Healthcare kiosks are, now more than ever, a valuable tool for serving more patients without the need for up close staff interaction. They can be used for checking in patients and gathering symptom information for efficient triage purposes. They can also be used to measure patient blood pressure or heart rate, temperature, and other diagnostic information. Moreover, healthcare kiosks are also helpful for educating patients, collecting health insurance information, and scheduling future services.
Making a healthcare kiosk accessible not only improves patient care, but is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities regarding public accommodations and the court has defined public accommodation to include (in title III) service establishments including healthcare facilities.
Creating an accessible healthcare kiosk
Disabilities, according to the ADA, can be physical (motor skills), cognitive (intellectual), low to no vision, low to no hearing, and more. But before addressing software accessibility, the first step to creating an accessible healthcare kiosk should be to make the kiosk physically accessible. The ability to access the kiosk by users in a wheelchair is required by the ADA. It outlines specific compliance guidelines like the height of operable parts, the viewing angle, and the approach area for accessing the kiosk — which must also be accessible via a wheelchair. The approach area requires a clear path without stairs, uneven flooring, or objects to obstruct access.
Once physical accessibility has been established, turn your attention to another an equally important component: software. The kiosk application must also be accessible for use by someone who is blind or has low vision. The kiosk needs to have a screen reader, such as JAWS® for kiosk to turn text to speech. Some examples of accessible kiosks can be found in this video.
Touchscreens may be difficult for people with disabilities, so an external input/navigation device is also useful to allow users to engage with a kiosk without using a touchscreen. The kiosk application must be developed to ensure it can be easily navigated and understood when read through a screen reader. WCAG 2.1 AA standards are application and website guidelines for accessibility. Following those guidelines with a healthcare check-in app, for instance, will make it easier for a blind or low vision user to understand and navigate the kiosk app. Learn more about selecting the right input device for your accessible kiosk.
Some things to consider when planning your accessible healthcare kiosk
What application will you be using? Is it already accessible? If yes, can you improve usability for kiosk users?
Is the kiosk hardware ADA compliant for height and reach specifications?
Does the kiosk include an input device that has an audio jack? Oftentimes, there is no effect on audio jacks built in audio jacks when headphones are inserted. Using an input device that includes an audio jack will allow JAWS to turn off and on based on the presence of the headphones.
Are you providing all information in a way that is accessible to all users, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing, and those who are blind or who have low vision? That includes any PDFs that are being read on the screen, videos in need of captioning, and document signing for HIPAA compliance.
Kiosk Accessibility: Selecting the Correct Input Device
Posted on Thursday, 5 March 2020 by Matt Ater of Vispero
One of the key things to consider when striving to make your kiosk accessible is selecting the appropriate input device. Unsurprisingly, a touch screen may not be the right input for people with disabilities. While someone may be able to use an iPhone touch screen, it doesn’t mean they can navigate a self-service kiosk with touch screen navigation. Instead, other methods of input must be identified in order to allow someone to successfully interact with the kiosk.
We know that many ATMs use touch screens today. Additionally, they have also incorporated a (numeric) telephone keypad. Some even have additional buttons located on the sides of the screens. When using an ATM, a person who is blind would initiate the use of the keypad by inserting headphones. This turns on the text to speech mode and allows for interaction to occur through the numeric keypad instead of the touch screen. The customer will be given options like “press 1 for withdraw” and “would you like a receipt? Press 1 for Yes and 2 for No”.
In this scenario, it makes sense in an ATM to use a numeric keypad. If the user needs to type in numbers, they are at their fingertips.
Let’s look at something more complex. If a user were to utilize a self-service kiosk to check-in at the airport, it may be more useful to include arrow keys and a select key. The user would still need a headphone jack for the text to speech. There are several commonly used input devices by Storm Interface used at airports today.
I recently used one of these airline kiosks to check-in to my flight and check a bag. I won’t discuss the overall experience of the check-in process and some of the accessibility issues in this post, rather maintaining my focus on the input device available. One of the screens had a “select your destination airport” input. As a low vision user, this required me to use right or left arrows to navigate through the alphabet and press select on the three letters of my airport code. This input option was suitable, though it did take some time to complete. In this scenario, with limited input needs, it is not practical to provide a QWERTY keyboard for data input.
Next, let’s discuss quick serve restaurant (QSR) kiosk experiences. In this example, you have a kiosk which displays menus that change throughout the day, depending on the meal being served. Let’s imagine a user wants to select a breakfast sandwich and a cup of coffee. The screen has 10 choices on the left. One of the choices is breakfast. In this case a user who is blind or has low vision could use something like the AudioNav or AudioNav EF for data input. Both have small footprints and include a headphone jack. They have Arrow keys with a Select key in the middle. The user could press the Right Arrow to move forward until they hear “Breakfast”. Once they press the Select button, they would have 25 different items to choose from. The Right Arrow could be used again until they hear the filter for breakfast sandwiches. Again, the Right Arrow is pressed until they hear “Sandwich” and press the Select key again. If the customer uses headphones and the kiosk is enabled with text to speech, they should hear “one breakfast sandwich added to your cart”. This example shows how using something with Arrow keys and a Select key will allow the user to move through a self-service application such as a QSR app.
What other types of input could you encounter?
Let’s consider a healthcare clinic. If a patient were to check into a healthcare clinic via a self-service kiosk, it is likely they would be entering a significant amount of personal data. In this case they may be required to their name, birth date, medical number, and more. A touchscreen with onscreen keyboard would not be a good option for this type of entry. Instead, the kiosk should include a QWERTY keyboard and headphone jack for audio.
Kiosk deployers will want to do proper testing with end-users on the selection of an appropriate QWERTY keyboard. Important features for the keyboard to include may be proper markings on home row keys. Additionally, arrow keys should have proper spacing around them.
Where might you use a numeric or telephone keypad on a kiosk?
A numeric keypad may be useful in ticket or theater kiosks. Many theaters today require patrons to select a seat when purchasing a ticket. In this case it may make sense to explore alternative input devices, such as a numeric or telephone keypad with a headphone jack. This input option would be similar to the one found at an ATM, where pressing numbers on the keypad allows the user to make a selection.
