Accessibility Kiosks Legal News
From KI — October 26th, 10am – The courts find for ACB in suit against Quest. The case involved injunctive relief. So, that means an order telling quest to fix it and attorney fees for the plaintiff. We are checking with ACB to make sure we are identifying the correct unit (aka unit violating ADA). As for an appeal, it would go to the Ninth Circuit, which tends to be more on the side of persons with disabilities than not. We imagine there could be post verdict motions. As far as cost goes, plaintiffs would be entitled to their attorney fees and the defendant would have to pay their own attorney fees as well. A relevant blog entry is here. Just What Is a Sales Establishment Anyway per Title III of the ADA?
Thanks to Bill for alerting us. He is a great and recommended resource. William D. Goren, Esq., J.D., LL.M., Attorney and Consultant, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), https://www.
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 25, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Following a week-long bench trial in Los Angeles, a federal court in California found Quest Diagnostics in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and permanently enjoined Quest from continuing to violate the ADA.
Beginning in 2016, Quest Diagnostics began to install self-service kiosks at its Patient Service Centers, which allow patients to, among other things, check in for phlebotomy appointments in a private and independent manner. Following complaints from ACB’s members that these kiosks as designed prevent people who are blind from accessing their services, ACB joined a civil rights complaint in federal court alleging that Quest’s kiosks deprived members of the blind community full and equal enjoyment of Quest’s services and failed to provide effective communication.
The Court ruled in favor of ACB and a nationwide class of blind and low-vision Quest patients. The court found that Quest violated Title III of the ADA in that Quest failed to provide people who are blind with full and equal enjoyment of Quest’s services and facilities because of their disability.
“Self-service kiosks are being used more and more in many aspects of daily public life,” said Dan Spoone, Executive Director for the American Council of the Blind. “The Court’s decision that Quest violated the ADA and that the check-in services of these kiosks must be accessible to people who are blind is a significant step towards ensuring that the rights to full and equal enjoyment and effective communication are protected.”
Deb Cook Lewis, ACB’s president, added, “Although the ADA is more than 30 years old, people who are blind are still forced to fight for full and equal access to healthcare. This judgment sends a clear message that full and equal enjoyment is required by law, and health care providers must ensure access for people with disabilities.”
This litigation has been led by ACB’s counsel at Nye Sterling Hale Miller and Sweet and at Handley Farah & Anderson.
Matthew Handley, one of ACB’s attorneys in the litigation, added, “Touchscreen kiosks are an ever-increasing aspect of our daily lives – this decision ensures that accessibility of those kiosks will need to be front and center in the minds of every company wishing to make use of self-service technology.”
About the American Council of the Blind
The American Council of the Blind is a national member-driven consumer organization representing Americans who are blind and visually impaired. During the organization’s 60-year history, ACB has become a leader in national, state, local, and even international advocacy efforts. With 66 affiliates, ACB strives to increase independence, security, equality of opportunity, and to improve the quality of life for all people who are blind and visually impaired. For more information, visit ACB’s website.
About Handley Farah & Anderson
Handley Farah & Anderson are lawyers who seek to improve the world. Based in Washington, D.C., they fight for: workers deprived of wages, consumers deceived about products, tenants denied access to housing, parents deprived of adequate parental leave, persons with disabilities denied access, and women and communities of color subject to discrimination.
SOURCE American Council of the Blind
ID Card Scanning
Always a pain here is a video on how Acuant used in Quest kiosk
Quest Diagnostics Streamlines Patient Check-in with Aila’s Interactive Kiosk
Quest Diagnostics selected Aila’s Interactive Kiosk as a rugged, adaptable self-service platform to create its next-generation patient check-in experience. Aila’s expertise in patient check-in for enterprise healthcare providers gave Quest the confidence that Aila could provide the technology and support to deploy a major new experience in its patient service centers. “Aila was a known solution that would work for us,” said Congersky, “this helped us avoid a lengthy product exploration process.”
The Interactive Kiosk was able to save phlebotomists’ time by automating a range of customer experiences that previously required face-to-face interaction:
- ID and insurance card scanning
- Smartphone scanning for pre-registered patients
- Digital check-in and wait list queuing
The Interactive Kiosk also provided a platform that was adaptable for Quest’s evolving check-in experience. This includes, a way for patients to check in for someone else, such as a child or parent, schedule service times on-site, and give patients the option to wait in their vehicle after checking in where they’ll receive a text message when it’s their turn.
