed to use the interface? A person with a motor skills challenge may find it difficult to move their hand around a touch screen but may have no trouble using a track ball or touch pad pointer.
  • Can the visual presentation of the interface be customized? For example, can someone with a visual impairment zoom in or out to change the size of the onscreen font? Can someone who is color blind determine the functionality of controls by a method other than color alone?
  • Does the interface provide speech output? For someone who is blind or low vision, speech output (text-to-speech) may be the only way they can interact with the device. Does the text-to-speech function activate when headphones are inserted into the jack? If not, is there a clearly communicated way such as a braille sign for the user to know how to activate the text-to-speech function?
  • Does the interface reset to a standard configuration after each person uses it? The interface should always return to a default state after each user completes their tasks.

Accessible Kiosk Conclusion

In addition to the considerations listed above, it is important to ensure that the kiosk design is tested by people with various types of disabilities. This may include testing at various stages during the design and development process but at a minimum, user testing should be done once the design is complete. In addition, it will also be important to ensure that staff who may assist people using the kiosk understand what accessibility features are present and how to help someone use them. An accessibility feature is only as good as a person’s ability to use it and their knowledge that it exists in the first place. Staff may also wish to periodically test the accessibility features to verify they are always working as expected.

An accessible and well-designed kiosk machine can provide an efficient and independent experience for all users. As with all things related to accessibility, it is important to consider an accessible design from the very beginning. It is generally much more costly and inefficient to add accessibility after a product has been developed or is already in use.

Learn more about the state of kiosk accessibility requirements and what can be done to address by registering for our 60 minute webinar scheduled for November 28th at noon ET.


Webinars on Website Accessibility

U.S. Access Board to Conduct Webinars on Website Accessibility (September 5 and 24)

Webinars on Website AccessibilityAccess to websites is essential in today’s digital environment for obtaining information, downloading data, sharing media, obtaining goods and services, and making other transactions. Many websites, however, remain off-limits to people with disabilities, particularly those with sensory impairments, because they are not structured and coded properly for accessibility. The U.S. Access Board, which maintains accessibility standards for information and communication technology in the federal sector under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, is conducting free webinars in September on how to evaluate websites for accessibility.

An introductory webinar on September 5 from 2:30 – 4:00 (ET) will cover online barriers to accessibility and explain how to check that web content is accessible to all visitors using the Board’s Section 508 Standards. Presenters will review key components of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines issued by the World Wide Web Consortium, which are incorporated by reference in the Section 508 standards. They will also discuss common problems and easy solutions and share practical tips for improving website accessibility. Attendees can pose questions in advance or during the live webinar. This session is intended for both a general audience as well as website designers and content managers who are experienced, but new to accessibility.

For more information or to register for this session, visit This webinar series is hosted by the ADA National Network in cooperation with the Board. Archived copies of previous Board webinars are available on the site.

Advanced Session – Webinars on Website Accessibility

A more advanced session will take place September 24 from 1:00 – 2:30 (ET) as part of the Board’s Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series. This session is intended for federal employees involved in procuring web services and products who may not have a technical background but who are responsible for compliance with Section 508. It will follow the “user story” of a non-technical federal employee who has been recently assigned 508 oversight responsibilities for a web services contract. Presenters will review requirements for web content in the 508 Standards and address technical requirements for procurement contracts, how to verify that procured services and deliverables are fully compliant, and available resources and tools for evaluating website accessibility and fixing access issues.

Visit for further details or to register. The Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series is made available by the Accessibility Community of Practice of the CIO Council in partnership with the Board.

More Links

What is WCAG – WCAG Checklist for 2.1

WCAG 2.1 Overview by Deque

What is WCAG – WCAG Checklist for 2.1

What is WCAG

What is WCAG
Click for full size

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines or WCAG provides technical Mobile specifications to improve the accessibility of web content, websites and Improves support for touch web applications on desktop computers, laptops, tablets and mobile devices for people with a wide range of disabilities, including auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical, speech and visual disabilities.