The primary thing to consider when selecting an input device for self-service kiosk use is to understand the kiosk application workflow and what type of user interaction and input will be required. Ensure that testing includes people with disabilities. In addition, it is important that the application is tested for functional accessibility and all input and selection items should meet WCAG AA.
Take a look at JAWS Kiosk and what it offers. Read more about kiosk accessibility from the JAWS Kiosk team.
Need help with your specific accessibility needs? Contact Us
JAWS Kiosk Video and Selecting Correct Input Device for Accessibility was last modified: March 14th, 2020 by News Editor
By Laura Boniello Miller, Corporate Business Development Manager for the JAWS Kiosk program at Vispero, parent company of The Paciello Group – 02/26/2020
People with disabilities travel and dine out just like everyone else. Research conducted by the Open Doors Organization in 2015 found that “more than 26 million adults with disabilities traveled for pleasure and/or business, taking 73 million trips.” This spending has a significant impact on the travel industry, but sometimes the technology employed by hotels and restaurants is not accommodating to people with disabilities. This offers hospitality an excellent opportunity to employ self-service technology that will improve their disabled guest’s experience and capture more of their spending power with accommodations and services that support this group.
From The Source — thanks to Ross of Qwick Media for pointing this out! Great post on assistive navigation for the blind using their mobile phones as intelligent cameras basically.
This post was written by Doreen Morrissey of Metro’s Office of Extraordinary Innovation and Armando Roman of Metro’s Office of Civil Rights.
Navigating through Union Station can prove challenging to even the most resourceful traveler, let alone somebody who is blind or visually impaired. While sighted travelers rely on signage and visual cues, blind and partially sighted people often seek tactile pathways to guide them. Given that installing tactile pathways at Union Station’s is challenging due to the historic landmark status of the station, Metro was open to alternative wayfinding solutions.
Last year, NaviLenssubmitted an unsolicited proposal to test an innovative, audio wayfinding technology—via Metro’s Unsolicited Proposal (UP) process. The UP process unlocks innovation by allowing outside parties to submit concepts to Metro. Review teams from across the agency evaluate the proposal, and if they determine there is financial and/or technical merit, the proposal moves forward. The UP process often leads to small scale pilots or proofs of concept so Metro can test concepts and emerging technologies. In this case, OEI and the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) reviewed the NaviLens technology and decided the proposal merited a proof of concept.
NaviLens was developed through a partnership between Mobile Vision Research Lab at the University of Alicante in Spain and the Spanish startup Neosistic. The technology consists of a set of colored pixelated tags (similar to QR codes) and an accompanying smartphone app. A user’s smartphone camera scans the surroundings for tags while the app recites the tag’s stored information. Each tag is strategically placed and individually programmed with wayfinding information including distance and direction to platforms, transit arrival and departure information, and ticket kiosks and restroom locations. The technology is powerful—a five-inch tag can be read from up to 39 feet away, in a 30th of a second, while the camera is in motion, and without even focusing.
This past October, Metro began testing NaviLens in Union Station. Tags were placed throughout Union Station, creating audio pathways to the B (Red), D (Purple), and L (Gold) Line platforms, Amtrak and Metrolink platforms, and Patsaouras Bus Plaza, and identifying ticket vending machines, fare gates, elevators, and emergency telephones. The pilot team included multiple Metro departments and other partners-OEI, OCR, Metro’s Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC), Metro’s General Services, Morlin Property Management, Amalgamated Transit Union and the British Royal National Institute of Blind People. Throughout the pilot, NaviLens has been praised by blind and visually impaired test users. “I would feel more comfortable traveling by myself if this was available everywhere” and “This feels similar to what sighted people can do, being able to see signage” were some of the comments Metro received from the test group.
The NaviLens technology is gaining traction. It is currently deployed at bus stops and metro stations of the Barcelona and Madrid transit systems, has been endorsed by the Britain’s Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), and was recently studied as part of NYCMTA Accessible Station Lab pilot.
This isn’t the first wayfinding technology for blind and visually impaired people that Metro has piloted. Last spring, OCR conducted a pilot with Wayfindr, an audio navigation technology which pairs Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons with a smartphone app. As assistive technologies continue to evolve, Metro welcomes the development of aids that improve the autonomy of blind and visually impaired travelers in Union Station.
Want to explore yourself? Download the free NaviLens app and give it a try. We’d love to hear what you think.
MORE ABOUT NAVILENS
Where is NaviLens
Metropolitan Transportation Authority (New York Metro)
NaviLens code marker at Jay St platform
In this station, over 100 NaviLens codes: (1) Help the visually-impaired users to be more independent in unknow spaces,
(2) Guide all users indoors through virtual arrows in a very innovative Augmented Reality (AR) experience, without GPS or Bluetooth,
(3) Offer real-time train arrivals information scanning any NaviLens code,
(4) And all of these features in 24 languages, breaking language barriers of all subway users.
It’s a revolution for indoor navigation where it’s not possible to use GPS or other computer-vision methods.
NaviLens code at Jay St MetroTech Station entrance.
Audible information for visually-impaired users scanning the code far away.
Augmented reality technology based on proprietary computer vision technology.
A 10 inches NaviLens code can be read up to 60 feet away in 0.03 seconds, covering 160° degrees.
Two Apps Available to interact with this new technology:
The NaviLens App helps visually-impaired users, who can scan the codes without needing to know exactly where they are, offering the same information as the signage very accurately.
The NaviLens GO App provides in-station navigation, trip planning information, train arrivals and service status information to help sighted users navigate the station and the system.
You can check by yourself how well the technology works, pointing your phone towards the photos of this email using any NaviLens Apps.
Real-time information scanning the code far away.
The code can be printed in any material, like vinyl and can be placed very high. The code can be scanned by a mobile phone up 80° degrees (Vertically & horizontally).
The code is very easy to implement at any space: As easy as emplacement the code over current signage.
Encoded Tags – Wayfinding technology at Union Station was last modified: February 26th, 2020 by News Editor
Vispero And Storm Interface Collaborate To Provide Accessible Interactive Kiosk Solution
December 4, 2019
CLEARWATER, Fla., Dec. 4, 2019 — Vispero, the world’s leading assistive technology provider for the visually impaired, is excited to share news of a partnership between Vispero and Storm Interface, combining the JAWS® screen reader with Storm’s assistive technology products to create the most accessible kiosk experience for users who are blind, have low vision, or limited dexterity.