In combination with Aila’s Interactive Kiosk and floor stand, Quest further improved the check-in experience by developing a welcome center that also included wall-mounted Interactive Kiosks. This helps guide patients to the self-service center and provides a welcoming environment to check in. Having a range of mounting options to choose from further illustrates Aila’s ability to enable ideal solutions across thousands of locations with differing layouts.
ADA Assistive Braille Testimonial
From Texas Instruments
Summary of Dot Inc. Braille Technology
Dot Inc. is a company that specializes in developing and manufacturing innovative braille technology products for individuals with visual impairments. Their mission is to enhance accessibility and empower visually impaired individuals to lead independent and fulfilling lives. Dot Inc. has introduced several groundbreaking products that have revolutionized the way braille is used in everyday life.
One of their notable inventions is the Dot Pad, which is the world’s first tactile braille display. The Dot Pad allows visually impaired individuals to read digital content in braille, making it easier for them to access information on smartphones, tablets, and computers. This device utilizes a grid of small pins that rise and fall to form braille characters, enabling users to read text, navigate menus, and even interact with images and graphics.
Another innovative product from Dot Inc. is the Dot Watch, which is the world’s first fully braille smartwatch. This wearable device features a braille display made up of 24 pins, allowing users to receive notifications, read messages, and even tell the time using braille. The Dot Watch combines style and functionality, providing visually impaired individuals with a fashionable accessory that enhances their daily lives.
Dot Inc. is committed to improving accessibility not only in personal devices but also in public spaces. They have developed barrier-free design solutions that incorporate braille into various environments, such as public transportation, buildings, and signage. These initiatives aim to create inclusive spaces where visually impaired individuals can navigate and interact with their surroundings independently.
The advancements made by Dot Inc. in braille technology have significantly improved the quality of life for visually impaired individuals. By providing innovative products like the Dot Pad and Dot Watch, they have empowered users to access information, communicate, and engage with the world around them more effectively. These technologies have opened up new opportunities for education, employment, and social interaction, enabling visually impaired individuals to overcome barriers and achieve their full potential.
In conclusion, Dot Inc. is a pioneering company in the field of braille technology. Their innovative products, such as the Dot Pad and Dot Watch, have revolutionized the way visually impaired individuals access information and interact with digital devices. Through their commitment to accessibility and inclusivity, Dot Inc. has made significant contributions to improving the lives of people with visual impairments.
More ADA Assistive Kiosk Posts
- CES 2023 Innovation Award and Honoree for Braille & Tactile Display(Opens in a new browser tab)
- ADA Kiosk & Accessibility Update – New technology, tradeshows, Braille pad and more(Opens in a new browser tab)
- Texas advocate helped mold Americans with Disabilities Act(Opens in a new browser tab)
- Gift card Exchange Kiosk litigation(Opens in a new browser tab)
- POS ADA Accessibility, Consumers & Payment Terminals – Biometric Payment(Opens in a new browser tab)
Braille & Tactile Display
Kiosk Industry is happy to note that one of our sponsors recently won two awards at the CES 2023 show. The Dot Pad is the world’s first tactile display for braille and assistive technology
Best of Innovation
Mobile Devices & Accessories, Virtual & Augmented Reality
Dot Pad is the World’s first tactile graphic device for the visually impaired and the blind. It has a total of 320 8-pin cells where 300 cells (2400-pins) are for the tactile display and 20 cells are for the braille-text display. It displays images, graphics, and charts in tactile form. It has an easy connection with devices via Bluetooth. Dot Pad is portable as it is very light and slim with a long-lasting battery life that lasts up to 11 hours once fully charged. Dot Pad encourages individuals to be independent in enhancing education, entertainment, daily life, and others.
More Resources by Dot
In Related News from Europe and EN301-549
- The latest European accessibility standard with the EN 301 549 V3.2.1 2021-03 for ICT products and serivces and the EN 17 210 for the buit environment.
- Work is ongoing to update these standards and develop new standards following a standardisation request from the European Commission for accessibility requirements of products and services in support of Directive (EU) 2019/882. You can find this standardisation request here: https://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/enorm/mandate/587_en
- Specifically, the schedule of revision of the EN 301 549 is publicly available at the following link: https://portal.etsi.org/eWPM/index.html#/schedule?WKI_ID=64282
- ADA Kiosk & Accessibility Update – New technology, tradeshows, Braille pad and more(Opens in a new browser tab)
- Gift card Exchange Kiosk litigation(Opens in a new browser tab)
- ADA Kiosk News – RNIB Testing Confirms Compliance with ADA Requirements(Opens in a new browser tab)
- Drive Thru Digital Menus Outdoor – Technical Review(Opens in a new browser tab)
- ADA Kiosk Whitepaper 2017(Opens in a new browser tab)
HHS Section 504 Proposed Rule
There is a new entry on Federal Register for addressing disability. You may submit electronic comments at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for the Docket ID number HHS–OCR–2023–0013. Follow the instructions at http://www.regulations.gov online for submitting comments through this method. For more info contact Molly Burgdorf, Office for Civil Rights, Department of Health and Human Services at (202) 545–4884 or (800) 537–7697 (TDD), or via email at [email protected].
