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
WESTMINSTER, Colo., March 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Kiosk Manufacturer Association aka KMA announces our new ADA and Accessibility Chairpersons. Serving as co-chairpersons for our committee is Randy Amundson of Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. and Mr. Peter Jarvis of Storm Interface. Randy is one of our founding chairpersons and is continuing in his support of KMA and ADA. Peter is a charter sponsor of the Accessibility Committee and now helps lead the way for the KMA.
From Randy Amundson, “Peter Jarvis and I continue to work closely in finalizing the Kiosk Accessibility Code of Practice (CoP). We feel that the CoP will be a useful tool that kiosk manufacturers and their clients can use to ensure that their kiosks are accessible to the widest population of people with some form of disability possible. Peter and I are also working on developing an independent standard that can be used by nationally recognized testing labs in order to certify a kiosk as being ADA compliant”.
Peter Jarvis adds, “First, let me thank the committee’s previous Co-Chair Laura Miller for her work in raising awareness of accessibility issues within the kiosk industry. Laura continues to make an outstanding contribution to the work of the KMA Accessibility Committee but has now stepped into a role dedicated to kiosk accessibility at Vispero. Her commitment, to ensure equality in access to information, services and products, continues to influence the committee’s objectives. As the new Co-Chair (serving the KMA’s European members) I hope to continue the initiatives of the committee and look forward to working with the committee’s US resident Chairperson Randy Amundson.”
We very much thank Laura Boniello Millerwith Vispero our founding co-chairperson for her contributions, support and effort over the last two years.
If your company, organization, association, local, city, state or federal agency would like to participate at some level with the KMA either with ADA or with EMV, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 720-324-1837
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.
This March 11th-13th, Vispero will be leading multiple presentations on kiosk accessibility at CSUN’s Annual Accessibility Conference being held in Anaheim, CA. Vispero’s Vice President and subject matter expert Matt Ater, will lead a panel of kiosk accessibility experts on “Lessons Learned from Developing Accessible Kiosks”. The panel will include KMA Accessibility Board co-chair Peter Jarvis, Senior Executive VP at Storm Interface, among others. Kiosk accessibility and usability will be discussed in a presentation called “Kiosk Accessibility: Understanding the Kiosk User Experience”, kiosk industry veteran Laura Boniello Miller and usability expert Rachael Bradley Montgomery will discuss the perspective of the kiosk user and how deployers can best accommodate users with disabilities. Vispero’s Ryan Jones will lead a session, “JAWS Kiosk: What Is It and When Would I Use It” to assist in using the JAWS screen reader in accessible kiosk deployments. Along with the presentations you can visit the Vispero booths in the Marquis Ballroom, #503, #603, and #703 to see accessible kiosks in action, including kiosks from Olea, Pyramid and SeePoint. Vispero will also be hosting an accessible Escape Room, and on-site registration will be available using an accessible kiosk powered by JAWS, located in the Vispero Showcase Suite.
Vispero has added support for the new Storm Assistive Technology device, the new Extended Functionality AudioNav. JAWS will continue to support the Storm AudioNav and other assistive technology devices by Storm as they are added.
Mark your calendars for this year’s Keynote Address at the Conference which will be held March 10, Tuesday evening, at 5:30 pm. A Welcome Reception will follow the Keynote Address.
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Rory Cooper will be the Keynote Speaker for this year’s conference. Dr. Rory A. Cooper holds several prestigious positions including Associate Dean for Inclusion and FISA & Paralyzed Veterans of America Distinguished Professor of Rehabilitation Science and Technology and Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also the Founding Director and the VA Senior Research Career Scientist at the Human Engineering Research Laboratories. He holds an adjunct professorship at the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University and is also a Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.
A prolific writer, he has published over 300 peer-reviewed articles and three books, including the award-winning Care of the Combat Amputee. He has over 25 patents awarded or pending. Dr. Cooper’s students have been the recipients of over 50 national and international awards. A Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and other scholarly organizations, he is the recipient of the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Medal.
In May of this year, he was honored in Washington, D.C., at the Smithsonian Institute Museum of American History with a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office inventor trading card and portrait.
Dr. Cooper’s contributions are impressive and numerous. The Keynote Address should be an enlightening and rewarding talk to kick off the 2020 CSUN Conference.
Come to the 2020 Exhibit Hall and experience first-hand the cutting-edge assistive technology offered in over 100 booths. For 34 years, thousands have attended the CSUN Conference’s free Exhibit Hall to have the opportunity to directly interact with the providers who develop the technology, products and services designed to promote inclusion for people with disabilities.
The Exhibit Hall is located in the Grand Ballroom and Marquis Ballroom on the lobby level of the hotel. Be one of the first to explore the latest innovative technology when doors open on Wednesday, March 11 at 12:00 pm. We also welcome you to attend the Exhibit Hall Opening Reception at 12:30 pm.
17757 US Hwy 19 N Ste 560 Clearwater, FL 33764 United States
Vispero™ is the world’s leading assistive technology provider for the visually impaired. We have a long history of developing and providing innovative solutions for blind and low vision individuals that help them reach their full potential. At Vispero, we inspire hope, determination, and independence through our family of brands: Freedom Scientific, Enhanced Vision, Optelec, and The Paciello Group.
Vispero®, the world’s leading assistive technology provider for the visually impaired, is excited to announce an addition to the Vispero family: JAWS Kiosk. A collaboration between The Paciello Group (TPG) and the Freedom Scientific brand (owned by Vispero), JAWS Kiosk is focused on delivering accessible kiosk solutions whether it’s through the incorporation of Freedom Scientific’s industry-leading screen reading software, JAWS®, or by utilizing TPG’s accessible design and technical implementation services. Beginning with the June 2019 release of JAWS, JAWS software will revolutionize self-service kiosk accessibility.
JAWS Kiosk for Accessibility
“Kiosk accessibility has always been a consideration but is becoming a standard rather than a ‘nice to have.’ In order to meet this growing demand, the kiosk team leverages industry-leading accessibility software from Freedom Scientific, expert consulting capabilities of The Paciello Group, and a strong kiosk industry knowledge base,” explains Matt Ater, Vice President of Business Development at Vispero and a subject matter expert on user experience when developing solutions for people who are blind or have low vision.
JAWS Kiosk Features
JAWS has been modified in order to meet the specific needs of an accessible kiosk deployment. New kiosk-specific features of JAWS include:
Thinner version of JAWS for closed environments
Locked down features for use in closed environments
Support for Storm Assistive Technology Products (NavPad™, NavBar ™ and AudioNav™)
Multi-language/Multi-voice JAWS support
User session management
Auto start JAWS upon insertion of audio device
Session end is automated upon withdraw of audio input (Auto Stop)
Compatible with kiosk system software
Fully customizable through JAWS scripting
Does not require an internet connection for full functionality
“Storm Interface are proud to be working in cooperation with TPG and JAWS Kiosk”, said Storm’s SEVP Peter Jarvis. “The application of Storm Assistive Technology Products (NavPad™, NavBar™ and AudioNav™), fully supported and integrated within JAWS, will bring a new dimension of accessibility and a powerful contribution to independent living. A truly impressive combination!”
Spearheading this initiative is Laura Boniello Miller, who recently joined Vispero after spending the past six years driving strategic sales for KioWare Kiosk Software where she built partnerships with kiosk hardware manufacturers, kiosk device manufacturers, and kiosk application developers. Laura is a past co-chairperson of the Kiosk Manufacturer’s Association Accessibility working group and an author of multiple articles on the accessible kiosk user experience. According to Miller, “Vispero is committed to the kiosk accessibility space and now brings kiosk experience to these efforts. The kiosk team leverages JAWS software and The Paciello Group’s accessibility expertise to help customers create a complete accessible kiosk solution.”
About Vispero: Vispero is the global leader for assistive technology and accessibility solutions. Freedom Scientific® and The Paciello Group, both Vispero brands, have a long history of innovation for customers with accessibility needs. Freedom Scientific is the leading provider of assistive technology products for those with vision impairments, offering brands such as the market leading screen reader JAWS for Windows and ZoomText screen magnifier. The Paciello Group is an accessibility solutions provider passionately dedicated to helping organizations make their technology equally accessible to all people. Other Vispero brands include Enhanced Vision and Optelec. For more information, visit www.vispero.com.
About TPG team
TPG partners with organizations around the world, to provide them with both strategic and targeted expertise that enables them to realise their accessibility goals. With our partners we believe we can create a positive impact on global accessibility.
Partnership enables more than 500,000 website customers to easily and affordably achieve legal compliance for digital accessibility
TUCSON, Ariz., January 21, 2020 — AudioEye, Inc. (NASDAQ: AEYE), an industry-leading software solution delivering website accessibility compliance to businesses of all sizes, has announced a partnership with Duda, the leading web design platform for companies that offer web design services to small businesses.