According to Matt Ater, Vice President of Business Development at Vispero, “Storm Interface’s dedication to a usable and accessible experience equals Vispero’s ongoing mission to serve users who are blind or who have low vision. The partnership between Storm and Vispero brings together two leaders in assistive technology and establishes greater usability of kiosks.”
The kiosk version of JAWS software has added support to make it easier than ever to integrate Storm Assistive Technology devices into a kiosk solution. Peter Jarvis, Storm Interface Vice President, shares, “Storm is delighted with the additional functionality provided by the screen reader in JAWS. This additional functionality will deliver a more complete and accessible experience for users of Storm ATP (Assistive Technology Products).”
JAWS Kiosk features that support Storm-ATP Devices include the ability to autostart JAWS upon insertion of headphones, the delivery of a custom welcome message, standardized keypad integration, the ability to customize additional button functionality, and an auto stop/session end function upon the removal of headphones.
Mark Riccobono, President of the National Federation of the Blind states, “Members of the National Federation of the Blind applaud the collaboration between Vispero and Storm Interface toward the continued development and implementation of accessible kiosk systems. As kiosks are an ever-growing gateway to banking, shopping, accessing healthcare, and applying for and receiving public services, it is essential that the blind have access to these systems in order to live the lives we want. We appreciate that both Vispero and Storm Interface have been, and will continue to be, receptive to the feedback and recommendations of the nation’s blind.”
This collaboration will help kiosk manufacturers meet accessibility requirements for federal government, banking, healthcare, hospitality, retail, transportation, and more.
About Storm Storm Interface have designed and manufactured secure, rugged and reliable keypads, keyboards and interface devices for more than 30 years. Storm products are built to withstand rough use and abuse in unattended public-use and industrial applications. Storm Assistive Technology Products are recognized by the Royal National Institute for Blind People under their “RNIB Tried and Tested” program.
About JAWS Kiosk JAWS Kiosk is a collaboration between The Paciello Group (TPG) and Freedom Scientific (sister companies under Vispero) which provides JAWS screen reading software for kiosks, technical implementation, and consulting services.
Contact Laura Boniello Miller at email@example.com or your TPG sales representative for information.
Self Service ADA Accessibility Requirements and Quiz
Kiosk Industry and KMA are offering a free consultation for ADA and Accessibility for your self-service project. Also to assist, a downloadable PDF with current ADA, Section 508 and ACA regulations that are currently mandated.
Excerpt below —
Are your kiosks ADA-compliant? Typically prospects and customers will include a stipulation that the units be ADA-compliant. We see many requests for proposals from city, state and federal agencies where that one line is the only line about ADA.
Almost all kiosks are ADA-compliant, to a degree. Most all likely will observe basic reach requirements but that is only one of over 30 standing regulations concerning hardware. And there are another 30 or so which apply to the software and interface.
So, go ahead and test your knowledge. You can also schedule a free consultation.
Vispero is the world’s largest assistive technology provider for the visually impaired. Although officially formed in 2016, our brands Freedom Scientific, Enhanced Vision, Optelec, and The Paciello Group, share a long, rich history as industry leaders dating back to 1975.
We develop and deliver innovative solutions that enable blind and low vision individuals to reach their full potential – to gain an education, obtain employment, succeed in professional careers, and live independently throughout their lives.
Vispero is proud to operate in 90 countries worldwide, with products localized in over 24 languages.
As the prevalence of age-related eye diseases like macular degeneration steadily rise, assistive technology plays an increasingly vital role, resulting in a growing demand for low vision devices and services. Vispero is uniquely positioned to address these challenges head-on by providing the tools necessary to meet the needs of the low vision population through our far-reaching distribution network.
Our family of brands deliver a superior line of optical and video magnifiers; wearables; scanning and reading devices; and easy-to-use software. Vispero’s partnership with key organizations and advocacy groups keep us in the forefront of the low vision industry.
For More Information
Click here for our Contact page or complete the information below.
Every day, websites and mobile apps prevent people from using them. Ignoring accessibility is no longer a viable option.
How do you prevent your company from being a target for a website accessibility ADA lawsuit?
Guidelines for websites wanting to be accessible to people with disabilities have existed for nearly two decades thanks to the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative.
A close cousin to usability and user experience design, accessibility improves the overall ease of use for webpages and mobile applications by removing barriers and enabling more people to successfully complete tasks.
We know now that disabilities are only one area that accessibility addresses.
Most companies do not understand how people use their website or mobile app, or how they use their mobile or assistive tech devices to complete tasks.
Even riskier is not knowing about updates in accessibility guidelines and new accessibility laws around the world.
Investing in Website Accessibility Is a Wise Marketing Decision
Internet marketers found themselves taking accessibility seriously when their data indicated poor conversions. They discovered that basic accessibility practices implemented directly into content enhanced organic SEO.
Many marketing agencies include website usability and accessibility reviews as part of their online marketing strategy for clients because a working website performs better and generates more revenue.
Adding an accessibility review to marketing service offerings is a step towards avoiding an ADA lawsuit, which of course, is a financial setback that can destroy web traffic and brand loyalty.
Convincing website owners and companies of the business case for accessibility is difficult. One reason is the cost. Will they see a return on their investment?
I would rather choose to design an accessible website over paying for defense lawyers and losing revenue during remediation work.
Another concern is the lack of skilled developers trained in accessibility. Do they hire someone or train their staff?
Regardless of whether an accessibility specialist is hired or in-house developers are trained in accessibility, the education never ends.
Specialists are always looking for solutions and researching options that meet guidelines. In other words, training never ends.
Many companies lack an understanding of what accessibility is and why it is important. They may not know how or where to find help.
Accessibility advocates are everywhere writing articles, presenting webinars, participating in podcasts, and writing newsletters packed with tips and advice.
ADA lawsuits make the news nearly every day in the U.S. because there are no enforceable regulations for website accessibility. This is not the case for government websites.