Thanks to William Goren, attorney — https://www.understandingtheada.com/
Ultimately the HHS is going to adopt the U.S. Access Board guidelines to be issued this December. If HHS funding is involved in any way then this new proposed rule will apply and all of this is directed towards Health.
- Telehealth would seem to be “under the gun” here. There are many devices that may twist and/or be physically manipulated
- Chromebooks for Education. Lots of website content there.
- They are adopting WCAG 2.1 which is standard
- The Department proposes to amend its existing regulation implementing section 504 for federally assisted programs and activities to address the obligations of recipients of Federal financial assistance to comply with section 504 across a variety of contexts. The proposed rule clarifies the application of section 504 to several areas not explicitly addressed through the existing regulation, including medical treatment decisions; the use of value assessments; web, mobile, and kiosk accessibility; and accessible medical equipment. The proposed rule also expands on and clarifies the requirements in the current regulation applicable to federally funded child welfare programs and activities.
- The Department is aware that some recipients, including doctors’ offices, hospitals, and social service offices, use kiosks or similar self-service transaction machines for members of the public to perform a number of tasks including checking in for appointments, providing information for the receipt of services, procuring services, measuring vitals, and performing other services without interacting directly with recipient staff.
- The use of inaccessible kiosks that result in delays checking in, privacy concerns, and even the complete inability of people with disabilities to check in for their appointments results in avoidable lack of access to health and human services.
- The Department has received information from individuals with physical disabilities who have experienced difficulty reaching the controls on kiosks, or operating controls that require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting. Individuals with hearing loss may not be able to operate a kiosk effectively if audio commands or information are not provided in an alternative format. The Department is aware of the barriers created by inaccessible kiosks, particularly in health care, so the proposed rule includes a provision specifically addressing recipients’ existing obligations with respect to kiosks.
- The Department is not proposing specific technical requirements for kiosks, but proposes to include general language recognizing that section 504 prohibits recipients from discriminating on the basis of disability in their programs or activities provided through kiosks because of the inaccessibility of those devices.
- Here is “bailout” provision — Recipients that use kiosks may make their programs accessible by instituting procedures that would allow persons with disabilities who cannot use kiosks because of their inaccessible features to access the program without using kiosks. For example, a clinic or a social services office may allow persons with disabilities to go directly to the personnel at the main desk to register for necessary services. Such work-around procedures must afford persons with disabilities the same access, the same convenience, and the same confidentiality that the kiosk system provides.
- In instances where kiosks are closed functionality devices that do not rely on web content or mobile apps, the proposed technical standards in § 84.84 will not apply. Under these circumstances, recipients are still obligated to ensure that individuals with disabilities are not excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or otherwise subjected to discrimination in any program or activity of the recipient, including the information exchange that would occur at the kiosk.
- The Department is aware that the U.S. Access Board is working on a rulemaking to amend the ADA Accessibility Guidelines to address the accessibility of fixed self-service transaction machines, self-service kiosks, information transaction machines, and point-of-sale devices. The Access Board issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on these issues in September 2022 and heard from more than 70 commenters. The Board is now in the process of developing a notice of proposed rulemaking, which may be issued by December 2023. Once these guidelines are final, to be enforceable, DOJ and the U.S. Department of Transportation would have to adopt them, via separate rulemakings, before they would become enforceable standards for devices and equipment covered by the ADA. Similarly, HHS will consider adopting these guidelines under section 504 once they are finalized.
- Definition of kiosks proposed — The Department proposes to add a definition of “kiosks.” Kiosks are self-service transaction machines made available by recipients at set physical locations for the independent use of patients or program participants in health or human service programs or activities. The devices usually consist of a screen and an input device, either a keyboard, touch screen or similar device, onto which the program participant independently types in or otherwise enters requested information. In health and human service programs, recipients often make kiosks available so that patients or program participants can check in, provide information for the receipt of services, procure services, have their vital signs taken, or perform other similar actions. These devices may rely on web content or mobile apps or may be closed functionality devices, i.e., devices that do not rely on web content or mobile apps. Definitions (kiosks) Question 2: The Department requests comment on whether a definition of “kiosks” is necessary, and if so, requests comment on the Department’s proposed definition in § 84.10 and any suggested revisions to it.