With this partnership, AudioEye is now one of five site-enhancing tools, and the only digital accessibility solution, integrated into the newly launched Duda App Store. This native integration now makes it possible for the more than 6,000 digital agencies and solutions providers to create legally compliant, fully accessible websites for hundreds of thousands of customers that help ensure barrier-free access for everyone, regardless of their individual abilities. Trusted by some of the largest and most influential businesses and organizations in the world, AudioEye provides an always-on testing, remediation, and monitoring solution that continually improves conformance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
“By enabling any website on the Duda platform to quickly turn on AudioEye with a click of a button, Duda has elevated the importance of digital inclusion with their customers, placing website accessibility on a level playing field with other essential and familiar website solutions for businesses such as SEO, CRM, SMS marketing, and several other fully integrated tools. Given their target customer base, this is the ideal positioning for the AudioEye solution,” said AudioEye Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder Sean Bradley. “This partnership represents a tremendous step forward for AudioEye in its mission to eradicate all barriers to digital access, and we are honored to partner with like-minded companies like Duda who also prioritize digital inclusion.”
Accessibility SaaS On-Demand
“We’re continuously innovating our platform to ensure we provide our digital agency and SaaS customers with the tools needed to create the most modern, feature-rich, responsive websites available. This includes sites that are accessible to individuals of all abilities, which is why we are proud to now offer AudioEye’s industry-leading solution,” said Duda CEO Itai Sadan.
According to a recent Duda survey, more than 60-percent of clients have asked about web accessibility in the past year, with legal compliance being the most prominent motivator. In the United States, digital accessibility-related lawsuits have increased significantly over the past five years, with more than 2,000 lawsuits filed in federal court in 2018 and 2019, consecutively. This trend shows no sign of slowing in 2020. Overwhelmingly, courts are siding with accessibility. Recently, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from the international pizza restaurant chain, Domino’s, upholding a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Decision in favor of accessibility. Internationally, more and more governments continue to establish or reinforce their own accessibility laws, which most commonly harmonize with WCAG. With AudioEye on a website, businesses significantly reduce their risk of a costly, time-consuming digital accessibility-related lawsuit.
AudioEye Pro and Managed are now available on the Duda App Store:
AudioEye Pro: best for freelancers who want to harness the power of AudioEye to manage website accessibility on their own using AudioEye’s developer tools. AudioEye Pro couples machine-learning automation with free developer tools. AudioEye’s always-on technology identifies WCAG errors, fixing some of the most common issues in real-time, while developer tools assist site owners in fixing remaining issues. AudioEye Pro includes scanning and monitoring and access to digital accessibility training and customer-only webinars. Pro also provides customers an Accessibility Statement, showing site visitors a commitment to digital accessibility, as well as a 24/7 Help Desk to report any accessibility issues encountered.
AudioEye Managed: ideal for agencies managing multiple websites who prefer to rely on AudioEye to ensure accessibility standards are met. AudioEye Managed provides a fully managed, comprehensive, speed-to-compliance digital accessibility solution. Managed enhances patented machine-learning technology with manual testing and engineering to deliver to site-specific remediations. Managed builds on the benefits of Pro adding the AudioEye Trusted Certification, verifying a site’s ongoing legal compliance with official documentation to assist in responding to any accessibility complaints or legal threats.
Both Pro and Managed customers also receive the AudioEye Accessibility Toolbar, which includes a set of personalization tools for site visitors to customize their site experience. Examples include adjusting color contrast, changing a site’s font or font size, disabling animations, and more.
About AudioEye AudioEye is an industry-leading software solution delivering immediate ADA and WCAG accessibility compliance at scale. Through patented technology, subject matter expertise and proprietary processes, AudioEye is eradicating all barriers to digital accessibility, helping creators get accessible and supporting them with ongoing advisory and automated upkeep. Trusted by the FCC, ADP, SSA, Uber, and more, AudioEye helps everyone identify and resolve issues of accessibility and enhance user experiences, automating digital accessibility for the widest audiences. AudioEye stands out among its competitors because it delivers Machine Learning/AI-driven accessibility without fundamental changes to site architecture. Join our movement at www.audioeye.com.
About Duda Duda is the leading web design platform for all companies that offer web design services to small businesses. The company serves all types of customers, from freelance web professionals and digital agencies, all the way up to the largest hosting companies, SaaS platforms and online publishers in the world.
Self-service kiosks continue to rise in popularity as a powerful tool benefiting businesses’ customer experience strategies. With this surge in interest comes more inquiries about everything from payment options to ADA compliance. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the most common self-service kiosk questions and their answers.
Why should my quick-service restaurant invest in self-service kiosks?
Self-service kiosks offer significant advantages to QSRs and fast casuals. Not only do kiosks shorten wait times at checkout counters, but data shows kiosks can increase average ticket orders up to 30 percent due to cross-selling capabilities and the privacy units offer customers during the ordering process. In addition, labor can be diverted to more customer-focused duties like expediting food or cleaning, which can directly impact your customer’s experience at your establishment. As more restaurants invest in the technology, patrons will expect their favorite QSRs and fast casuals to offer the same efficiency and convenience being offered elsewhere.
I’m not a restaurant. Does my business need self-service kiosks, too?
Yes! While self-service kiosks have been highly visible in the QSR industry, countless other verticals can utilize the benefits of this technology, too. From wayfinding to registration capabilities, self-service kiosks offer unlimited opportunities for other industries like automotive, grocery, home improvement, retail, hospitality, cannabis dispensaries, and more. In fact, having self-service technology can serve as a competitive advantage in a demanding retail landscape where the customer experience is a valued performance indicator. Make sure you’re setting yourselves apart from other businesses in your industry.
What kind of payment is accepted at a self-order kiosk? Do kiosks accept cash?
There are a variety of payment options available for kiosks, and which ones to utilize depend on a business’ needs. Most restaurant self-service kiosks accept credit cards and offer a “pay at the counter” choice for customers paying with cash. However, as more QSRs and fast casuals explore kiosk programs, many are employing cash dispensing hardware to offer the full self-order experience and eliminate the need for patrons to stop at the counter.
For other industries, payment options vary. Wayfinding kiosks may skip payment hardware altogether as their objectives are strictly to provide information and directions. And while it’s well-known that cannabis dispensaries are often cash-only, new payment and banking options could make credit card swipes common at dispensary kiosks in the future.
Does my kiosk need to be ADA compliant?
ADA compliance is an important factor to consider when planning a self-service program as it protects your business from expensive lawsuits and, more importantly, guarantees the entire public can independently interact with your kiosks. Wheelchair accessibility is a common discussion when planning kiosks, but did you know there are numerous assistive technology products designed to support people with disabilities that make it difficult to see, read, hear, or interact with touch screen displays?
Currently, the Kiosk Manufacturer Association is working with the US Federal Access Board to implement a new Code of Practice for the kiosk industry, ensuring better clarification on mandates that apply to the self-service kiosk industry. Read more about that here.
Can I also place my self-service kiosk outdoors?
Self-service kiosks are designed differently to withstand the environmental factors that come with being placed outside. In these instances, the structures must be designed and engineered to be weather-resistant, secure, durable and safe for all outdoor conditions.
If you’re looking to utilize self-service kiosks outside, you’ll need to keep in mind that outdoor kiosks can cost much more than that of an indoor kiosk. This is because these kiosks must be more durable, watertight, and insulated as well as include hardware components that are rated and ruggedized for the outdoors. Touch screens need to be easily read in direct sunlight, and the exterior must handle exposure to heavy wind, rain, and more. Additionally, mounting will need to be factored in along with climate control inside the kiosk to maintain temperature and humidity.
When considering an outdoor option, make sure you’re aware of all the variables associated with ensuring a successful deployment.
What features should I consider when deciding on a self-service kiosk?
Deciding how a kiosk will be used will help determine what hardware will need to be present on your kiosk. If you plan to allow payment transactions, a printer, payment device, and possible cash recycler will be needed. Businesses that have loyalty programs will also want to make sure a barcode scanner is available to customers.
In addition, kiosk sizes, formats, and screen size will all depend on floor space and intended function. For instance, a wall kiosk or floor standing tablet makes sense for a business with limited real estate, while a counter tablet with a smaller screen lends itself well to check-in capabilities or instances where privacy might be imperative. It’s important to discuss your kiosk program goals, intended uses, and physical location requirements with your self-service kiosk manufacturer when you start your initial planning phase.
Will a self-service kiosk integrate with my point-of-sale system?
Fortunately, many kiosk software providers are fully capable of interfacing with different point-of-sale systems because they contain open APIs that work with the major systems. The only caveat might be if a POS system itself is not open to interfacing with other software programs. This can be the case for older legacy POS systems, or, to a lesser extent, modern POS systems where the vendor has opted to close off third-party software communications. When looking into a self-service kiosk program, kiosk-POS integration should be discussed early in the planning stages.
Do you still have a self-service kiosk question that wasn’t answered here? We have kiosk experts who can help guide you through the process and answer any additional questions you might have. Contact them at email@example.com to get started!
Voice response promises to add a new interactivity for self-service devices, but there are some hurdles that will need to be overcome.