Federal websites must adhere to Section 508 by law. State and local websites in the U.S. are required to check with their own state to see what standards are required.
Most will simply follow Section 508 or WCAG2.1 AAA guidelines.
If your website targets customers from around the world, you may need to know the accessibility laws in other countries. The UK and Canada, for example, are starting to enforce accessibility.
Access Board to Hold Town Hall Meeting and Training in Indianapolis on May 21
The Access Board will hold a town hall meeting in Indianapolis on the afternoon of May 21 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The event will provide an open forum where members of the public can pose questions to the Board or share comments or concerns about accessibility for people with disabilities. There also will be panel discussions with area speakers on accessible recreation and outdoor environments, the Indiana AgrAbility Project, and local compliance initiatives under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The event will take place in the Pacers Square Room at Bankers Life Fieldhouse from 2:00 pm to 4:30 pm. Registration is not required. An assistive listening system, computer assisted real-time transcription (CART), and sign language interpreters will be available. Attendees are requested to refrain from using perfume, cologne, and other fragrances for the comfort of all participants. The meeting will not be streamed online, but there will be a call-in option and streaming CART.
Earlier in the day, the Board will also offer free training sessions on the ADA Accessibility Standards at the town hall site. There will be a program on how to apply the standards and common sources of confusion (9:00 am – 10:30 am). This will be followed by a session on recreation facilities and outdoor sites (10:45 am – 12:15 pm). Advance registration is not required, and participants can attend either or both sessions. Qualified attendees can earn continuing education credits (1.5 per session) from the American Institute of Architects.
At its March meeting, the Board unanimously elected Board Member Karen Tamley as its new Chair. Tamley just completed a term as Vice Chair of the Board and has served as the Commissioner of the Chicago Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities since 2005.
“I am honored to serve as the Chair of such a dedicated agency that is a true force for change and that has done so much to advance accessibility both in the U.S. and abroad,” she stated after the vote. “I look forward to working with Board members and staff in the year ahead.”
Tamley joined the Board in 2015 as a public member. As head of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, she leads numerous disability policy and compliance initiatives in transportation, city infrastructure, emergency preparedness, housing, schools and technology, and other areas. She also oversees the delivery of independent living services to city residents.
She succeeds Lance Robertson who represents the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the Board and who was named Vice Chair by acclamation. He serves as Assistant Secretary for Aging at HHS and heads its Administration for Community Living and previously was Director of Aging Services at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.
Board officers serve for a term of one year. The Board is structured to function as a coordinating body among Federal agencies and to directly represent the public, particularly people with disabilities. Half of its members are representatives from most of the Federal departments. The other half is comprised of members of the public appointed by the President.
Ensuring that public streets and sidewalks are accessible to people with disabilities can be a challenge, especially since accessibility guidelines for public rights-of-way have yet to be finalized. The next webinar in the Board’s free monthly series will take place June 6 from 2:30 – 4:00 (ET) and will be devoted to answering the various questions that come up in addressing access to sidewalks and street crossings, pedestrian signals, on-street parking, roundabouts, transit stops and other components of public rights-of-way as well as shared use paths. Board Accessibility Specialists will answer questions submitted in advance or during the live webinar and offer guidance, solutions, and best practices based on guidelines the Board proposed for public rights-of-way. Attendees are encouraged to submit their questions in advance.
Visit www.accessibilityonline.org for more information or to register for the webinar. Webinar attendees can earn continuing education credits. The 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.
Section 508 Best Practices Webinar The Board also offers a free webinar series on its Section 508 Standards for ICT in the federal sector. The next webinar in this series will be held May 28 from 1:00 to 2:30 (ET) and will review the Trusted Tester for Web and highlight significant updates. Developed by Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Accessible Systems and Technology in coordination with other agencies, the Trusted Tester Process provides a scalable, repeatable, accurate process for evaluating web and software products for conformance with the 508 Standards.
Representatives from the Board and DHS will review the latest edition (Version 5) which supports the revised Section 508 Standards and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (2.0). Trusted Tester 5.0 improves the format, flow, and construction of the evaluation process and test conditions. Presenters will discuss the new testing tool, the Accessible Name and Description Inspector (ANDI), and how it aids testers with code inspection-based testing. They will also cover the availability of DHS online training and certification. Questions can be submitted in advance of the session or can be posed during the webinar.
Visit the webinar site for further information 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. Prior webinars can be accessed on the site.
Poland Creates Entity Modeled after the U.S. Access Board
The Polish government has established an agency to promote accessibility that is modeled after the U.S. Access Board. Created in December, the Accessibility Council is responsible for reviewing laws and regulations and making recommendations to the government on implementing a sweeping new law to advance accessibility nationwide. The Council is comprised of 50 members representing ministries and government bodies, disability groups, and academia and meets quarterly. The Council will play a lead role in implementing the Accessibility Plus Program, an new measure that aims to make Poland a leader in accessibility by eliminating barriers in architecture, transportation, education, health care, digital and other services.
Poland’s Minister of Investment and Development Jerzy Kwieciński, who heads the Accessibility Council, credits the work of the U.S. Access Board and a speaking tour by Board Executive Director David Capozzi as the inspiration for the new entity. At the Council’s inaugural meeting in February, he recognized the Access Board’s influence and stated, “I believe that now Poland will become a model for other countries.” He supports a study tour of the U.S. for Council staff, including further consultations with the Board.
Capozzi travelled throughout Poland in 2017 as part of State Department’s speaker program to share the American experience in ensuring accessibility for people with various disabilities. During his weeklong stay in Warsaw, Gdynia, Gdańsk, and Kraków, he met with national and local authorities, advocacy groups, and other representatives, some of whom were instrumental in creating the Council. Capozzi discussed achievements and challenges of ensuring accessibility in the U.S. and shared lessons learned. He participated in dialogues on different aspects of accessibility, including the built environment, information and communication technology, employment, enforcement, and the important role standards play, among other topics.
“It was an honor to travel to Poland on behalf of the State Department and our embassy to meet with those leading the effort to make the country a model for accessibility,” states Capozzi. “The Board looks forward to learning more about their efforts and achievements and exploring how we can further advance accessibility in both our countries.”