Section 504 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities  that receive Federal financial assistance as well as in programs and activities conducted by any Federal agency. Section 504 provides:
No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in Section 705(20) of this title, shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance or under any program or activity conducted by any Executive agency or by the United States Post Office.
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in HHS enforces section 504 as well as two other statutes that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in, among other areas, all health care and social services programs and activities of State and local government entities. OCR also enforces section 1557 (section 1557) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which prohibits discrimination on various bases including disability in any health program or activity, any part of which receives Federal financial assistance, including credits, subsidies, or contract of insurance or under any program or activity that is administered by an Executive Agency or any entity established under Title I of the ACA.
- Telehealth Accessibility Guidelines from HHS(Opens in a new browser tab)
- NPRM Proposed Rule Web and Mobile App Access(Opens in a new browser tab)
- Web Accessibility and the ADA Guidance(Opens in a new browser tab)
WCAG and Closed Systems Guidance
WCAG has always been about the open web. For closed systems some of WCAG (3 instances) are included in the U.S. Access Board recommendations for closed systems. In 2013 the W3C issued this same document (but using WCAG 2.0). This is the updated versions for WCAG 2.2. This document is “guidance” (566 pages) on how WCAG 2.2 can apply to Ebooks, Operating systems, and Travel kiosks (example given). There is no mention of ATMs or hybrid POS SCO systems or POS terminals which would seem to be the majority of closed systems.
We do note there is a specific recommendation for kiosks regarding the timeout period (see below).
It should be noted that the DOJ has issued NPRM regarding Web and Mobile accessibility. In their NPRM they use WCAG 2.1 Level AA which is current release. It will be different though and not reference WCAG 2.2 .
The committee is still finalizing Appendix A and is accepting comments from any interested parties. We are commenting and if you would like yours included email to [email protected]
Guidance on Applying WCAG 2.0 to Non-Web Information and Communications Technologies (WCAG2ICT), approved in September 2013, described how WCAG 2.0 could be applied to non-web documents and software.
This document, “Guidance on Applying WCAG 2.2 to Non-Web Information and Communications Technologies (WCAG2ICT)” describes how the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2 [WCAG22] and its principles, guidelines, and success criteria can be applied to non-web Information and Communications Technologies (ICT), specifically to non-web documents and software. It provides informative guidance (guidance that is not normative and does not set requirements).
Excluded from Scope
The following are out of scope for this document:
- This document does not seek to determine which WCAG 2.2 provisions (principles, guidelines, or success criteria) should or should not apply to non-web documents and software, but rather how they would apply, if applied.
- This document does not propose changes to WCAG 2.2 or its supporting documents; it does not include interpretations for implementing WCAG 2.2 in web technologies. During the development of this document, the WCAG2ICT Task Force did seek clarification on the intent of a number of the success criteria, which led to clarifications in the Understanding WCAG 2.2 document.
- This document is not sufficient by itself to ensure accessibility in non-web documents and software. As a web standard, WCAG does not fully cover all accessibility requirements for non-user interface aspects of platforms, user-interface components as individual items, nor closed product software (where there is no Assistive Technology to communicate programmatic information).
- This document does not comment on hardware aspects of products, because the basic constructs on which WCAG 2.2 is built do not apply to these.
- This document does not provide supporting techniques for implementing WCAG 2.2 in non-web documents and software.
- This document is purely an informative Note about non-web ICT, not a standard, so it does not describe how non-web ICT should conform to it.
Examples of products with closed functionality include:
- an ebook or ebook reader program that allows assistive technologies to access all of the user interface controls of the ebook program (open functionality) but does not allow the assistive technologies to access the actual content of book (closed functionality).
- an operating system that requires the user to provide login credentials before it allows any assistive technologies to be loaded. The log-in portion would be closed functionality.
- a travel kiosk that provides an audio interface for blind and vision-impaired users as a built-in alternative to the visual interface and tactile keys as an alternative to touch screen operation for both blind users and those who can’t operate a touch screen.
See Appendix A: Success Criteria Problematic for Closed Functionality for a list of success criteria for which this is relevant.