What’s Different About WCAG 2.1?

WCAG 2.0, released nearly 10 years ago, contains 12 guidelines for digital accessibility, divided among four principles with the acronym P.O.U.R: Perceivable, Operable, Understandable and Robust. Each guideline has a list of “success criteria,” or requirements (61 in total), for making content – including text, images, sounds, code and markup – more accessible. In addition, WCAG 2.0 has three levels of conformance: A (minimum accessibility), AA (addresses the major, most common accessibility issues) and AAA (the highest standard).

WCAG 2.1 Level A Checklist

Success Criteria  Description
1.1.1 – Non-text Content Provide text alternatives for non-text content
1.2.1 – Audio-only and Video-only
(Pre-recorded) Provide an alternative to video-only and audio-only content
1.2.2 –Captions (Pre-recorded) Provide captions for videos with audio
1.2.3 – Audio description or Media Alternative (Pre-recorded) Video with an audio has a second alternative
1.3.1 – Info and Relationships Logical structures
1.3.2 – Meaningful Sequence Present content in a meaningful order
1.3.3 – Sensory Characteristics Use more than one sense for instructions
1.4.1 – Use of Colour Don’t use presentation that relies solely on colour
1.4.2 – Audio Control Don’t play audio automatically
2.1.1 – Keyboard Accessible by keyboard only
2.1.2 – No Keyboard Trap Don’t trap keyboard users
2.1.4 – Character Key Shortcuts Do not use single key shortcuts or provide a way to turn them off or change them
2.2.1 – Timing Adjustable Time limits have user controls
2.2.2 – Pause, Stop, Hide Provide user controls for moving content
2.3.1 – Three Flashes or Below No content flashes more than three times per second
2.4.1 – Bypass Blocks Provide a “Skip to Content” link
2.4.2 – Page Titled Helpful and clear page title
2.4.3 – Focus Order Logical Order
2.4.4 – Link Purpose (In Context) Every link’s purpose is clear from its context
2.5.1 – Pointer Gestures Users can perform touch functions with assistive technology or one finger
2.5.2 – Pointer Cancellation This requirement applies to web content that interprets pointer actions
2.5.3 – Label in Name The name contains the text that is presented visually
2.5.4 – Motion Actuation Functions that are trigged by moving a device or by gesturing towards a device can also be operated by more conventional user interface components
3.1.1 – Language of Page Page has a language assigned
3.2.1 – On Focus Elements do not change when they receive focus
3.2.2 – On Input Elements do not change when they receive input
3.3.1 – Error Identification Clearly identify input errors
3.3.2 – Labels or Instructions Label elements and give instructions
4.1.1 – Parsing No major code errors
4.1.2 – Name, Role, Value Build all elements for accessibility

WCAG 2.1 Level AA

1.2.4 – Captions (Live) Live videos have captions
1.2.5 – Audio Description (Pre-recorded) Users have access to audio description for video content
1.3.4 – Orientation Requires authors not to rely on a screen orientation
1.3.5 – Identify Input Purpose Ensure common names are provided using the HTML autocomplete list
1.4.3 – Contrast (Minimum) Contrast ratio between text and background is at least 4.5:1
1.4.4 – Resize Text Text can be resized to 200% without loss of content or function
1.4.5 – Images of Text Don’t use images of text
1.4.10 – Reflow Your website must be responsive
1.4.11 – Non-Text Contrast High contrast between pieces of text and their backgrounds
1.4.12 – Text Spacing Text spacing can be overridden to improve the reading experience
1.4.13 – Content on Hover Focus Ensuring content visible on hover or keyboard focus does not lead to accessibility issues
2.4.5 – Multiple Ways Offer several ways to find pages
2.4.6 – Headings and Labels Use clear headings and labels
2.4.7 – Focus Visible Keyboard focus is visible and clear
3.1.2 – Language of Parts Tell users when the language on a page changes
3.2.3 – Consistent Navigation Use menus consistently
3.2.4 – Consistent Identification Use icons and buttons consistently
3.3.3 – Error Suggestion Suggest fixes when users make errors
3.3.4 – Error Prevention (Legal, Financial, Data) Reduce the risk of input errors for sensitive data
4.1.3 – Status Changes Distances between paragraphs, rows, words and characters must be able to be increased to
a certain value