In Warsaw, Board Executive Director David Capozzi (right) met with Senate Member Jan Filip Libicki and others.
Legislation was recently introduced in Congress to supplement the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) which prohibits discrimination in air transportation. Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) submitted bills in the House (H. R. 1549) and Senate (S. 669) to amend the ACAA to further improve access at airports and on aircraft. The bills would create accessibility standards for new airplanes, require removal of barriers on existing airplanes where readily achievable, strengthen enforcement mechanisms, including establishment of a private right of action and enhance safety.
Under these measures, the Access Board would be responsible for issuing standards for aircraft and equipment for boarding and deplaning, including seating accommodations, lavatories, stowage of assistive devices, announcements, and in-flight entertainment and video displays. The standards also would address airports, including ticketing counters, gates, customer service desks, audible announcements, kiosks, and websites. The bills were referred to the appropriate House and Senate committees for consideration.
In addition, under a law passed last year, the Department of Transportation (DOT) began reporting data on the number of passenger wheelchairs and scooters that are damaged or mishandled by airlines on a monthly basis. A total of 701 (2.18%) wheelchairs and scooters were damaged last December, an average of more than 25 a day, as reported in DOT’s monthly Air Travel Consumer Report (February issue). The total for January was 681 (2.06%) and for February was 593 (1.7%).
In a statement, Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who authored the law said, “Every airline passenger deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, but too often they aren’t. Travelers should be able to find out if certain airlines have high rates of breaking wheelchairs and other equipment that people depend on, just like we can find out if certain airlines have high rates of flight delays or cancellations.”
Further information on this reporting is posted on DOT’s website.
Guidelines for Voting Systems Available for Public Comment
Federal guidelines for voting systems implemented under the Help America Vote Act are currently available for public comment. Issued by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) provide principles and criteria for assessing the basic functionality, accessibility, and security of voting equipment.
The EAC released the document, referred to as VVSG 2.0, on February 28 for a 90-day comment period, as indicated in a notice published in the Federal Register. The VVSG 2.0 updates guidelines first issued in 2005 and revised in 2015 and features a new streamlined structure comprised of high-level system design goals with broad descriptions of the functions that make up voting systems. The proposal also includes moving technical requirements and test assertions to separate documents that detail how voting systems can meet the new Principles and Guidelines in order to obtain certification. Those requirements and test assertions will be made available for public comment at a later date. The EAC seeks comments on all sections of the Principles and Guidelines including the proposed restructuring. Comments are due May 29.
Updated VPAT Now Available from the IT Industry Council
The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) maintains a free reporting tool known as the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) to help determine whether information and communication technology products and services satisfy accessibility requirements, including the Section 508 Standards. ITI recently released revised editions of the VPAT (2.3) based on the Board’s revised 508 Standards (VPAT 2.3 508), including the referenced Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0). It also offers VPATs for WCAG 2.1 (VPAT 2.3 WCAG), the European Union’s ICT requirements (VPAT 2.3 EU), and another based on all three (VPAT 2.3 INT).
AudioEye works with companies to ensure their digital content is accessible to users of all abilities.
Approximately 15-percent of the world’s population has some form of disability, whether visual, hearing, cognitive or motor. And if not coded correctly, digital content is simply inaccessible to this population.
Committed to equal access for all, AudioEye has revolutionized the way in which businesses and organizations achieve and sustain digital inclusion … any time on any device. Its patented solution identifies and remediates accessibility issues with both automated and manual testing and engineering, and provides continuous monitoring to ensure digital content meets – or exceeds – legal compliance with ADA-related laws.
We are inviting any and all Retail companies to become a member of our Retail Advisory Council. There is no cost and you are partitioned in a “safe harbor”. A distinct group segment from the actual kiosk manufacturers, or the installation and logistics companies, the financing companies or the companies providing components.
We here at the Kiosk Manufacturers Association work and talk ADA and Accessibility. Once a year we meet with the U.S. Access Board. To make it easier for our suggestions and inputs to be accepted we have a wide interest Working Group. Help us meet the standards by participating with us. It’s no cost.
If interested in more send us a note.
Here are first 10 stipulations for ANSI Requirements along with a full copy at the end.
ANSI Essential Requirements: Due process requirements for American National Standards
1.0 Essential requirements for due process These requirements apply to activities related to the development of consensus for approval, revision, reaffirmation, and withdrawal of American National Standards (ANS).
Due process means that any person (organization, company, government agency, individual, etc.) with a direct and material interest has a right to participate by: a) expressing a position and its basis, b) having that position considered, and c) having the right to appeal. Due process allows for equity and fair play. The following constitute the minimum acceptable due process requirements for the development of consensus.
1.1 Openness Participation shall be open to all persons who are directly and materially affected by the activity in question. There shall be no undue financial barriers to participation. Voting membership on the consensus body shall not be conditional upon membership in any organization, nor unreasonably restricted on the basis of technical qualifications or other such requirements.
1.2 Lack of dominance The standards development process shall not be dominated by any single interest category, individual or organization. Dominance means a position or exercise of dominant authority, leadership, or influence by reason of superior leverage, strength, or representation to the exclusion of fair and equitable consideration of other viewpoints.
1.3 Balance The standards development process should have a balance of interests. Participants from diverse interest categories shall be sought with the objective of achieving balance. If a consensus body lacks balance in accordance with the historical criteria for balance, and no specific alternative formulation of balance was approved by the ANSI Executive Standards Council, outreach to achieve balance shall be undertaken.
1.4 Coordination and harmonization Good faith efforts shall be made to resolve potential conflicts between and among existing American National Standards and candidate American National Standards.
1.5 Notification of standards development Notification of standards activity shall be announced in suitable media as appropriate to demonstrate an opportunity for participation by all directly and materially affected persons.
1.6 Consideration of views and objections Prompt consideration shall be given to the written views and objections of all participants, including those commenting on the PINS announcement or public comment listing in Standards Action.
1.7 Consensus vote Evidence of consensus in accordance with these requirements and the accredited procedures of the standards developer shall be documented.
1.8 Appeals Written procedures of an ANSI-Accredited Standards Developer (ASD) shall contain an identifiable, realistic, and readily available appeals mechanism for the impartial handling of procedural appeals regarding any action or inaction. Procedural appeals include whether a technical issue was afforded due process.