20 seconds was also based on clinical experience and other guidelines. 20 seconds to hit ‘any switch’ is sufﬁcient for almost all users including those with spasticity. Some would fail, but some would fail all lengths of time. A reasonable period for
requesting more time is required since an arbitrarily long time can provide security risks to all users, including those with disabilities, for some applications. For example, with kiosks or terminals that are used for ﬁnancial transactions, it is
quite common for people to walk away without signing off. This leaves them vulnerable to those walking up behind them. Providing a long period of inactivity before asking, and then providing a long period for the person to indicate that they are present can leave terminals open for abuse. If there is no activity the system should ask if the user is there. It should then ask for an indication that a person is there (‘hit any key’) and then wait long enough for almost anyone to respond. For “hit any key,” 20 seconds would meet this. If the person indicates that they are still present, the device should return the user to the exact condition that existed before it asked the question.
Web Accessibility – Mobile Accessibility
Editor Note: Self-service kiosks and digital signage/interactive displays such as wayfinding for example and smart city are both considered “closed systems”. Websites are considered open systems. Mobile applications are new and the proposed regulations there are likely to have the most impact
The Department of Justice (Department) is publishing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) explaining how we propose updating the regulations for Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to add more specific requirements about web and mobile application (app) accessibility.
This NPRM proposes a specific technical standard that state and local governments would have to follow to meet their existing obligations under Title II of the ADA for web and mobile app accessibility. The NPRM asks the public for comments about this proposal.
Summary In Brief
- What is Title II? — Under Title II of the ADA, state and local governments’ services, programs, and activities must be accessible to people with disabilities. In Title II, state and local governments are also called public entities. Title II applies to all programs, services, or activities of state and local governments, from adoption services to zoning regulation. This includes the services, programs, and activities that state and local governments offer online and through mobile apps.WCAG 2.1 Level AA is the adopted standard
- An NPRM is a stage in the rulemaking process that happens before an agency adopts a final regulation. It is like a first draft of a regulation. It lets the public know what the agency is considering and provides an opportunity for feedback.
- An NPRM is not a final regulation. So, this proposal is not an enforceable rule right now. This NPRM has been published so that the public can provide us with feedback on our proposal for the rule before we adopt a final rule.
- Two to Three years to meet standard depending on size (greater than 50,000 has two years)
- How and When to Respond — We Want Your Feedback
The fact sheet gives a high-level summary of the NPRM. For more details about our proposal, you should read the NPRM. The NPRM is also published in the Federal Register. We have also published an analysis of the costs and benefits of the proposed rule. This is called a Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis (PRIA). You can read the PRIA on ADA.gov. After you’ve reviewed the NPRM, we’d like to hear your feedback. Have we made the right proposals about when and how web content and mobile apps should be made accessible? Do the proposed exceptions and the proposed limits on when those exceptions apply make sense? Should we change anything about the proposed rule? Why? You can submit comments before October 3, 2023 by going to Regulations.gov. You can also mail us your comments at Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, P.O. Box 440528, Somerville, MA 02144.
If you need information in an alternative format, you can call the ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 (voice) or 1-833-610-1264 (TTY).
- Here is a 2023 NPRM web-accessibility-NPRM-compressed
For example, a study from the University of Washington analyzed approximately 10,000 mobile apps and found that many are highly inaccessible to people with disabilities. 46 The study found that 23 percent of the mobile apps reviewed did not provide content description of images for most of their image-based buttons. As a result, the functionality of those buttons is not accessible for people who use screen readers. 47
The Department is proposing to adopt the same technical standard for mobile app accessibility as it is for web content—WCAG 2.1 Level AA. As discussed earlier, WCAG 2.1 was published in June 2018 and was developed, in part, to address mobile accessibility. 105
The Department considered applying WCAG 2.0 Level AA to mobile apps, which is a similar approach to the requirements in the final rule promulgated by the United States Access Board in its update to the section 508 standards. 106 WCAG 2.1 was not finalized when the
Access Board adopted the section 508 standards. When WCAG 2.0 was originally drafted in 2008, mobile apps were not as widely used or developed. Further, the technology has grown considerably since that time. Accordingly, WCAG 2.1 provides 12 additional Level A and AA
success criteria not included in WCAG 2.0 to ensure, among other things, that mobile apps are more accessible to individuals with disabilities using mobile devices. 107 For example, WCAG 2.1 includes Success Criterion 1.4.12, which ensures that text spacing like letter spacing, line spacing, and word spacing meets certain requirements to ensure accessibility; Success Criterion 2.5.4, which enables the user to disable motion actuation (e.g., the ability to activate a device’s function by shaking it) to prevent such things as accidental deletion of text; and Success Criterion 1.3.5, which allows a user to input information such as a name or address W3C®, What’s New in WCAG 2.1 (Aug. 13, 2020), https://www.w3.org/WAI/standards-guidelines/wcag/new-in-21/ [https://perma.cc/W8HK-Z5QK].