WCAG_2.1_Checklist by

WCAG Overview by Deque – 2.1

Reprinted from Deque

WCAG Overview – Are you staying on top of your digital accessibility game? Don’t be caught by surprise that a new version of W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is on the horizon. In fact, the next “minor” version of WCAG was formally published on June 5, 2018! The W3C has researched user needs and written WCAG 2.1 success criteria to fill known gaps.  There is also a parallel effort in motion to create a major revision of digital accessibility guidelines. View non-AMP version at

History of WCAG

Before we look into the future, let’s understand the past. May 5, 1999 the first international standard for digital accessibility (WCAG 1.0) was published by the W3C. It was technology specific focusing on html. December 11, 2008, WCAG 2.0 more) have adopted WCAG 2.0 as their legal digital accessibility standard.  By October 2012, the International Standards Organization (ISO) even established WCAG 2.0 as the digital standard for accessibility.  ISO/IEC 40500:2012

” alt=”” aria-hidden=”true” />a silver square marked up like a periodic element for silver ag w3c a11y Despite being almost a decade old, WCAG 2.0 continues to be a viable standard for digital accessibility.  However, in internet years, 2008 is ancient. So, it should come as no surprise that known gaps exist in WCAG 2.0 and need to be filled. Parallel efforts are underway to address the evolving needs of digital accessibility.  The first short-term effort is WCAG 2.1, which is a very focused release. The second longer-term effort has a code name of Silver. Silver is the reimagining of digital Accessibility Guidelines (AG) from the ground up.

Since it is likely that the future version of the Accessibility Guidelines will drop the “WC” for “web content” and simply be known as the “Accessibility Guidelines” (AG), it has been given the nickname of “Silver” because “Ag” is the symbol for the chemical element silver on the periodic table.

What is WCAG 2.1?

If you are already familiar with WCAG 2.0, you probably have a number of questions.  And we’ve got answers!

  • Is WCAG 2.1 backward compatible with WCAG 2.0?  Yes! WCAG 2.0 is still a valid and very useful standard. WCAG 2.1 works in concert with WCAG 2.0.
  • Does WCAG 2.1 continue to use the WCAG 2.0 the A, AA, and AAA conformance levels? Yes. WCAG 2.1 uses the same A/AA/AAA conformance levels
  • What are the main areas of focus for WCAG 2.1? The three biggest gaps in WCAG 2.0 are related to:

Requirements for a Usable Technical Standard

For any technical standard to be successful it must be clear, distinct, testable, technically possible and reasonable.  The new success criterion in WCAG 2.1 had to meet all of the following:

    1. Testable – requirement must be reliably and consistently testable using an automated or manual process.
    2. Condition – requirement must describe a condition to be met, not a method.  Conditions are technology agnostic.
    3. Applies to all content – requirement applies to all types of content by default.  Any exceptions must be explicitly identified.
    4. Applies across technologies – requirement applies across all types of digital technology formats including web, mobile, desktop, digital documents, email, software applications and more.
    5. Implementable – requirement must be possible to implement today.  Sufficient techniques must be documented using readily available formats, user agents, and assistive technologies.

What was the timeline for publishing WCAG 2.1?