By Richard Slawsky contributor
When we think of interactive kiosks, what typically comes to mind is the touch-enabled displays that are a nearly ubiquitous component of today’s self-service devices. Trained in part by the tap, pinch and swipe actions that are the main feature of smartphones, we’ve come to expect to be able to interact with kiosks through touch. Although touch-enabled displays have been around in one form or another for more than 50 years, it’s only recently that they have become mainstream thanks in part to Apple’s introduction of the iPhone.
Over the past few years, though, the concept of interactivity has taken on a new dimension. Driven in part by home automation devices such as Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home, people are becoming increasingly comfortable with a new way of interacting with self-service devices: by voice.
A growing number of technology vendors have been introducing voice-enabled kiosks over the past few years. The question remains, though: what does the future hold for interactive voice response and what needs will it fill when it comes to interactive kiosks?
Challenges slowing adoption
Simply put, an interactive voice response system is a computer interface that accepts input by voice rather than mouse, keyboard or touch. The technology has been around at least since the 1970s but has become increasingly widespread as large organizations deploy such systems to handle customer service. And when combined with artificial intelligence, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish VR from communication with a live person.
When it comes to self-service kiosks, a quick Internet search shows dozens of vendors offering devices outfitted with a VR interface. Such interfaces are touted as a way to provide access for those with limited hand mobility as well as those who can’t read. As is the case with on-screen touch menus. It’s relatively easy to incorporate a variety of languages into VR, allowing the deployer to serve those with a limited command of English.
But while the technology improves on nearly a daily basis, it may be a while before VR-enabled kiosks become commonplace. One of the key reasons is that deploying VR will mean either retrofitting existing kiosks with new hardware or deploying new devices outfitted with the technology.
“Voice recognition is ready for kiosks and companies like Zivelo are already looking at ways to begin rolling the technology out on a wider scale,” said Rob Carpenter, CEO and Founder of Valyant AI, an enterprise-grade conversational AI platform for the quick-serve restaurant industry.
“The biggest hindrance to adoption and scale is going to be the inclusion of microphones and speakers in kiosks, which are required for conversational AI, but hadn’t been included in past hardware iterations because they weren’t needed at the time,” Carpenter said.
The environment where the kiosk will be located will also be a consideration.
“It’ll be important to look at the hardware’s ability to handle conversational AI (it’ll need embedded microphones and speakers), but it’s also important to consider the noise level in the environments,” Carpenter said.
“Conversational AI might struggle in high traffic areas like airports where there is so much noise it’s hard for the AI to hear the customer,” he said. “It’s very likely that for the highest and best use of conversational AI in kiosks, it may also require other capabilities like lip reading and triangulating the customer in a physical space to separate out disparate noise channels.”
As such, deployers will need to incorporate design considerations that include microphone arrays focused on specific areas where a user might be standing. They’ll also need to incorporate design considerations beyond the kiosk itself, including noise-absorbing carpet and walls in the area where the device will be located.
Privacy concerns will come into play as well. Amazon’s Echo devices, for example, store a record of what they hear when activated. And while such recording is only supposed to occur when the user says a “wake” word such as Alexa, anyone who owns such a device knows similar words can prompt a wakeup as well. In addition, when someone is using a VR-enabled kiosk there’s a distinct possibility that nearby sounds will be picked up and recorded as well.
“[It’s a concern] not only for the person ordering train tickets, but for the person who might be standing next to that person who’s having a quite high-level conversation on the phone with a business colleague—or his mistress,” said Nicky Shaw, North American distribution manager with Storm Interface. Storm designs, develops, manufactures and markets heavy-duty keypads, keyboards, and custom computer interface devices, including those that provide accessibility for those with disabilities.
“Now that’s also been picked up and sent to the cloud,” she said. “Privacy needs to be given more consideration in my view because just deploying a microphone on a kiosk with no visible or audible means of letting people know it’s always on needs to be factored into the design.”
The protocols and practices for implementing voice in kiosks are not addressed in any U.S. Access Board standards and the KMA with Storm have incorporated a proposed voice framework for accessibility and more. The Access Board has these standards to consider as a baseline for when they create actual standards. In that sense KMA is setting the table for them.
The degree to which companies mine voice data for advertising information creates its own set of privacy concerns. Because most voice user interfaces require cloud processing services, any time the voice leaves the device makes the process more susceptible to a privacy breach.
That can also create branding issues, with potential confusion as to who exactly the kiosk represents. Is it the foodservice operator, ticker or retailer, or is it a company such as Google or Amazon?
And at the end of the day, making it easy for the average person to use will go a long way toward determining how successful VR in interactive kiosks will be.
“Voice input is the collection method, while the platform collecting the command is the brain/processing power to take the correct actions,” said Tomer Mann, EVP for Milpitas, Calif.-based software company 22Miles.
“We are moving forward with integration but there is a long way to go,” Mann said. “We have the input command solution but the processing machine learning technology needs to improve. It will happen with a few more iterations and innovation.”
One of the obvious applications for VR in self-service kiosks is for accessibility, enabling their use by those with impaired vision or limited hand mobility.
VR can also be used to create the “wow” experience business operators are looking for. Imagine, for example, the opening of the latest blockbuster superhero movie.
“Let’s say a video wall at the theater senses that someone is approaching,” said Sanjeev Varshney, director, Global SAP with Secaucus, N.J. based Cyntralabs, a developer of integrated solutions that help retailers drive sales.
“It could display a character from the movie, who says something such as ‘what movie would you like to see?’,” he said. “The character could then point to a card reader and say ‘just insert your credit card here” and have the tickets printed out or have an SMS sent to your phone.”
“One driver for voice relates to efficient and faster transactions” said Joe Gianelli, CEO & cofounder of Santa Cruz, Calif.-based Aaware Inc., a developer of technology that enables voice interfaces.
Consider tasks that may require an excessive amount of screen navigation or drilling down, Gianelli said. Voice is usually much more efficient if the user needs to navigate beyond three levels of touch.
Of course, VR won’t be a catch-all solution. Still, VR could be part of a menu of accessibility options.
“Speech command technology will never replace the need for other interface devices because people with speech impediments won’t be able to use it, just like there are people who are blind and can’t use a touchscreen,” Shaw said.
“A deployer would still need to provide tactile interface devices as well as the speech command,” she said. “This needs to be seen as another element in multimodal accessibility. There’s not a one-size-fits all solution.”
The technology is at its infancy, but with further innovations and feature updates, the solutions will only be more agile to day-to-day user experiences,” Mann said.
“Technology is getting there,” he said. “22Miles just wants to stay ahead of that innovation as we do it all other digital or content triggering capabilities.”
And when it comes to industries, some of the key applications insiders are seeing are in the ticketing and restaurant ordering fields, with initial results showing promise. Catalogue lookup in a retail setting might also be a prime candidate.
“Imagine being able to find, filter and sort any item through voice,” Carpenter said. “It would eliminate the tedious tasks of searching through pages and pages of items to find your favorites. Just tell it what you want and then be on your way.”
WESTMINSTER, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–KMA’s ADA & Accessibility Research Panel serves as an ongoing feedback mechanism between KMA and the community. We invite companies interested in accessibility, associations dedicated to accessibility as well as users who are blind or partially sighted to join and share insights and opinions on accessible technology and more through focus groups, online questionnaires & telephone surveys. Join the KMA ADA research panel today and help shape the future of accessible media.
In tandem with the research panel, KMA invites you to take our ADA Accessibility Quiz and qualify for a free consultation review. Register for a free copy of our MCR (Mandatory Current Requirements) ADA Guidelines as recommended by the KMA at our recent meeting with the U.S. Access Board in Washington, DC. Take the quiz here.
NRF 2020 – Visit with us in NYC on January 12-14 at NRF 2020 at booth 1703. For a complete preview of KMA companies at NRF you can read our NRF 2020 Preview.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or your TPG sales representative for information.
KMA’s Accessibility Research Panel serves as an ongoing feedback mechanism between KMA and the community. We invite companies interested in accessibility, associations dedicated to accessibility as well as users who are blind or partially sighted are invited to join and share insights and opinions on accessible technology and more through focus groups, online questionnaires and telephone surveys. Join the KMA ADA research panel today and help shape the future of accessible media.
How to Join
To register for the KMA Research Panel please fill out the form below or call 1-720-324-1837.
Types of Research
KMA is committed to learning more about the interests of the blind and partially sighted community across the world. Panel members will be asked, at different times during the year, to participate in information-gathering projects, which may include:
A focus group is a form of research in which a group of people share their perceptions, opinions, beliefs and attitudes towards a product, service, concept or advertisement. Questions are asked by a moderator in an interactive group setting.
Online surveys are usually used with a large group of people so the answers can be statistically reviewed and analyzed. This type of survey can range from being short with just a couple of questions or long with in-depth areas being explored with many questions.
A telephone interview is a process of data collection using a standardized questionnaire and calling panel members. It is a great alternative when online access isn’t the preference for respondents.