See 82 FR 5790, 5815 (Jan. 18, 2017).
W3C®, What’s New in WCAG 2.1 (Aug. 13, 2020), https://www.w3.org/WAI/standards-guidelines/wcag/new-in-21/ [https://perma.cc/W8HK-Z5QK].
The Access Board’s section 508 standards include additional requirements applicable to mobile apps that are not in WCAG 2.1, and the Department is requesting feedback on whether to adopt those requirements as well. For example, the section 508 standards apply the following requirements not found in WCAG 2.1 to mobile apps: interoperability requirements to ensure that a mobile app does not disrupt a device’s assistive technology for persons with disabilities (e.g., screen readers for persons who are blind or have low vision); requirements for mobile apps to follow preferences on a user’s phone such as settings for color, contrast, and font size; and requirements for caption controls and audio description controls that enable users to adjust caption and audio description functions. 109 Adopting WCAG 2.1 Level AA for mobile apps will help ensure this rule’s accessibility standards for mobile apps are consistent with this rule’s accessibility standards for web content. We seek comments on this approach below. Please provide as much detail as possible and any applicable data, suggested alternative approaches or requirements, arguments, explanations, and examples in your responses to the following questions.
- Kiosk Standards(Opens in a new browser tab)
- WCAG 2.2 Checklist(Opens in a new browser tab)
- Web Accessibility – WCAG 3.0 Working Draft Released by W3C(Opens in a new browser tab)
- ADA Kiosk – High Level Overview of Rule Making U.S. Access Board(Opens in a new browser tab)
- Accessibility Trends – Desktops & Mobiles – 2022(Opens in a new browser tab)
Related Accessibility Standards
As a refresher her are the main illustrations from U.S. Access Board on common physical characteristics of self-service kiosks. Bear in these only show the physical and not all of them either.
Justice Department Advances Proposed Rule to Strengthen Web and Mobile App Access for People with Disabilities
Tuesday, July 25, 2023
For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
The Justice Department sent to the Federal Register for publication a notice of proposed rulemaking under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that aims to improve web and mobile applications (apps) access for people with disabilities and clarify how public entities – primarily state and local governments – can meet their existing ADA obligations as many of their activities shift online.
Across the United States, people routinely rely on web and mobile apps to access a variety of vital public programs and services like employment and educational resources, voting information, health and emergency services, parking, and transit schedules. The proposed rule is particularly significant in the wake of the pandemic, as public entities have significantly increased the scope of essential services and programs offered through the web and mobile apps. It is critical for these technologies to be accessible for people with disabilities.
“This marks the first time in the history of the Americans with Disabilities Act that the Justice Department has issued a proposed rule on website accessibility,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “This proposed rule seeks to ensure that Americans with disabilities have equal access to the websites and apps that connect them to essential services provided by state and local governments.”
“This proposed rule, which is the culmination of years of work and collaboration, is a historic moment for the Justice Department,” said Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta. “It will help enshrine the right of Americans with disabilities to access critical information needed to lead safe, productive, and prosperous lives.”
“This proposed rule marks a significant milestone in the Justice Department’s efforts to advance accessibility in the digital sphere,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “This groundbreaking moment makes clear our commitment to eradicating the barriers faced by people with disabilities and affording equal access to online government programs and services that people around the country depend on every day. We will continue to use every tool available to ensure that people with disabilities are provided full access to the digital town square.”
As state and local governments continue to move more of their programs and activities online – from applying for permits to checking the status of service requests, registering vehicles, and paying taxes and fees – ensuring that people with disabilities have equal access to these same services is essential. When websites and mobile apps are not accessible, they can be difficult or even impossible for people with disabilities to use. This can block people with disabilities from readily accessing important government services and programs that others can quickly and easily obtain online.
The Department is eager to hear from the public and get input from relevant stakeholders on the regulatory proposal set forth in our forthcoming proposed rule. The proposed rule will soon be available for review on the Federal Register’s website at www.federalregister.gov. A fact sheet that provides information about the proposed rule will soon be available on www.ada.gov. The Department invites the public to submit their comments on the proposed rule once it is published. The comment period will be open for 60 days from the date the proposed rule is published. Public comments can be submitted on www.regulations.gov.
For more information on the Civil Rights Division, please visit the Department’s website. For more information on the ADA, please call the Department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (TDD 800-514-0383) or visit the ADA website.