Creating an international technical standard is not something you do overnight.  But with the rate that technology changes, taking too long to update a standard can be a problem too. It has been over 9 years since WCAG 2.0 was released in December of 2008.  Recognizing this, the W3C adopted an incremental approach to developing WCAG 2.1 in 18 months. WCAG 2.1 timeline:

    • January 2017 – Accessibility Guidelines Charter  (Done!)
    • February 2017 – 1st Public Working Draft (Done!)
    • April 2017 – 2nd Public Working Draft (Done!)
    • June 2017 – 3rd Public Working Draft (Done!)
    • July 2017 – 4th Public Working Draft (Done!)
    • August 2017 – 5th Public Working Draft (Done!)
    • August 22, 2017 – stop accepting new SC proposals (Done!)
    • September 2017 – 6th Public Working Draft (Done!)
    • December 2017 – 7th Public Working Draft (Done!)
    • January 2018 – Candidate Recommendation (Done!)
    • April 2018 – Proposed Recommendation (Done!)
    • June 5, 2018 – WCAG 2.1 Recommendation (Done!)

Who created WCAG 2.1?

Everything related to the development of WCAG 2.1 was done where the public could see and comment.  Over 150 people from all over the world were involved in creating this next version of WCAG. Check out the current list of W3C Accessibility Guidelines Working Group participants.  If you aren’t already involved, there are lots of ways to jump in and contribute.

Could I Watch WCAG 2.1 Evolve Online?

Even cooler, the drafting of WCAG 2.1 occurred on GitHub. So you could see how each proposed WCAG 2.1 Success Criteria was created and read questions and conversations that lead to refinements. For example, here are 24 issues in the WCAG 2.1 GitHub repository that helped form the WCAG 2.1 August 2017 Working Draft.

Talk about open and inclusive!  Anyone in the world could watch WCAG 2.1 evolving.  You could jump in and make comments, volunteer and help create a better web for all.

Where is the Final version of WCAG 2.1?

The final version of WCAG 2.1 can always be found at this URL:  The <h2> list the date of publication.  Links let you navigate to all previously published versions.  The June 5, 2018, version, known as official W3C Recommendation is the final version.

What in the world is a W3C Recommendation? How is it different than a Working Draft, Candidate Recommendation or Proposed Recommendation?

A W3C Recommendation is the official final publication for a technical standard that has reached full maturity and is ready to be used.   There are many review steps and refinements required before the W3C determines a standard is ready to be published.

” alt=”” aria-hidden=”true” />Diagram of how a Technical Standard evolves from a Working Draft (WD) to a Candidate Recommendation (CR) to a Proposed Recommendation (PR) to a W3C Recommendation (REC)

The W3C has a well-defined process for publishing quality technical standards that can stand the test of time.  Here are the basic steps:

  1. First Public Working Draft (FPWD) published
    • MUST encourage early and wide review.
  2. Revised Public Working Draft(s) (WD) publish zero or more
    • MAY publish additional drafts based on input.
  3. Candidate Recommendation (CR) formerly known as Last Call Working Draft
    • MUST specify deadline for additional comments.
    • The technical standard is believed to be stable and appropriate for implementation.
    • The standard MAY still be modified based on implementation experience/feedback.  Modification SHOULD be minimal
  4. Proposed Recommendation (PR) call for review
    • A formal request for approval of the technical standard by the W3C Advisory Committee.
    • MUST show adequate implementation experience
    • MUST show that the proposed technical standards have received wide review
    • MUST show that all issues raised during the Candidate Recommendation have been formally addressed
  5. W3C Recommendation (REC) published
    • The decision to advance a document to Recommendation is a W3C decision.
    • The standard has reached full maturity.  It is a formal Recommendation from the W3C.

Getting to Know the WCAG 2.1 Proposed Recommendation

On June 5, 2018, the W3C published the WCAG 2.1 Recommendation.  Here is a summary of the new success criteria:

New Success Criteria in the WCAG 2.1 Proposed Recommendation
AdhocCognitiveLow VisionMobileTotal
Level A00055
Level AA01427
Level AAA12025

WCAG Overview – Remember, WCAG 2.1 includes all of WCAG 2.0, and adds 17 new requirements. Everything you already know and do to meet WCAG 2.0 is still valid and necessary. WCAG 2.1 adds 17 new success criteria to fill in known gaps, especially in the areas of mobile, cognitive and low vision.