Join Our Accessibility Research Panel was last modified: December 2nd, 2019 by News Editor
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.
The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, was an important piece of civil rights legislation that was signed in 1990. The law asserts that businesses must take every possible step to allow people with disabilities to enjoy the same products and services that are available to other customers. It also deals with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission to make sure that employees are not discriminated against because of a disability. The following guidelines will help you as a restaurant or business owner to recognize the requirements of the ADA, and to comply with them so that your establishment can be a positive and accessible place for all customers and employees.
The biggest hurdle that business owners face when dealing with ADA compliance is the removal of barriers. Barriers can take many forms, and not all of them are obvious to a person without a disability. It may seem impossible to rearrange and reconstruct your business for compliance, but the ADA was not established to cause financial ruin. The removal of barriers is only necessary when it is readily achievable for a business to do so. If the removal of a barrier will require excessive costs that the business cannot afford, the barrier may remain until it is readily achievable to remove it. Below is a list of the types of barriers that should be removed in existing structures and avoided in new ones being built. ADA.gov lists detailed, specific requirements for fixing all of the following problems.
Removing Architectural Barriers
Architectural barriers block disabled patrons from accessing your establishment in the same way that able bodied patrons can. The removal of these barriers is an important part of ADA compliance. By altering the following areas of your business, you can make the largest impact on physical accessibility.
Parking and Building Entrance
Patrons with disabilities must not only be provided with parking spaces that are close to your business, but they must also be given adequate space to exit their vehicles, and a clear, accessible path into your business from there. The entrance must be flush with the ground, or must have a ramp with a slight slope and safety rails so that customers in wheelchairs may enter. If there is no way to make your main entrance accessible and you have other entrances that could be (for example your back door that is for employees only), you must open those up to the public and clearly note where that entrance is located. If your business operates on the third floor of a building with no elevator, for example, you can make compliance readily achievable by making your services available for delivery to customers’ homes or cars.
Even if disabled customers can approach your business easily, they may have a hard time getting in if your entrance is not ADA compliant. Entrances must be at least 36 inches wide to accommodate customers in wheelchairs, and handles cannot require squeezing or turning to accommodate customers with mobility disabilities like arthritis. Loop and lever style handles are compliant, knob and panel styles are not.
Once customers enter your store or restaurant, they must be able to move around safely and efficiently. Aisles between shelves or tables must be at least 36 inches wide, and merchandise cannot be out of reach of customers in wheelchairs unless there are employees that are readily available to help. This rule also applies to self-service counters with condiments or flatware in fast food restaurants.
It is important to meet ADA bathroom requirements by ensuring your restrooms are accessible to disabled customers, including blind and wheelchair-bound patrons. There must be enough space for a wheelchair to maneuver around the toilet and the sink, and safety bars are necessary to prevent falls. Installing braille restroom signs is an easy way to convey useful information to blind customers. There must also be enough space under the sink so a wheelchair user can reach the soap and faucet, and the handles of the soap dispenser and faucet must be easy to use for customers with mobility disabilities. Check out this planning guide for detailed instructions to help you design an ADA compliant restroom in your restaurant.
Sales Counters and Tables
Checkout counters must have a section that is no higher than 36 inches to be accessible to customers in wheelchairs, unless they are equipped with auxiliary counters. If this is not readily achievable, a simple fix such as offering the customer a clipboard can be made.
Restaurant tables must meet certain height requirements as well, and if the tables in your establishment are fixed, at least one table must have movable chairs.
Tax Benefits for ADA Compliance
Although compliance sometimes costs money, the IRS Code states that all businesses are eligible for tax deductions when installing ADA compliant equipment or removing barriers. The maximum deduction is $15,000 per year, and small businesses are also eligible for a tax credit that can cover up to 50% (up to $10,250 per year) of compliance related expenditures. Large businesses (large businesses have over 30 employees or revenues of $1 million or more in the previous year) are only eligible for the deduction.
ADA Compliance for Employees
The ADA was written to protect both business patrons and employees. As a business owner or hiring manager, it is extremely important to understand both aspects of the ADA. Here are some steps you can take to ensure ADA compliance with your employees.
Make Reasonable Accommodations When Possible
Under the ADA, it is illegal to refrain from hiring someone solely based on their disability. If you become aware that a potential hire is disabled, you must work with him or her to find a reasonable accommodation. Reasonable accommodations allow the employer to alter the way the job is performed so the disabled employee can do the job. This could potentially mean transferring the employee to a different position if that is possible.
The employer does not have to make an accommodation if it proves to be an undue hardship, which means a significant financial expense, disruption, or change to the business. For example, if you run a grocery store and a potential cashier has a chronic back injury that prevents her from standing for long periods of time, you can accommodate her by allowing her to use a stool at the cash register, even if other cashiers are required to stand. It would be illegal to discriminate against this person if she is qualified for the job because this accommodation would not change the nature of your business or cause undue financial hardship.
You can also make reasonable accommodations by transferring an employee to a different department. If a potential cashier has a learning disability that prevents him from counting out correct change, you could consider hiring him to stock shelves instead. However, if a stocking job is not available, you do not have to give him the cashier position because he is not qualified for the job if he must handle cash.
Avoiding Discrimination During the Hiring Process
Some disabilities may be immediately visible when a potential employee comes in for an interview, but others do not present themselves right away. It is illegal to ask interviewees about any disabilities they may or may not have before presenting them with a conditional job offer. Contingent upon that offer, the employer may ask about potential disabilities to see if a reasonable accommodation must be made, but only if they ask the same questions of all employees with conditional job offers. They cannot revoke that job offer if the employee discloses that they do have a disability unless making accommodations would cause undue hardship to the business.
There are plenty of ways to accommodate both customers and employees with disabilities. It is important for the employer to be willing to work with disabled employees, both to avoid accusations of discrimination and to create an open work environment for everyone. Reading and learning about the ADA’s rules for reasonable accommodation is the best way to ensure that you’re providing a fair and equal opportunity for all employees. As it becomes possible, work to eliminate architectural barriers in your restaurant or business so that all patrons can experience what you have to offer.
ADA Compliance For Restaurants was last modified: May 22nd, 2019 by News Editor
Founder, The Circuit Board — Andrew is Head of Communications for 600+ staff music technology leader, Native Instruments in Berlin, a company with a vision to democratize digital music creation. After training as a journalist in London, he spent over a decade consulting for leading technology companies in Europe and Australia. In 2018 he founded The Circuit Board, a virtual communications consultancy. Andrew graduated from City University with a BA in Journalism and Psychology in 2008.
In March 2019 IKEA was praised for partnering with nonprofits to develop accessories that make its products more accessible for people with impairments. It’s a novel step forward but I can’t shake the feeling we need to reframe the conversation on accessibility in technology entirely. Accessibility should be a topic at the forefront of design. Here’s why:
Roughly one in five people in the US have registered with a disability, with a similar figure for the UK. But when creating new products or services, investing resources to make technology accessible for impaired users can seem like taking the scenic route to market. An expensive deviation from a lean go to market strategy.
It’s easy to toss accessibility considerations in the ‘nice to have’ bucket. ‘Accessibility as an afterthought’ is a frustration I’ve heard on repeat for the last decade. But to do this is to abandon a unique opportunity to unlock true innovation and realize a much bolder ambition.
The traits separating tasks that AI excels at, and those that remain distinctly human, are consistently cited as creativity, empathy, imagination, and vision. Indeed the Gospel of Jobs clearly states: “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” So before we hand over the reins to AI, why don’t we focus on perfecting the human side of technology solutions.
If you’ve even dabbled in brainstorming techniques — or the hyper-trendy ‘design thinking’ — you’ll be familiar with the art of reframing a problem to see new solutions. What better way to do this than looking at new tech through the lens of our senses, with varying degrees of physical or sensory ability?
Thinking about impairments of sight, hearing, or touch from the outset forces designers, creators, and technologists to ‘look at’ problems from very different perspectives, and that brings opportunity for untold and exciting innovation.
It is also a reminder of why it’s important to keep the pressure on government and private entities to make public places accessible to all.
“The sort of run-of-the mill storefronts, restaurants, retail store, those really should be accessible now and a lot are but too many still are not,” said Kenneth Shiotani, senior staff attorney for the National Disability Right Network, which is based in Washington, D.C.
He said outdoor spaces, such as beaches and trails, pose more challenges than man-made structures when it comes to accessibility and for that reason, new guidelines were set for them in 2013. But Meridian Hill Park, which boasts of having the largest cascading fountain in the country, seems much more structured than other outdoor spaces, he said.
“I think the wedding party had reasonable expectations that 30 years later [after the ADA was passed] a federal park would be accessible,” Shiotani said. “It’s a public park, it’s paid for by public dollars, it should ultimately be accessible for everybody.”
What accessibility looks like 30 years after the ADA passed was last modified: May 21st, 2019 by News Editor
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).