1.9 Written procedures Written procedures shall govern the methods used for standards development and shall be available to any interested person.
1.10 Compliance with normative American National Standards policies and administrative procedures All ANSI-Accredited Standards Developers (ASDs) are required to comply with the normative policies and administrative procedures established by the ANSI Executive Standards Council or its designee.
Audio NavPad we guess that is being tested by companies like Amazon and others [Storm Technology]
Haptic touchscreen with programmable friction [Mimo Monitors]
It was a full agenda and there were several takeways. Also KMA provided sample Smart City RFPs from actual requests to help the Access Board gain a better understanding of the role of ADA and Accessibility in those types of projects.
One of the agenda items was to introduce to the Access Board our new ADA and Accessibility Co-Chairs Laura Miller and Randy Amundson.
Mega-grocer teams with Google Assistant for contextual commerce
The Kroger Co. is furthering its efforts in contextual commerce by adopting voice-assistant technology for ordering groceries online.
Customers can interact with their Kroger Grocery Pickup cart via an action in the Google Assistant voice app – which can be accessed through iOS, Android and Google Assistant devices, Kroger Technology announced on its LinkedIn page. Activating the service is as simple as saying “Hey, Google” into the device.
The service has launched so far in six Kroger-owned banners: Fred Meyer, Fry’s Food and Drug, QFC, King Soopers, City Market, and Ralphs. It will arrive at additional banners later this year and throughout 2019.
By Craig Keefner — See Storm’s entire range of Assistive Technology Products (ATP) and find out more about exciting new product launches scheduled for later this year. These ATP devices are ADA compliant and RNIB Accredited, designed to offer menu navigation by means of audible content description. They allow users with impaired vision, reading difficulties or impaired fine motor skills to navigate through menus or directories that would typically be presented on a visual display or touch screen. Designed for use as the tactile/audio interface for any accessible self-service application such as kiosks, ticketing machines etc.
Last week we went thru a demonstration of gesture technology for kiosk for use by handicapped users. People unable to move their arms. People unable to speak.
People with ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Spinal Cord Injury, Parkinsons, Cerebral Palsy and even some cases of Arthritis.
Furthermore, some people may not be able to use voice either, or even if they could, there may be noise or privacy concerns preventing use of voice.
We had a YouTube video created for us which demonstrates 3 different ways in which a user can choose buttons on a kiosk screen in a totally hands-free and voice-free fashion via use of head motion and/or smiling.
We get asked about configuring the Storm NavPad and it comes with API/SDK which lets programmers configure it. In Windows you can even light the lights so to speak. There are firms that specialize in assisting with that exact sort of thing (listed on our ADA page).
Another less software intensive is to use a lockdown such as KioWare. See the screenshots below.
See below — the Accessibility screen for turning on Nav-Pad support. Also, where you turn on JAWS and ZoomText. Turning Nav-Pad on automatically creates Hotkeys for all the NavPad keys.
Here are all the hotkeys
And here we show all the different ways to configure a Hotkey. The ‘Perform this action:’ list box has ~20 predefined actions: Begin/Renew Session, Copy, Paste, Toggle Virt Kbd, Volume Up/Down, etc…
ADA Accessibility Tip – Integrating Storm NavPad was last modified: June 28th, 2018 by News Editor
The research found that today around a quarter (24%) of respondents would rather use voice assistants than a website. However, in the next three years, this figure will rise to 40%. Close to a third – 31% – said they will prefer a voice assistant interaction to visiting a shop or a bank branch, compared to 20% today.
Here are some of the more interesting gadgets adding voice-assistant capabilities.
Tell your mirror to start your shower
Kohler’s Vendera mirror is the only one of its connected-bathroom products with microphones to hear Alexa commands. It has waterproof speakers, so you can ask it to play music or the news. You can also ask it to control the PerfectFill bathtub or start the DTV shower. And, of course, you can ask it to flush the $5,625 Numi toilet for you. The products are all due out later this year.
Soothe your baby
Project Nursery Smart Baby Monitor System is a $229 setup that lets you tend to you baby with voice controls. You can ask Alexa to play white noise in the baby’s room while you’re reading in another. Similarly, the Nanit baby monitor, $299, will track your child’s sleep in detail. You can ask Alexa how long the baby slept last night or when she woke up.
Feed the cat without seeing the cat
Your pet is hungry. You don’t want to stand up. Ask Alexa or Google Assistant to release some chow on the $149 Petnet SmartFeeder 2.0. The voice assistants can also share updates about a pet’s eating habits and, if you have a connected camera, take photos of them while they’re eating.
Tell your cleaning robot it missed a spot
The Aeolus robot will be able mop or vacuum, pick up your messes, and detect human movements — such as a senior citizen falling. The robot, which is currently a prototype, will have Alexa and Google Voice integrated so you can tell it what to clean while you do lazy human things.
Turn your surveillance robot into a radio
Lynx is a smaller, cuter robot that can double as an $800 Amazon Echo. It can hear all the regular Alexa commands, and tell you the weather, news, or trivia. The robot is primarily meant for security, and uses facial recognition to spot and record intruders. Lynx can also act as a rolling video-conference robot if you want a far-away family member to feel like they’re in the room.
Ask your fridge to buy milk
The LG InstaView ThinkQ refrigerator has a giant 29-inch screen on the door, so you already know it’s dying to be the fridge of the future. LG actually added Alexa powers to a fridge last year. Now it’s making the various devices (fridge, stove, dishwasher) communicate with each other as well.
Pre-heat the oven
Also in the kitchen, Google Assistant and Alexa can control a Jenn-Air connected oven. You can switch the temperature while something is cooking or turn it off altogether.
Feel less lonely in your augmented reality glasses
The $1,000 Vuzix augmented reality smart-glasses will have a microphone built in so you can ask Alexa any of the usual questions. It will whisper replies in your ear, but also show some visual answers, such as weather, on the glasses’ heads-up display.