How Do You Feel About WCAG 2.1 Right Now?

” alt=”” aria-hidden=”true” />Will Ferrell as Elf as excited about WCAG 2.1 as he is about Christmas.


Before we go any further, I want to ask you, “How are you feeling?”  Are you anxious, worried, stressed? Or are you as excited as a kid on Christmas Eve?  Either way, I want you to stop and take a deep breath. Remember, none of these WCAG 2.1 success criteria are required by law today (June 2018).  They are all really good things to do for digital accessibility, but your list of things you must do today is not about to get longer based on this.

The 17 WCAG 2.1 Success Criteria

” alt=”” aria-hidden=”true” />Keep Calm and Breathe Deeply

Let’s take a closer look at WCAG 2.1 A and AA Success Criteria based on the W3C Recommendation 5 June 2018.  For each I’ve added a persona quote to help you understand the accessibility need. The persona quotes are from my imagination.

WCAG Overview

    1. Orientation (AA)
      • Persona Quote: “Landscape or Portrait? Don’t make me turn my device 90 degrees.”
        • Origin: Mobile
        • Why: (Perceivable) Some users have their device mounted in a fixed orientation (e.g. on arm of power wheelchair). Therefore, digital applications need to support both orientations by making sure content and functionality are available in both landscape and portrait.
        • Requirement:
          • Content does not restrict its view and operation to a single display orientation, such as portrait or landscape, unless a specific display orientation is essential.
    2. Identify Input Purpose (AA)
      • Persona Quote: What is this input field for?”
      • Origin: Cognitive
      • Why: (Perceivable) To help people with cognitive disabilities understand and use form inputs. Personalization based on metadata will allow the use of familiar terms and symbols for input labels. Having familiar terms and symbols is key to being able to use the web. However, what is familiar for one person may be new or confusing for another requiring them to learn new symbols. Future personalization tools could include the ability for a user to load a set of symbols that is appropriate for them, ensuring that all users find input fields simple and familiar.
      • Requirement:
    3. Reflow (AA)
      • Persona Quote: “Horizontal scrolling is evil!”
      • Origin: Low Vision
      • Why:(Perceivable) A significant proportion of people with low vision need more than a 200% increase in the size of content. The impact of horizontal scrolling can increase the effort required to read by 40-100 times.  Avoid designs that require horizontal scrolling.
      • Requirement:
        • “Content can be presented without loss of information or functionality, and without requiring scrolling in two dimensions for:
          • Vertical scrolling content at a width equivalent to 320 CSS pixels
          • Horizontal scrolling content at a height equivalent to 256
        • Except for parts of the content which require two-dimensional layout for usage or meaning.”
    4. Non-Text Contrast (AA)
      • Persona Quote: “Did you want me to see that important image/user interface control, or not?”
      • Origin: Low Vision
      • Why:(Perceivable) To extend the color contrast requirements for text (in WCAG 2.0 SC 1.4.3) to include important graphics.
      • Requirement:
        • “The visual presentation of the following have a contrast ratio of at least 3:1 against adjacent color(s):
          • User Interface Components: Visual information required to identify user interface components and states, except for inactive components or where the appearance of the component is determined by the user agent and not modified by the author;
          • Graphical Objects: Parts of graphics required to understand the content, except when a particular presentation of graphics is essential to the information being conveyed.”
    5. Text Spacing (AA)
      • Persona Quote“Curse Word! This text is so hard to read! I need to change the spacing to read it.”
      • Origin: Low Vision
      • Why:(Perceivable) Ensure that people with low vision can override paragraph spacing, letter spacing, word spacing and line height.
      • Requirement:
        • “In content implemented using markup languages that support the following text style properties, no loss of content or functionality occurs by setting all of the following and by changing no other style property:
          • Line height (line spacing) to at least 1.5 times the font size;
          • Spacing following paragraphs to at least 2 times the font size;
          • Letter spacing (tracking) to at least 0.12 times the font size;
          • Word spacing to at least 0.16 times the font size.
        • Exception: Human languages and scripts that do not make use of one or more of these text style properties in written text can conform using only the properties that exist for that combination of language and script.
    6. Content on Hover or Focus (AA)
      • Persona Quote: “Get out of the way! I can’t see or use the content/control I need!”