Interactive touchscreens are quickly becoming a key player in the kiosk world. Businesses ranging from fast-casual restaurants to health care facilities and mall makeup stores are finding uses for touchscreen-based kiosks, offering services ranging from food ordering to patient check-in to complexion matching.
The latest of the many reports forecasting the growth of the kiosk industry predicts the market will increase at a 9.7 percent compound annual growth rate, reaching $88.3 billion by 2022 from $46.1 billion in 2015. Drivers of that growth include increased customer’s interest towards self service, development in the retail and entertainment industries and innovations in touchscreen display and glass technology. The retail industry holds the lion’s share of the market, with about 40 percent of the overall revenue.
The growth of touchscreen-based self service hasn’t been without its challenges, though. Foremost among them has been the issue of making that technology available to all users, including those with disabilities. Another has been the expanded form factors such as tablets on the low end and large 85-inch touchscreens on the high side. That’s a shift from the mostly 17-inch and 19-inch screens that dominate the ATM, airline and POS self-checkout precursor worlds.
The compliance conundrum
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that about 19 percent of the country’s population, or about 57 million people, have some form of disability. Those include 8.1 million people who have difficulty seeing, including 2 million who were blind or unable to see. In addition, about 7.6 million people have impaired hearing. Roughly 30.6 million have problems walking or climbing stairs, or use a wheelchair, cane, crutches or walker, and 19.9 million people had challenges lifting and grasping. This includes difficulty lifting an object or grasping a pencil (or pressing buttons on a touchscreen interface).
To ensure those with disabilities can enjoy the same rights as everyone, in 1990 Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The law was designed to afford protections against discrimination similar to those of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in several areas, including employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications and access to state and local government programs and services.
For a business that incorporates kiosks into its operations, that generally means that a kiosk needs to be useable by all of its customers, no matter what their physical challenges may be. In many cases meeting that standard is easier said than done.
“ADA concerns are pretty much the same concerns that one would have for any type of a consumer self-service interactive solution,” said Ron Bowers, senior vice president of business development at Grafton, Wisconsin-based kiosk vendor Frank Mayer & Associates. “Some individual deployments are only adhering to the accessibility-by-wheelchair aspect.”. “Some individual deployments are only adhering to the accessibility-by-wheelchair aspect.”
Unfortunately, those basic accommodations can result in a business overlooking more than 35 million potential customers.
It’s worth noting that a large percentage of customers in wheelchairs also suffer from physical impairment.
Some of the biggest challenges kiosk deployers face is the degree of interpretation that must be applied to some of the regulations. How many accessible units and what level of accessibility constitutes acceptable access? Another is new regulations and retrofitting existing units can be problematic, said Craig Keefner, manager for Olea Kiosks.
“Complicating retrofits can be the issue of recertifying for UL,” Keefner said. “One change to the overall machine can require the new configuration to be recertified. If Walmart has to change all of its self-checkouts, that’s a big change.”
To help add clarity to exactly what kiosk deployers must do to be ADA compliant, in mid-September the Architectural and Transportation Barriers and Compliance Board released a final rule for electronic and information technologies used by federal agencies as well as guidelines for customer premises equipment and telecommunications equipment, including kiosks. The Access Board is an independent federal agency devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities.
A sample of the guidelines for kiosks outlined in the Access Board rule
In general, devices with a display screen shall be speech-output enabled for full and independent use by individuals with vision impairments.
Speech output shall be provided for all information displayed on-screen.
Where speech output is required, braille instructions for initiating the speech mode of operation shall be provided.
Devices that deliver sound, including required speech output, shall provide volume control and output amplification.
At least one mode of operation shall be operable with one hand and shall not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist. The force required to activate operable parts shall be 5 pounds (22.2 N) maximum.
The final rule is listed in the Federal Register. Covered organizations must meet compliance standards by Jan. 18, 2018.
Although much of the language in the final rule will likely keep lawyers busy for years to come, there are some guidelines that are easy to interpret. In general, the rules say that the technology with a display screen shall be speech-output enabled for full and independent use by individuals with vision impairments. Input controls shall be operable by touch and tactilely discernible without activation.
Running the risk
Missing out on revenue from millions of customers with disabilities is just one of the pitfalls of not complying with ADA regulations, or at least making every effort to make sense of the standards.
For violations that occurred after April 28, 2014, the maximum civil penalty for a first violation of ADA regulations is $75,000. For a subsequent violation, the maximum civil penalty is $150,000.
In addition, self-service kiosks are increasingly a target for ADA lawsuits. In March 2017, for example, the American Council of the Blind filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against fast casual restaurant chain Eatsa on behalf of a blind customer. Under Eatsa’s business model, customers order from tablet-based kiosks and pick up their food from a cubicle when it’s ready.
Customer Michael Godino claims he was unable to use a self-order kiosk in an Eatsa to place an order because the kiosks weren’t accessible for blind customers.
“Because the self-service mobile applications, touchscreen tablets, and visually-marked cubbies Eatsa utilizes rely on exclusively visual displays and do not provide any form of audio output or tactile input, Eatsa’s design is entirely inaccessible to blind customers,” according to the lawsuit.
Restaurants aren’t the only businesses open to ADA lawsuits. A proposed class action suit against mall operator Simon Property Group claims a Proactiv skincare products kiosk, located in the Simon-run Miami Mall in Florida, discriminates against blind and visually impaired individuals. The lawsuit argues the Proactiv automated retail kiosk, which uses a touchscreen display, doesn’t offer a way for blind consumers to purchase its products.
“Sighted customers can independently browse, select, and pay for Proactiv brand skincare products at the Miami Mall Proactiv kiosk. However, blind customers are denied the opportunity to participate in this retail service,” the complaint reads. “Moreover, [the defendant] has failed to provide an alternative channel for blind customers to enjoy the retail service provided through the Proactiv kiosk, such as the training of qualified readers to assist visually impaired and blind customers.”
There are about 1,000 Proactiv kiosks in malls in the United States, Canada and Japan.
And just in case a business operator thinks having a staff member on hand to assist disabled customers with using self-service technology, chances are that’s not enough to keep from running afoul of the ADA.
“It depends on the application and if the assistant is as available as the kiosk to provide services,” said Adam Aronson, CEO of San Rafael, Calif.-based Lilitab Tablet Kiosks. Lilitab designs, engineers and markets a range of tablet kiosk products. “If the cashier typically has longer lines than the kiosk, that’s not the same service level,” Aronson said.
While lawsuits against kiosk deployers related to ADA compliance are always a concern, other dangers include the negative publicity from being perceived as a business that is insensitive to the needs of disabled customers. Just a few months ago cable news was filled images of U.S. Capital Police forcibly removing disabled demonstrators from a protest over the Senate’s now-defunct health care bill. Nobody wants their business to be featured in similar reporting.
Of course, things are rarely simple when it comes to government regulations and the ADA is no different. Complicating the landscape is HR 620, the “ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017,” currently making its way through Congress. According to the Center for American Progress the bill, sponsored by Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas), would require anyone seeking to file a lawsuit against a business for ADA violations to first provide written notice to that business, outlining the provisions of the law that apply to the violation. Business owners would then have 60 days to acknowledge the violation and another 120 days to at least make “substantial progress” towards rectifying it.
Opponents of the bill claim it would gut enforcement of the ADA by allowing businesses to stall the correction of violation for months or years, while those in favor say it would prevent the “drive-by lawsuits” that end up forcing business owners to pay settlements to lawyers who make a career out of filing ADA suits. The ADA bars the awarding of monetary damages in successful lawsuits, but does allow the awarding of “a reasonable attorney’s fee.”
Meeting the challenge
In an effort to sort through the confusion over ADA guidelines, kiosk deployers are taking their own steps to accommodate disabled users.
The easiest steps to take are those that offer access to individuals in wheelchairs or who are otherwise vertically challenged. That includes offering at least one kiosk with an adjustable height or a lower point of access.
“Swiveling mounts or adjustable height mounts may assist in accessibility – but they don’t solve the problem just by being available,” said Laura Miller, director of marketing with York, Pa.-based KioWare Kiosk Software.
“The physical placement of the kiosk is just as important as the presence of accessibility features and testing is needed even with the purchase of an accessible kiosk,” she said. “If the path to the kiosk is too narrow to approach head on, for instance, it becomes moot that the kiosk itself is accessible because getting to the kiosk is too challenging or the space too constricted. Vertical and horizontal reach must be considered.”
As mentioned earlier, though, making the kiosk available to those in a wheelchair isn’t enough.
“No longer can you get away with a kiosk just being ‘reachable’,” said Frank Olea, CEO of Cerritos, Calif.-based Olea Kiosks. “Most companies will say their product is ADA compliant, but they fail to mention they’ve only covered a very small spectrum of individuals with disabilities. Sure, someone in a wheelchair can reach the screen, but serving people with disabilities goes far beyond that.”
As demonstrated by the Eatsa scenario, one of the biggest challenges in deploying interactive self-service technology is accommodating visually impaired users. A touchscreen relies heavily on users being able to see the screen, so deployers need to find ways to communicate that information in other ways.