U.S. Access Board Issues Correction to ICT Refresh Final Rule
The U.S. Access Board has issued a correction to its updated accessibility requirements for information and communication technology (ICT) to restore provisions on TTY access that were inadvertently omitted. The action applies to the final rule the Board published last January to jointly refresh its Rehabilitation Act (Section 508) standards for ICT in the federal sector and its Communications Act (Section 255) guidelines for telecommunications equipment.
The original Section 508 standards and Section 255 guidelines required that devices with two-way voice communication support use of TTY devices which provide text communication across phone connections for persons with hearing or speech impairments. In its ICT refresh, the Board had proposed replacing this provision with a requirement for real-time text (RTT) functionality, a new technology with significant advantages over TTYs. RTT transmits text in virtual real-time as each character is typed, whereas TTY messages can only be sent individually in sequence. Also, RRT technology is directly compatible with wireless and Internet protocol (IP) based networks.
In finalizing its rule, however, the Board chose to reserve the RTT requirement because the Federal Communications Commission had initiated its own rulemaking to address RTT functionality over TTY compatibility in IP-based telecommunication environments. In doing so, the Board intended to add the original TTY provision back into the rule, but the necessary language was unintentionally left out. The recent correction restores the TTY requirement with minor editorial changes for consistency with the new format and terminology of the updated requirements (Section 412.8). It also corrects a couple typographical errors in other sections of the rule. The corrections become effective March 23, 2018 without further action unless adverse comments are received within 30 days.
ADA – U.S. Access Board Issues Correction to ICT Refresh Final Rule was last modified: January 22nd, 2018 by News Editor
How To Configure Storm Interface Accessibility NavBar NavPad
Here are some quick notes on configuring Storm Interface products.
The functionality of the Nav-Bar is the same as that for all of Storm’s ATP products.
It enumerates as a combined HID/audio device, so no special drivers or software is required. Connection to the host system is via a single USB cable. When a headset is inserted into the audio jack or a button is pressed, the keypad transmits a unique keycode to the host system. Upon receipt of the keycode, the host system must de designed such that it will act appropriately. For example, upon receipt of the keycode for ‘Jack In’ then the audio should start playing.
The products dispatched from the factory are configured to use the default key code tables (as shown in the attached, which is a page from the product’s technical manual). If required, these keycodes can be changed by the customer by using a free software utility provided by Storm. This software utility is available to download from Storm’s website here:
RNIB Testing Confirms Compliance with ADA Requirements
With so much conflicting information about what manufacturers should do to ensure compliance with ADA, Storm Interface approached the RNIB for guidance and confirmation of conformance.
The Royal National Institute for Blind People provide laboratory testing and accreditation services to the World Blind Union and are one of the world’s (if not the most) recognized authorities in the accessibility sector. Storm had previously been commended by the RNIB for their work in achieving accessibility, but thought it best to specifically confirm compliance with ADA.
The following is a copy of their conclusions. These were drawn after completion of a comprehensive test program and assessment of Storm’s assistive technology product range. Storm is proud to have been recognized by the Royal National Institute for Blind People under their “RNIB Tried and Tested” program.
RNIB have assessed the various Storm keypads for compliance with the ADA standard for input devices (707.6) and our findings are summarised below. The Storm keyboards included are:
1. NavBar a. Black with coloured keys EZB6-63000 b. Black with white keys EZB6-53000 c. Silver-grey with coloured keys EZB6-73002 d. Silver-grey with white keys EZB6-43000
2. NavPad a. 5 Button EZ05-23001 b. 6 Button EZ06-23001 c. 8 Button EZ08-23001
3. AudioNav 1406-33001
707.6.1 Input Controls. The ADA states: “At least one tactilely discernible input control shall be provided for each function. Where provided, key surfaces not on active areas of display screens, shall be raised above surrounding surfaces. Where membrane keys are the only method of input, each shall be tactilely discernible from surrounding surfaces and adjacent keys.”
RNIB assessment: 1. NavBar (all models specified above) The Nav-Bar has 6 raised buttons in different shapes. The buttons are easy to feel and press and have tactile markings on them as well to help with identification. Conclusion: RNIB believes this passes the ADA requirements
2. NavPad (5, 6 or 8 keys) The Nav-Pad comes in three different designs and had 5, 6 or 8 buttons in different shapes. The buttons are easy to feel and press and have tactile markings on them as well to help with identification. Conclusion: RNIB believes this passes the ADA requirements
3. AudioNav The silver Audio-Nav has 5 buttons around a centre button. There are tactile markings on each of the 4 arrow buttons and a tactile circle on the centre OK button. The buttons are easy to feel. Conclusion: RNIB believes this passes the ADA requirements
707.6.2: Numeric keys. This is not applicable as there are no numeric keypads on the keyboards tested.
707.6.3.1 Contrast. The ADA states: “Function keys shall contrast visually from background surfaces. Characters and symbols on key surfaces shall contrast visually from key surfaces. Visual contrast shall be either light-on-dark or dark-on-light.”
RNIB assessment: RNIB assesses the colour contrast using simulation glasses developed by Cambridge University (http://www.inclusivedesigntoolkit.com/csg/csg.html). These glasses simulate a general loss of ability to see fine detail including cloudy vision. RNIB uses the benchmark given by the developers which indicates that the product excludes less than 1% of the population.
1. NavBar (all models specified above) The text and icons on the buttons have been tested with sim specs to simulate reduced contrast. The contrast passes in the sense that it ‘excludes less than 1% of the population’. For ADA we believe this will be sufficient.
The buttons on the black and the silver/grey Nav-Bar have been tested with the sim specs and it passes in the sense that it ‘excludes less than 1% of the population’. For ADA we believe this will be sufficient.
Conclusion: RNIB believes this passes the ADA requirements
2. NavPad The text and icons on the buttons have been tested with sim specs to simulate reduced contrast. The contrast passes in the sense that it ‘excludes less than 1% of the population’. For ADA we believe this will be sufficient.
The buttons on the brushed silver background have been tested with the sim specs and the contrast passes in the sense that they ‘exclude less than 1% of the population’. For ADA we believe this will be sufficient.
Conclusion: RNIB believes this passes the ADA requirements
3. AudioNav On the silver Audio-Nav the buttons have been tested with the sim specs and the contrast passes in the sense that they ‘exclude less than 1% of the population’. For ADA we believe this will be sufficient.