Updated July 25, 2023
- U.S. Access Board News January/ February 2020(Opens in a new browser tab)
- Web Accessibility and the ADA Guidance(Opens in a new browser tab)
- A Smart City Is an Accessible City(Opens in a new browser tab)
- Analysis – DOJ Accessibility Guidance on Web March 2022(Opens in a new browser tab)
- Kiosk Show Room in California and Olea
- PSA – ADA Regulations for EV Vehicles, Self-Service Kiosks – Kiosk Association KMA
- ADA Kiosk & Accessibility Update – New technology, tradeshows, Braille pad and more
- HIMSS 2023 Self Service and Accessibility on Display in Booth 7431
- Kiosks and people who are blind or partially sighted
- EV Accessibility Regulations in UK (and Europe too?)
- Self Service Kiosk News Feb 2023
- ADA Retail Restaurants Regulations – 2023
- PSA – Webinar for ADA in Retail & Restaurants Feb 2
- Grocery Self-Checkout & Disabled Shoppers – Food Institute
- Kiosks Accessibility Software & Hardware
- Kiosk Accessibility Event – M-Enabling Summit
- ADA Kiosk – ANPRM Issued by U.S. Access Board Today
- ADA Kiosk Legal Actions
- ADA Kiosks – Senate Testimony on Accessible Federal Technology & Title III
- Kiosk Association July 2022 – Regulatory Snapshot
- Regulatory News – ADA Kiosk, POS Kiosks, and EV Charging Update
- ADA Kiosks and EV Charging Clearinghouse – KMA June Newsletter
- ADA Kiosk – Kiosk Retrofit for Usability & Accessibility Webinar
- ADA Kiosks – American Kiosks Standard Countertop Kiosk With Assistive Technology
Vispero/TPGi Listed in AWS Marketplace for the U.S. Intelligence Community
Couple of news items for screen reader news, both from Vispero, the leader with JAWS Kiosk software. From PRnewswire — Vispero/TPGi Software now available to 18 U.S. Intelligence Agencies in AWS Marketplace
CLEARWATER, Fla., June 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Vispero® and TPGi®, global leaders in accessibility software and services, today announced the availability of their offerings in the AWS Marketplace for the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). The AWS Marketplace for the U.S. IC offerings includes a broad array of common software infrastructure, developer tools, and business software products that support the unique needs of the U.S. IC through improved security, increased mission impact, and cost savings. TPGi’s Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) software allows companies of all sizes to manage accessibility programs via one powerful integrated dashboard and to access a central repository of over 600 KnowledgeBase articles from worldwide experts in accessibility.
“We are pleased to offer our software in the AWS Marketplace for the U.S. IC to help government agencies assure their digital assets are usable by all employees and citizens while complying with Section 508 and accessibility standards,” said Matt Ater, Vice President of Vispero.AWS Marketplace for the U.S. IC provides the same purchasing convenience, open and transparent license terms and conditions, and a variety of pricing models, including hourly usage and annual subscription, as the commercial AWS Marketplace. It also supports Bring-Your-Own-License (BYOL) so that agencies can more easily migrate existing software licenses and applications to the cloud. For more information on AWS Marketplace for the U.S. IC, contact [email protected].
Vispero is a global leader in assistive technology products for those with vision impairments. Freedom Scientific, TPGi, Enhanced Vision, and Optelec, all Vispero brands, have a long history of innovation for customers with accessibility needs. Today our product portfolio is considered one of the most diverse and reliable on the market.
TPGi provides digital accessibility software and services to help businesses reduce risk, grow revenue, and improve user experience. With over 20 years of experience and 21 employees actively influencing accessibility standards on the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), TPGi offers the most robust knowledge base and accessibility expertise in the industry as well as award-winning self-service kiosk software. Our tailored approach has enabled 1000+ customers to achieve the best outcomes for their businesses, their employees, and their consumers.
SOURCE TPGi LLC
Disability:IN show in Orlando in July
Join Vispero® and TPGi at the #DisabilityInclusion event of the year. You can stop by our booth and check out Matt Ater speak during “Creating A Culture Beat: Drumming Up Support for Digital Accessibility.”
We can’t wait to meet you there!
Learn more about Disability:IN 2023: https://lnkd.in/gEBhNDWT
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ADA Regulations Update June 2023
June 15, 2023 — New updated dates for US Access Board NPRMs for EV and POS. Also, ANSI has just released their new EV standards, which include ADA considerations. Thanks to Steve Taylor with TaylorPOS for reminding us of the NPRM dates.