“Without access to speech feedback for on screen contents and a method for determining what item the user is activating, a person who is blind or visually impaired cannot effectively make use of a touchscreen or tablet based kiosk,” said staff at the American Foundation for the Blind.
“For those with low vision, small or ornate fonts are difficult, if not impossible, to read,” AFB officials said. “Low contrast between the foreground and background can also make on-screen and print-labeled items difficult to read.”
In addition, glare on the screen and on any print-labeled areas of the machine can cause readability barriers for people with low vision, the AFB said.
“What I advise people to do is to recreate a version of the kiosk software that can be used by people with visual problems,” said Mike James, CEO of Washington D.C.-based Kiosk Group Inc.
“Information can be presented in large text and contrasting colors for people who are marginally blind, and to have a system for audio feedback for those who are completely blind,” James said. Those prompts can be used in conjunction with Braille keyboards to assist with navigation.
Accommodating users with hand mobility issues is a concern as well. An ‘Automated Passport Solution’ Olea built for deployment in the Dallas Fort Worth Airport incorporates the Nav-Pad, a keypad designed by London-based Storm Interface that provides accessibility to a kiosk’s functions for those with physical or sensory impairments. The APS kiosk shortens the clearance process for international travelers by collecting biographical and passport information from passengers before they are seen by a customs officer.
The Nav-Pad, developed in partnership with the Trace Research & Development Center, was originally designed for use in military and industrial applications where the user might be wearing heavy gloves. One of the pioneers in the space, Storm Interface also offers the Audio-Nav Keypad, an assistive USB device offering menu navigation by means of audio direction.
The work continues
As ADA compliance becomes a bigger and bigger issue for hardware manufacturers, software developers and kiosk deployers, a variety of industry groups are working to develop solutions that can meet the needs of disabled users.
The Kiosk Industry Association, for example, has formed an ADA working group and committee expressly for ADA to try and standardize guidelines for the industry. A big initiative for the association is meeting with the US Access Board directly to help communicate industry information and context to the standards body directly.
Other organizations with ADA initiatives include the Electronic Transactions Association, which has also formed a working group. The ETA represents more than 500 companies worldwide involved in electronic transaction processing products and services, working to influence, monitor and shape the payments industry by providing leadership through education, advocacy and the exchange of information.
“The purpose of the group is to promote compliance and the development and deployment of products and services to help ensure access to the payment system,” said Meghan Cieslak, ETA’s director of communications. “The group is comprised of industry experts, start-ups, as well as ISOs and VARs – all focused on helping disabled Americans access the payment system.”
The Kiosk Industry Association is consulting with the ETA on access initiatives and has also enlisted the assistance of the ATM Industry Association which already has a formal ADA document via EFTA for their members.
It’s also critical for deployers to think about accessibility from the very beginning of a kiosk project. A paper co-authored by Peter Jarvis and Nicky Shaw, both from Storm Interface, along with Robin Spinks from the U.K.’s Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) included the following recommendations:
“Accessibility is most effectively achieved when adopted as a primary system specification,” the group wrote.
“It is most successfully implemented if considered during the concept design process,” they wrote. “Accessibility should be a primary objective during the origination of hardware solutions, application software and content to be delivered.”
In addition, consideration should also be given to the environment in which the system will be installed, they wrote, and that terminals located in public or unsupervised environments will need to survive regular cleaning and sanitization procedures using sprayed liquid disinfectants and other cleaning agents.
Along with providing hardware designed for accessibility, the application or website on the kiosk must be built with more than a cursory nod toward compliance in order to have these other components “work” in a successful and accessible deployment. The kiosk system software can utilize accessibility features and the hardware can provide sound, include keyboards and be height adjustable, but if the application isn’t built with accessibility in mind, or modified to make sure accessibility features are fully integrated, usability and accessibility will suffer for it.
These concerns, and others, are driving the various partnerships on ADA issues.
“It was pretty much a no-brainer for us to go ahead and work together on standardizing,” Keefner said.
“I’ve been really passionate about it and I’ve talked to kiosk manufacturers about binding together to create standards on kiosk design so people who walk up to a kiosk know where to find the audio jack, know where to find the braille keyboard or whatever,” said Kiosk Group’s Mike James. “Those features could be the same for every project.”
Unfortunately, despite the additional clarification on access rules it’s likely that in the short term it’s likely that many compliance issues are likely to be hashed out in court.
“It seems that there are a few people out there who have made it their job to litigate any non-ADA-compliant situations that arise,” Miller said. “This is not exclusive to kiosks, but they have not been completely spared, and while it seems relatively obscure at this point, those individuals looking for violations will likely eventually hit on the existence of kiosks as fodder for their litigious pursuits.”
I wanted to congratulate you both on an excellent and informative article. Thank you for helping to bring the importance of ADA and ACAA mandates to the attention of the Kiosk Industry and to those agencies deploying and operating ICT in public environments. Thanks also for recognizing Storm Interface in the text of the article and for including some of those images showing deployed installations. We are constantly working to improve and add to the range of accessibility and assistive technology products available to kiosk designers. There are some exciting new developments in process which will help to deliver the “multi-modal” methods of system interface that are widely predicted to be the next big step in system accessibility. The priority will be to ensure our partners in the kiosk industry are kept aware of and fully supported in the deployment of Assistive Technology Products (ATP).
Hopefully your article will receive the recognition it deserves and I will have an opportunity to work with you both to maintain awareness of accessibility issues within the kiosk industry.
Self service options have been gaining momentum beyond the gas pump and the grocery lines. McDonald s, and others in the Food Service industry, have been exploring Cashierless payment alternatives such as those involving the use of Kiosks for general user transactions. AudioEye s Dan Sullivan, Vice President of Sales, and Mark Maker, CTO, discuss with Joe some of the challenges that can come with moving to these kinds of payment platforms and how AudioEye is leveraging their existing technology to meet those challenges. To learn more about where the company is going in the future, or to inquire about their web access solutions, visit the AudioEye website
Direct from Anaheim, it’s blindbargains.com coverage of CSUN 2019, brought to you by AFB AccessWorld. For the latest news and accessibility information on mainstream and access technology; Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon offerings; access technology book reviews and mobile apps and how they can enhance entertainment, education, and employment, log onto AccessWorld, the American Foundation for the Blind’s free monthly online technology magazine, www.afb.org/aw. Now, here’s Joe Steincamp. JOE STEINCAMP: Welcome back to coverage from Anaheim. It is Joe Steincamp here, and I’m over at the AudioEye booth with Dan and Mark. Dan, you know, you caught me as we were walking through, and I asked you where Jeff was. I feel weird. This is, like, the first year I’ve not interviewed Jeff from the company. But Jeff is alive and well, I understand? DAN SULLIVAN: He’s holding the fort down while we’re all out here in Anaheim at CSUN this week. JS: He – basically, he wanted San Diego, not LA. That’s what I’m getting; right? DS: Well, somebody had to keep the lights on, so – JS: Well, there you go. We couldn’t entice him with — DS: — he’s keeping it all going. JS: Couldn’t entice him with Disney World – or Disney Land; right? There we go. DS: Disney Land; right? JS: There you go. Don’t want to mix those two up. Not until Star Wars, you know comes open. Gentlemen, you know, we’ve been talking a lot in the past about how things have worked on the web, but you have been really interested in kiosk and accessibility of those kinds of devices. Let’s just have a little dialogue about that, if you don’t mind. DS: Yeah. Sure. And I think CSUN in 2019 is probably the perfect time to talk about this because it’s – in a number of these break outs and some of the legal summits that have been happening, it very clearly seems like the new frontier, or the next frontier, insofar as digital accessibility, will be in this growing and expanding world of self-service devices and kiosks, most notably in a lot of the fast food entities out there now – JS: Uh-huh. DS: — are really looking, with the advent of the increase of the minimum wage, trying to reduce labor costs and going to self-service interfaces. And, you know, frankly speaking, just like the web, where it is — there’s this hypersonic growth of complexity and change and technology being integrated, the topic space is really come a long way from some of those really basic simple kiosks 20 years ago, and touchscreen devices and things of that nature are all the rage now. And you know, interesting enough, we kind of got dragged to this party a few years ago. We were actually approached by one of the larger, sort of, fast food restaurant chains out there that was giving some thought and some idea to deploying these kiosks and started asking about accessibility. And one of the things that we learned quite quickly is the traditional thought by the kiosk space about accessibility, or ADA relative to kiosks, was the height of the screen so an individual in a wheelchair could actually physically access the screen. JS: Right. DS: And when we started to ask questions like what do individuals with cognitive learning disabilities or visually impaired, how do those interfaces work for them, they were lost because traditionally, this whole thing began to emerge with ATMs 30 years ago, and the whole idea was put a microphone jack in