      • Origin: Low Vision
      • Why: (Perceivable) New content that appears only on focus or mouseover can present many challenges for users with low vision and others whose mouse accuracy may be low.
      • Requirement:
        • “Where receiving and then removing pointer hover or keyboard focus triggers additional content to become visible and then hidden, the following are true:
          • Dismissable:< A mechanism is available to dismiss the additional content without moving pointer hover or keyboard focus, unless the additional content communicates an input error or does not obscure or replace other content;
          • Hoverable: If pointer hover can trigger the additional content, then the pointer can be moved over the additional content without the additional content disappearing;
          • Persistent: The additional content remains visible until the hover or focus trigger is removed, the user dismisses it, or its information is no longer valid.
        • Exception: The visual presentation of the additional content is controlled by the user agent and is not modified by the author.”
    7. Character Key Shortcuts (A)
      • Persona Quote: “Alexa! Stop! I did not mean for you to…!”
      • Origin: Mobile
      • Why: (Operable) Help users who rely on speech-to-text technologies to interact with content without inadvertently triggering some functionality based on a shortcut.
      • Requirement:
        • “If a keyboard shortcut is implemented in content using only letter (including upper- and lower-case letters), punctuation, number, or symbol characters, then at least one of the following is true:
          • Turn off: mechanism is available to turn the shortcut off;
          • Remap: A mechanism is available to remap the shortcut to use one or more non-printable keyboard characters (e.g. Ctrl, Alt, etc.);
          • Active only on focus: The keyboard shortcut for a user interface component is only active when that component has focus.
    8. Pointer Gestures (A)
      • Persona Quote: “You expect me to do that complex hand gesture?  Are you kidding me? What is this? The finger Olympics???”
      • Origin: Mobile
      • Why: (Operable) Help users who cannot accurately perform complex pointer gestures. Touchscreen swipes or multi-pointer gestures such as a two-finger pinch/zoom may be impossible for some users.  
      • Requirement:
        • All functionality that uses multipoint or path-based gestures for operation can be operated with a single pointer without a path-based gesture, unless a multipoint or path-based gesture is essential.
    9. Pointer Cancellation (A)
      • Persona Quote: “Oh Noooooo! I just accidentally activated X just by touching it!”
      • Origin: Mobile
      • Why: (Operable) People with various disabilities can inadvertently initiate touch or mouse events with unwanted results. Help reduce the chance that a control will be accidentally activated.
      • Requirement:
        • For functionality that can be operated using a single pointer, at least one of the following is true:
          • No Down-Event: The down-event of the pointer is not used to execute any part of the function;
          • Abort or Undo: Completion of the function is on the up-event, and a mechanism is available to abort the function before completion or to undo the function after completion;
          • Up Reversal: The up-event reverses any outcome of the preceding down-event;
          • Essential: Completing the function on the down-event is essential.
    10. Label in Name (A)
      • Persona Quote: “Computer! ‘Submit’ the form! Computer! Curses! Why aren’t you doing what I said?!?!”
      • Origin: Mobile
      • Why: (Operable) Help users who rely on speech-to-text technologies to interact with content based on an intuitive visual label.
      • Requirement:
    11. Motion Actuation (A)
      • Persona Quote: Don’t make me tilt or shake!”
      • Origin: Mobile
      • Why: (Operable) Users with disabilities may be unable to perform particular actions dependent on sensors (like tilting or shaking) because the device may be mounted or users may be physically unable to perform the necessary action.
      • Requirement:
        • Functionality that can be operated by device motion or user motion can also be operated by user interface components and responding to the motion can be disabled to prevent accidental actuation, except when:
          • Supported Interface: The motion is used to operate functionality through an accessibility supportedinterface;
          • Essential: The motion is essential for the function and doing so would invalidate the activity.”
    12. Status Messages (AA)
      • Persona Quote: “I can’t tell if anything has happened.”
      • Origin: Cognitive
      • Why: (Robust) Some error or success messages are so subtly added to a page, it is hard to notice them. Users who are blind, low vision or have cognitive disabilities may have trouble finding a status message that has been added to the page.
      • Requirement:

    Last, but not least, there are 5 more WCAG 2.1 Success Criteria that fall under AAA. If you are an accessibility expert, you should review and encourage the use of these AAA requirements as well.

    1. Identify Purpose (AAA)
    2. Timeouts (AAA)
    3. Animations from Interactions (AAA)
    4. Target Size (AAA)
    5. Concurrent Input Mechanisms (AAA)

    When Would I Be Required to Use WCAG 2.1?

    I predict that most US organizations (including businesses and governments) will not require WCAG 2.1 compliance for years. The EU is likely to make WCAG 2.1 a requirement as early as 2019.  Smart developers, designers, and accessibility experts are already considering WCAG 2.1 as documented best practices that can be implemented today. Want to future-proof your web? Start using the principles of WCAG 2.1 today!

    How Will You Get Involved?

    Now is the time for you to spend some time thinking about how WCAG 2.1 will impact you. Ask questions. Volunteer to help write Understanding Documents, Sufficient Techniques and more.  

    Is this work easy? Nope. Is it deeply meaningful and important? Absolutely! This is my first time to work on WCAG. And I gotta tell y’all…this…..THIS…. is the most intellectually stimulating work I’ve ever done. There are times over the past year where I thought my brain was going to melt. But, I figured it was my turn to make a positive impact. Great people went before me and dared to create the first screen reader and the first and second versions of WCAG. Time for me to step up to the plate and help create the solutions that are needed today (while benefiting from the brilliant work done before).

    (Goodwitch holds out her hand to you.) Come on and join us. I promise you will be grateful you did. How are you going to be part of the solution?

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ADA 29 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act

29 Years of ADA and Americans with Disabilities Act

Originally published on   By

By Peri Nearon

Americans with Disabilities ActIdeas are powerful things.

They open the world. They eliminate discrimination. They ensure people are defined by potential. They change lives.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is an idea that became reality, which is why it’s important each year to pause to recognize the importance of this landmark law and what it means to so many of our fellow New Jerseyans and people across our nation.

uly 26 will mark the 29th anniversary of the ADA. That’s 29 years of changing lives and perceptions, of equal access and of making clear that we as a society will always stand for the rights of our family members, friends, neighbors, and countless people we’ve never met to live fulfilling lives, no matter their personal situation.

The ADA allows individuals with disabilities to participate in the world around them, and has likely changed lives in ways many could not have imagined when it became law in 1990, but while we pause each July to remember the benefits of the ADA and its importance, we also must honor its ideals each and every day of the year.

The ADA provides clear and comprehensive national standards to eliminate discrimination against individuals with disabilities. As a result, individuals with disabilities, as is their right, can live in their home and have equal access to education, jobs, recreation, shopping and entertainment. It has helped shape our nation, but the work is not done. We must remain steadfast to the principles, aiming for greater inclusivity, equality and fairness.

I have the honor of being the director of New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of Disability Services, which works to streamline access to services and information to promote and enhance independent living for individuals with all disabilities.

Our goal is to promote maximum independence and full participation of people with disabilities within all aspects of community life.