Conclusion: RNIB believes this passes the ADA requirements
707.6.3.2 Tactile Symbols. The standard states: “Function key surfaces shall have tactile symbols as follows: Enter or Proceed key: raised circle; Clear or Correct key: raised left arrow; Cancel key: raised letter ex; Add Value key: raised plus sign; Decrease Value key: raised minus sign.”
RNIB assessment: 1. NavBar The only button that this applies to is the round OK/Enter button. This button is round and has a tactile circle on the top. The tactile circle is very easy to feel. Conclusion: RNIB believes this passes the ADA requirements
2. NavPad The only button that this applies to is the round OK/Enter button. This button is round and has a tactile circle on the top. The tactile circle is very easy to feel. Conclusion: RNIB believes this passes the ADA requirements
3. AudioNav The OK button in the centre of the Audio-Nav has a tactile circle on it that is easy to feel. Conclusion: RNIB believes this passes the ADA requirements
Disclaimer RNIB has used its best endeavours to provide this opinion basing our results on the testing as specified above. RNIB cannot accept any responsibility or liability for claims made against this opinion.
Scott Lynch Managing Director – RNIB Solutions
ADA News – RNIB Testing Confirms Compliance with ADA Requirements was last modified: January 10th, 2018 by News Editor
MEDIA RELEASE Contact: Peter Jarvis Storm Interface Phone: +44 (0)1895 456200 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org London, England. January 2018 Web: www.storm-interface.com
Storm Interface and Tech for All build on a shared vision
As the ICT sector in the U.S. is challenged to conform with the ADA and other accessibility regulations, two leading experts are collaborating to offer compliant and effective solutions.
Aggressive and high profile class actions against well-known retailers, restaurant chains, vending machine operators, healthcare providers and major airlines have sent a cold shiver through businesses deploying touch-screen, self-service terminals. It is becoming clear that anything less than full compliance with both domestic and international mandates creates significant litigation risks. Inevitably this harms reputations and may lead to costly court-supervised settlements.
Many businesses are striving to make their products, services and infrastructure as accessible as they can possibly be and not just to achieve compliance. This forward thinking universal design approach improves usability for all users including those with sensory impairment or limited mobility. It improves efficiency, productivity, and enhances their relationship with the consumer.
Storm Interface and Tech for All, Inc. have announced a formal collaboration to help clients deliver accessible experiences for people with disabilities. Storm Interface is the UK manufacturer of audible system interfaces and content navigation devices. Tech for All is a leading US-based international consulting firm focused on the accessibility and universal design of electronic, information, and communication technologies.
“The inter-dependence of accessible hardware and effectively designed application software is obvious”, said Storm’s Peter Jarvis. “However, too often ICT designers and specifiers consider the two factors of accessibility separately, as if they were unrelated”. Storm works with specialist kiosk software developers to ensure that Storm’s USB-connected devices are universally supported throughout the ICT sector. By collaborating with established expert developers such as Tech for All, Storm is able to provide clients with a complete accessibility solution.
Tech for All’s Caesar Eghtesadi agrees, “Our collaborative development approach produces a synergistic accessible design that delivers a successful experience for all users, including those with disabilities. This coordinated development approach is more cost-effective and efficient than the current adapt-and-patch approach.”
About Storm Interface For more than 30 years Storm Interface have designed and manufactured secure, rugged and reliable keypads,keyboards and interface devices. Storm products are built to withstand rough use and abuse in unattended public-use and industrial applications. Storm Assistive Technology Products are recognized by the Royal National Institute for Blind People under their ‘RNIB Tried and Tested’ program.www.storm-interface.com
About Tech for All, Inc. Tech for All, Inc. has for over 16 years served small to Fortune 500 companies in several industries, educational institutions, NGOs, and government agencies. It provides a full range of accessibility consulting services including planning, evaluation, design, development support, testing, implementation/deployment, and monitoring. www.TFAConsulting.com
Our contact details are as follows: USA Storm Interface 13835 N Tatum Blvd. Suite 9-510 Phoenix, AZ 85032 Tel: +1 480 584 3518 Email: email@example.com
Tech for All, Inc. P.O. Box 213473 Royal Palm Beach, FL 33421 Tel: +1 561 333 2835 Email: info@TFAConsulting.com
UK, Europe and Other Territories Storm Interface 14 Bentinck Court Bentinck Road West Drayton Middlesex UB7 7RQ United Kingdom Tel +44 (0)1895 431421 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Storm Interface and Tech for All Announce Collaboration was last modified: January 10th, 2018 by News Editor
A linchpin of Castro Street, Ava’s Downtown Market & Deli has weathered fierce competition, rising costs and parking troubles. Now the grocery store’s latest threat has to do with the dimensions of its displays and chairs.
The American Council of the Blind has sued Eatsa, a fast-food chain that uses automated self-service kiosks and ordering apps, over insufficient access, according to a press release. Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), a national nonprofit legal center, filed
Eatsa, for example, uses iPads for its in-store kiosks, according to its website. And Apple has for years included screen-reading accessibility technology — which can dictate on-screen items to blind people — in its iOS devices, and has made those tools available to developers.
But “Eatsa has configured its systems so that the [screen reader capability] is not usable on the iPad,” said Rebecca Serbin, an attorney with Disability Rights Advocates, the nonprofit representing the plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit. “So the technology to make Eatsa accessible exists, but Eatsa just didn’t care enough to include that in their design.”
Adding things like a tactile keypad with braille, or making the iPad’s headphone jack accessible — currently obstructed by the frame it’s mounted on — would allow customers with vision impairment to still use Eatsa’s ordering system, according to the complaint.
Though it’s possible for customers at the restaurant to never interact with a human worker, each location does have a staff person or two in the front to assist customers if needed. But the suit further points out that the way customers can request help from one of these employees is also via a button on the iPad, which is not accessible to blind and low-vision customers.
Even the cubbyholes where food is served have no way to opt for audible cues. The whole process is silent, thus making it inaccessible, the lawsuit claims.
American Council of the Blind sues Eatsa over kiosk and app access was last modified: May 29th, 2018 by Kiosk Industry