and put Braille on the keypad, and you’re all set. JS: And you had the operating system situation. So recently, Arby’s, who now owns Wendy’s, said that they’re going to spend 20 million dollars over the next two years to bring them up to speed because they felt like the POS, the point of sale system, was so old and so, needed that kind of idea. So in some cases, organizations are looking to upgrade the fleet, and it’s a perfect time for that. DS: Yeah. You know, you bring up a good point. We’ve been looking — a lot of the entities out there that are deploying these, sort of, self-service kiosks. And you actually mentioned Wendy’s, and I have to tell you, Wendy’s is in the midst of a pretty significant deployment right now. JS: Uh-huh. DS: And they actually built and addressed a lot of those kiosks with accessibility in mind. And frankly speaking, you know, if I were to look out there, they’re sort of the gold standard on actually addressing accessibility on the whole, relative to those devices. The bad news is there’s a lot of entities out there that haven’t really thought about that, and are now coming and – you know, I think one of the things that’s been really interesting is when we were approached, we quickly realized that the work and the infrastructure that we built for helping our customers with their websites – JS: Yeah. DS: — actually really uniquely transferred over to kiosk space. And we’ve been dabbling for the last couple of years, and I think we’ve really found a unique fit. And I think we’ve been able to – you know, we’ve been told by a number of the big kiosk players out there, when they look at our solution and what we can do and that type of an interface, that we really are transformative insofar as what we’re going to be able to do to help them with ADA. So really excited about that and – you know, Mark can probably talk a little bit more than I can about some of the technical aspects of it. I was – you know, you mentioned Jeff, and Jeff is passionate about software and passionate about web infrastructures, and Mark is equally passionate about things like, you know, devices and things of that nature. It’s probably why they get along so well. Like, they could fit together really well. And when I brought this whole concept of kiosks to the table, it got both of them really equally excited because Mark got to play with boxes – JS: — new toys. DS: — of steel and new toys. MARK MAKER: Exactly. JS: New toys. DS: And Jeff got to work with the interface and — so I think Mark was – JS: So Dan was excited about ancillary Markets – DS: Correct. JS: — the rest of the team was like, you’re giving me the opportunity to go play with stuff. MM: Exactly. DS: I was excited about solving a big problem in the Marketplace. JS: Nicely done, my friend. Nicely done. MM: Nice. It’s spectacular because these devices are really advanced these days. They are computing platforms that typically are used in full-blown operating systems. You know, it’s not as common anymore to have some proprietary OS. Sometimes, they’ll be based on Android or something of that nature. But more often than not, it’s some form of embedded Windows or full-featured OS that has browsing capabilities built into it, and it really just makes a lot of sense, in the next generation of kiosks, not to try and self-contain everything, but rather to have a persistent internet connection so that the content is always up to date on the devices. And being web-based, you can reuse the same assets that you would use in any other area of the business. So it just makes sense to try and unify all these technologies together with the kiosk, and that makes it a perfect fit for the type of work that we do, given that it is internet connected, it is web-based content, the solutions that AudioEye provides are able to handle any kind of transformation necessary to make it ADA compliant. But it really kind of goes beyond that because we can then begin to innovate and say, well, what would be the best way for a user to engage with a particular screen in the menu? JS: Yeah. MM: Maybe for some screens, that’s a swipe gesture. Maybe for some, it’s, you know, more voice activation, or maybe it’s, you know, touching quadrants or corners or — all kinds of different things. And by having these devices that are more advanced, that are internet-connected, we can iterate quickly and, you know, bring to Market new features as they, you know, are ideated by end users. So it’s really exciting. JS: First of all, I’m glad you didn’t say OS/2 Warp. And I’m also thrilled that you didn’t say Windows CE — MM: Right. JS: — because that would – those were some early POS – MM: Absolutely. JS: — that people held onto for a very long time, especially in the retail space. And with that, does it work hand-in-hand situation – because some companies might be, look. You guys go do this. We don’t want to be a part of it. But some companies are very, very protective of their Market, and it involves a lot with user experience and, UEX and UY and design. So have you found that to be the case, where you’re running into both types of individuals that are passionate about what the experience is in this venue? MM: Yeah. I mean, I do think that we’ve kind of seen the spectrum from that perspective. Not sure how, you know, in detail I can get with anything else – JS: Right. Right. No. NDA’s holding. NDA’s holding. MM: Right. Exactly. But yeah. I mean, you do kind of see some companies that are really more concerned with the, just, compliance aspect, whereas others are really about innovation and trying to provide the best experiences and, you know, we’re – as Dan was pointing out, a large driving force behind this effort is the changes in minimum wage, the need to automate, to be able to stay viable with, you know, the margins in the industry. So it does make sense that you would want to have the most intuitive interface, the easiest process for ordering, you know, and changing and, you know – JS: Yeah. It’s a new frontier because nobody’s really jumped out ahead. Dan, you mentioned a moment ago about Wendy’s and stuff. But there isn’t, like, a ubiquitous factor yet or something that a blind individual or somebody with deaf-blindness can go in and have an experience yet or point to a chain where they can have that experience yet? DS: I mean, this is web accessibility all over again; right? I mean, really, what happened was, you know, as bandwidth expanded and as the complexity of web design, all the things that you could do in a web interface really took off in, you know, in the early 2000’s all the way up until this day, what ended up happening is the technologists got so excited about pushing the envelope forward that, you know, one of the communities it was probably most empowered by the whole advent of the internet was left behind; right? And then, at the end of the day, people would say, well, what about individuals with disabilities? What about accessibility? And everybody would have these blank stares and said, oh, yeah. We forgot; right? So – JS: The bolt-on mentality. Right. MM: There you go. DS: So we’ve made a business of, really, being able to help those entities go back in as noninvasive and as nondisruptive a way as possible, to actually fix those issues, and we see the exact same thing took place in the kiosk space; right? JS: Yeah. Yeah. DS: Because in this massive, all hands on deck, push this thing forward, get it out, advance new features, new benefits, oh yeah. We forgot; right? So, you know, at the end of the day, that’s the way the Market’s going to work, and we’ve been able to find that there’s a really good business by being able to come in and, sort of, help people fix the messes that they created by not thinking about this as an issue. They generally are made aware of it by — not the way that they would have wanted to – JS: Yeah. DS: But at the end of the day, we feel as though that we can sort of, really – a valuable service in being able to help. And, you know, I think, you know, three or four of these kiosk places have used the same word in explaining our solution when they’ve seen it, in that they say that AudioEye’s approach to this is really elegant. And I think that’s one of those things that’s really made me happy is that it’s not disruptive, it does not change the use or anything in that nature of the interface, but it really enables and empowers a whole differentiated community to interact with those devices. We also see a really long tail to this. I mean, I think the things that you are going to be able to do with kiosks and the way in which, you know, we live on our mobile devices and connectivity and Apple Pay and Google Pay and some of the things that we can do, we can really help these entities elevate the whole concept of usability of these infrastructures, and it’s really exciting. So we’re pretty – we’re really pleased, and I’m just thrilled that, you know, after three years of working on this, I come to CSUN, and people are talking about it. The U.S. Access Board put together a panel and a group committee that’s working on kiosk accessibility as the topic. So it’s an emerging trend, and we’re happy that we’ve been there for a few years and that the Market’s finally caught up to us. JS: Okay. So he gave me an opening, so you can blame me; okay – for – because Dan set you up for this. The experience, Mark. MM: Yes. JS: The seamless experience. He said Apple Pay and Google Pay. What were some of the challenges of being able to work with a payment system that’s going to do a handoff to another device? MM: Well, so, you know, we have some handoff systems in place that allow us to essentially use your mobile device as an input device – JS: Uh-huh. MM: — for these infrastructures. We have not, at this point, made a full payment transaction – JS: Uh-huh. MM: — between the two entities – JS: Yeah. Yeah. MM: — and I think that what we’re finding is that in all likelihood, a production implementation is going to be what the NFC built into the kiosk itself. JS: Yeah. MM: Just using – JS: Because you’re asking end users to be – MM: — the phone directly. JS: — familiar with two audio sources at one time. MM: Right. JS: — so – DS: Yeah. And a clear differentiation I probably didn’t say; right? I talk about the long tail that we see in this; right? So – JS: No. DS: We’re trying to make the case where people are coming to us and saying, help us with accessibility. And, you know, I think one of the challenges that we, as a – industry, have always had is, you know, just trying — making the business case for accessibility; right? So we’ve always tried to do that within the digital infrastructures. Well, when you think about usability and you think of millennials and that they live on their phones and – JS: Oh, gosh, this. DS: — those types of things; right? Watches – you know, the things that we’re able to do with accessibility and usability into kiosks, we can actually take that underlying technology and we can extrapolate that to a whole bunch of other places that may not specifically be aligned with accessibility. But it’s really on the foundation that we pull for accessibility within those kiosks, of which payment, voice activation, all of those things are, sort of, the tentacles that we’re excited about. So when we’re in these meetings, we can actually say, well, let’s get the