Through our toll free hotline, 1-888-285-3036, the division responds to requests for assistance. Certified Information and referral specialists are available to confidentially discuss issues, provide information, assist with problem solving and refer individuals to appropriate agencies or services.

We also publish New Jersey Resources, a comprehensive guide to services available throughout the state. I urge everyone to download a copy.

We also administer some great programs such as the Traumatic Brain Injury Fund, and the Personal Assistance Services Program, both of which offer vital assistance to help individuals with disabilities live as independently as possible within our communities. Additionally, we can help people to access NJ ABLE, which allows individuals with disabilities to save for expenses without losing eligibility for their Medicaid and other benefits. And we work with our partners at Human Services, including the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Division of Developmental Disabilities, which serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The ADA rightfully opened the world to individuals with disabilities. We must ensure that equal access remains a priority, while doing whatever we can to assist individuals with disabilities to live full and independent lives. We are here to help. Give us a call or visit us at to learn more. Together, we can continue ensuring people are defined by their potential. We can change lives.

Peri Nearon is the director of the New Jersey Division of Disability Services with the Department of Human Services.

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New Accessibility technology gives disabled LIRR riders an assist boarding trains

Full article posted here

New know-how being examined by the Lengthy Island Rail Street goals to provide riders with disabilities additional help when boarding a practice.

Accessbility TrainsThe LIRR’s Glen Head station is the primary to host the brand new “Help Point” kiosk function, which assists riders with special wants in getting the eye of railroad personnel on an arriving practice.

The kiosk includes a button marked “boarding assistance” that, when pressed, prompts a flashing yellow beacon that notifies practice crew members who may help the client, together with by establishing a bridge plate to help get wheelchair customers onto a practice.

The kiosk additionally has buttons for patrons to inform authorities of an emergency, or to communicate immediately with LIRR personnel for info.

LIRR president Phillip Eng, speaking about this system at a Might MTA Board assembly, stated it stemmed from suggestions from clients with particular needs, including those who stated that they had specific problem getting crew members’ attention during nighttime hours.

“This can give them extra confidence that they will be observed,” Eng stated. “It’s a method of displaying that we’re listening to clients.”

Over $3.25 Million Paid by Greyhound to Individuals in Disability Settlement

greyhound legal ada settlement

Disability Settlement Greyhound

The Department of Justice today announced payments by Greyhound Lines, Inc. totaling $2,966,000 to over 2,100 individuals who experienced disability discrimination while traveling or attempting to travel on Greyhound. The payments were part of a broader settlement from 2016 resolving the Department’s complaint that Greyhound, the nation’s largest provider of intercity bus transportation, engaged in a nationwide pattern or practice of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to provide full and equal transportation services to passengers with disabilities.  The $2,966,000 amount is in addition to $300,000 paid by Greyhound in 2016 to specific individuals identified by the Department, bringing the total distributed to individuals to over $3,250,000. To read the press release regarding this event, click here. For more information about the ADA, call the Department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (TDD 800-514-0383) or access the ADA website at

What accessibility looks like 30 years after the ADA passed

Excerpt from The Denver Post May 2019

It is also a reminder of why it’s important to keep the pressure on government and private entities to make public places accessible to all.

“The sort of run-of-the mill storefronts, restaurants, retail store, those really should be accessible now and a lot are but too many still are not,” said Kenneth Shiotani, senior staff attorney for the National Disability Right Network, which is based in Washington, D.C.

He said outdoor spaces, such as beaches and trails, pose more challenges than man-made structures when it comes to accessibility and for that reason, new guidelines were set for them in 2013. But Meridian Hill Park, which boasts of having the largest cascading fountain in the country, seems much more structured than other outdoor spaces, he said.

“I think the wedding party had reasonable expectations that 30 years later [after the ADA was passed] a federal park would be accessible,” Shiotani said. “It’s a public park, it’s paid for by public dollars, it should ultimately be accessible for everybody.”