Accessibility Guidelines for Self-Service Transaction Machines
This rulemaking would amend the Architectural and Transportation Compliance Board’s existing accessibility guidelines for buildings and facilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA), located at 36 CFR part 1191, to include guidelines for the accessibility of fixed self-service transaction machines, self-service kiosks, information transaction machines, and point-of-sale devices. The U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Department of Justice are expected, via separate rulemakings, to adopt these amended guidelines as enforceable standards for devices and equipment covered by the ADA. RIN: 3014-AA44
|ANPRM||09/21/2022||87 FR 57662|
|ANPRM Comment Period End||11/21/2022|
Accessibility Guidelines for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations
Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are becoming commonplace with the rising production and use of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are nearly 50,000 public EV charging stations with almost 127,000 charging ports across the country. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law in November 2021, allocates $7.5 billion to construct a national network of 500,000 EV charging stations to accelerate the adoption of EVs. It is expected that the installation and use of EV charging stations will continue to expand; however, at present, there are no federal regulations specifying accessibility requirements for EV charging stations to ensure that they are accessible to and useable by persons with disabilities. The Access Board thus intends to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to supplement its Accessibility Guidelines under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) with scoping and technical requirements for electric vehicle charging stations. RIN: 3014-AA48
ANSI Publishes Roadmap of Standards and Codes for Electric Vehicles at Scale
New York, June 14, 2023: The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) announced today the publication of the Roadmap of Standards and Codes for Electric Vehicles at Scale developed by the Institute’s Electric Vehicles Standards Panel (EVSP). The roadmap’s primary focus is on light-duty, on-road plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) that are recharged via a connection to the electrical grid, as well as the supporting charging infrastructure needed to power them. Medium and heavy-duty EVs are also covered, as is wireless charging. A total of 37 standardization gaps are identified with corresponding recommendations across the topical areas of vehicle systems, charging infrastructure, grid integration, and cybersecurity. It is hoped that the roadmap will see broad adoption by the user community and will facilitate a more coherent and coordinated approach to the future development of standards for EVs.
The Kiosk Manufacturer Association (KMA) is an Associate Sponsor. (UL is the premier sponsor)
(c) The American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and implementing regulations, apply to EV charging stations by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability by public and private entities. EV charging stations must comply with applicable accessibility standards adopted by the Department of Transportation into its ADA regulations (49 CFR part 37) in 2006, and adopted by the Department of Justice into its ADA regulations (28 CFR parts 35 and 36) in 2010. 45 The U.S. Access Board, an independent federal agency that issues accessibility guidelines under the Americans with Disabilities Act(ADA), Architectural Barriers Act(ABA), Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other laws, has provided a technical assistance document “Design Recommendations for Accessible Electric Vehicle Charging Stations” 46 to assist in the design and construction of electric vehicle (EV)
charging stations that are accessible to and usable by people with disabilities. In the Fall 2022 Unified Agenda and at recent Board Meetings, the Access Board announced that it anticipates a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for EVSE towards the end of the summer of 2023. Noting the expected continuing expansion and use of EV charging stations, the Board noted in relevant part that: [T]here are no federal regulations specifying accessibility requirements for EV charging stations to ensure that they are accessible to and useable by persons with disabilities. The Access Board thus intends to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to supplement its Accessibility Guidelines under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) with scoping and technical requirements for electric vehicle charging stations.
47 44 https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-03500/p-385 45 https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2023-03500/p-465 46 The Access Board, “Design Recommendations for Accessible Electric Vehicle Charging Stations” last updated 7/21/2022, Accessed 3/13/2023 https://www.access-board.gov/tad/ev/ 47 The Access Board, “Accessibility Guidelines for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations,” RIN: 3014-AA48, Fall 2022,Accessed 2/13/2023 https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=202210&RIN=3014-AA48
ANSI EVSP Roadmap of Standards and Codes for Electric Vehicles at Scale Page 101 of 170
The DOE Clean Cities Coalition Network provides best practices for installing ADA-compliant EV charging stations. 48
In addition, the California Division of the State Architect has developed accessibility requirements for EV charging, which are part of the California Building Code. 49
The 2021 International Building Code® (IBC®), section 1107, provides that no less than 5% of vehicle spaces at an EV charging site, and not fewer than one space for each type of EV charging system, shall be accessible. 50 This is not required for R-2, R-3, and R-4 occupancies. In terms of standards activity, ICC A117.1—2017 Accessible And Usable Buildings And Facilities, section 502.11, provides requirements that EV charging stations comply with requirements for operable parts (card readers) and are free of obstructions between the charging station and the adjacent parking space. 51 As noted, there is some policy activity anticipated. At this time, no codes and standards gap has been identified.
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- EV Range launch of fast chargers for electric vehicles in California.(Opens in a new browser tab)