foundation of accessibility built, but I want to give you a preview of some of the things that we might be able to do. JS: Yeah. DS: And, you know, when a millennial is in line at a McDonalds at 2 o’clock in the morning and they got to wait forever, they could pull up their mobile device and be able to actually operate the kiosk remotely and be able to facilitate the payment and get out faster. They love that, you know, whether it’s McDonalds or Panera or Wendy’s. So those are the things that we see where not – this is where accessibility has an opportunity to transform the underlying, sort of technology that’s out there. We’re kind of excited about that, so I didn’t want to make that we’ve done that. We see that as a – we see that as – JS: Yeah. No. I get that, and that’s changing all the time because, you know, you mentioned Google Pay, and that has changed a few times on what we’re going to call it – Android Pay, Google Pay — MM: Right. JS: — what have you, and those standards change all the time, especially as banking gets used to doing more of that thing outside of what would normally be their own form of payment operation. MM: Right. DS: Yeah. And, you know, you mentioned Jeff at the top of this call, and you’ve known Jeff and you know the passion he has for this space, and one of the things that we always talk about internally in our meetings at AudioEye is while we’re building 1.0, we’re also white boarding 2.0, and we’re visualizing 3.0; right? And we sometimes have to stop ourselves and say, let’s get the first cake baked fully; right? So we’re on 1.0 mode – JS: Yeah. DS: – but we can’t help ourselves. We’re still white boarding, thinking, and extrapolating what 2.0 and 3.0 look like, and we get excited about that, and that’s what motivates us. So payment systems and things of that nature, that’s like, 2.5. So I don’t want to get too far ahead of our skis there, but – JS: Well, no. And that makes a lot of sense because from Mark’s perspective, he has such a wide range to consider now as far as that experience goes for UEX, user experience, because you’re talking about, in some cases, older phones. MM: Right. JS: Some things you might have in an iPhone Max that you wouldn’t have in an 8 that would – you wouldn’t have in a 6s. MM: Right. JS: And so some of those things do kind of boil down to who is my user, what do we support? Because, you know, I went to go buy my big Mac, but I found out that my phone wasn’t necessarily compatible. I mean, these are new things, like you were saying, it is a new Wild West. MM: Absolutely, it is. And you know, the devices are obviously changing all the time, like you mentioned with the Google Pay standards and names changing and – JS: Yeah. MM: What I love about the core of the technology that we are deploying here is that it is really ubiquitous in – from an API perspective such that we really are able to just use standardized web technologies, and once we’ve paired devices, it really doesn’t matter if it’s a web browser on your laptop or it’s your smart phone or it’s some IOT device that we have custom built; right? I mean, it really doesn’t matter at that point, but it’s been boiled down to, you know, just standard, socket-based communication, and we’re able to provide literally any functionality that our engineers or our clients can dream up through that type of protocol. So yes. There are certainly going to be some challenges when you get into the proprietary areas of, you know, payments and, you know, other sensitive information passing, but as Dan points out; right? This is the groundwork, this is the foundation and the 1.0. JS: Yeah. MM: That, you know, really enables us to start having those deeper conversations with the clients to come up with, well, what would be the ideal use case and scenario, and what is our path going to be to get there? JS: And I think, for some of our listeners who aren’t familiar with this technology, it’s important to note that there’s a heavy aspect of security that’s involved, even with, say, a sandwich chain that maybe familiar with customization, you know, they’re headquarters, they have ID badges that have security codes and they rotate those out. And there’s a lot of corporate security around just, recipes and food, let alone, we even get back to the payment option. So there’s more to this than just flipping a switch or pressing a couple of buttons. MM: Absolutely. DS: And to that point; right? I mean, one of the other things that we’ve found is, yes. Social service makes a heck of a lot of sense within restaurant, and we’ve seen it an awful lot. But I got to tell you, I mean, whether you go to Home Depot or Wal-Mart, whether you go to a hospital, whether you go to – I mean, the places where these interfaces and these sort of digital interfaces and these kiosk infrastructures is – to Mark’s point – is becoming more and more ubiquitous, and it’s in a lot of different places, and it’s a growing trend. And we just see it as a great opportunity. We’re going to be at the National Restaurant Association show coming up in Chicago in June. We’re going to have four kiosks on the floor with one of our partners, Howard Industries. We’re going to be able to, sort of, debut and show the world what this aspect of ADA compliance and accessibility within kiosks is, and we’re really excited about it, really thrilled that you gave us a venue to talk about this topic and get communicated to a wider audience that help is coming in that space. We know the frustration that the community has with these devices. You know, we are not going to suffer by the paralysis of perfection. We’re going to make them better, we’re going to continuously work to get them better, and we’ll get there over a period of time. JS: And I’m looking forward to the foodie post from the Restaurant Association by Dan, rating some of the great food that he’s going to have an opportunity to see there in Chicago, not that there wasn’t enough great food in Chicago as there was. DS: There’s plenty of it, and we’ll find it. MM: Yes. JS: Not a problem. Dan, Mark, thank you for your time. Where can people find this information or keep up with what’s going on? DS: I think on our blog on audioeye.com and any of the information that we have on audioeye.com. We are rapidly getting ready for this event in June, so we’re preparing a lot of our content around kiosks. So you’ve been kind of let behind the curtain a little bit early here, but we thought that it was important, and CSUN’s a great venue for us to start talking about this. JS: We always love exclusives. What are you talking about? I’m a content creator, brother. That’s how that works. Thank you for your time, gentlemen. I really appreciate it. MM: Have a great CSUN. DS: Thanks Joe. Great to see you. MM: Thanks, Joe. JS: Thank you. For CSUN 2019 in Anaheim, it’s Joe Steincamp. We got more. Just stay in the feed. For more exclusive audio coverage, visit blindbargains.com or download the Blind Bargains app for your IOS or Android device. Blind Bargains audio coverage is presented by the A T Guys, online at atguys.com. This has been another Blind Bargains audio podcast. Visit blindbargains.com for the latest deals, news, and exclusive content. This podcast may not be retransmitted, sold, or reproduced without the express written permission of A T Guys. Copyright 2019.
CSUN ADA Interview – AudioEye in Anaheim March 2019 was last modified: April 2nd, 2019 by News Editor
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 welcome Tech For All Consulting to the Kiosk Manufacturer Association. Tech for All is also now a member of the KMA Accessibility Committee.
For over fifteen years, our international accessibility and universal design consulting firm has served small companies, Fortune 500 corporations, educational institutions, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations representing people with disabilities. Tech for All’s sole mission is to help its clients successfully address the challenges of making their products, services, websites, kiosks, and mobile apps accessible for all, including people with disabilities.
TFA seeks to be your Accessibility Partner. We will work with your organization to craft practical and effective solutions for the accessibility challenges you face. TFA offers a broad range of accessibility support services including training, planning, evaluation, remediation, implementation, and monitoring.
The TFA Logo
The greater than or equal to symbol is represented in the Tech for All logo and signifies our mission to help our clients provide equivalent or greater access to technology for people with disabilities.
At the heart of TFA’s practice are the exceptionally talented, skilled, and experienced consultants who develop accessibility solutions and support successful implementation. Many of TFA’s experts are living with disabilities themselves. Each of TFA’s project teams includes seasoned consultants who bring specialized knowledge, capabilities, and solid experience to the task at hand.
Caesar Eghtesadi, PhD
Caesar founded Tech for All in 2001 after leading the development of the Universal Access Copier System, the world’s first voice-activated, large-scale office equipment product that was accessible and usable by people with disabilities. Caesar has led over 200 successful consulting engagements for diverse clients. He has been a major contributor to several projects for the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).
Contact TFA Consulting
New Sponsor – Tech For All Accessibility & UI was last modified: March 17th, 2019 by News Editor
A continuation of the process at the VA for the check-in kiosks continued. An RFP for 40 units was issued in September and the VA decided to sole-source the RFP to Vecna, the incumbent vendor.
Some of the reasons they decided to sole source according to VA
The needed timeframe was too close to do additional testing
The magstripe, thermal receipt printer and insurance card scanner could not be reconfigured except by Vecna.
It’s clear that we are disappointed that the VA feels compelled to invest in a proprietary solution especially given their EHR. With over 6500 units installed paying $7500 a unit for mostly industry-wide hardware is unfortunate.
There was no visible effort to actually increase competition or conduct market research checking with the other bidders or of the Association. KMA contacted the contracting officers and pointed out several areas of concern including ADA and accessibility nature of the current design. We did not get a response. We do note they read our email.
As far as we can tell from UL resources, these units are not UL certified.
Below is the official justification document (4 pages) though it appears the final page(s) have been removed.
Our guess is that time of need weighed too heavily on them and that they really had no choice. At some point the VA facility will be completed in Denver (albeit a billion dollars in cost overruns) and maybe we can see the kiosks there.
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.
With the passing of the 41st president, it’s worth remembering what may be his signature achievement.
Richard Slawsky is an Educator and freelance writer, specializing in the digital signage and kiosk industries.Louisville, Kentucky Area
The death of former president George H.W. Bush Nov. 30 at age 94 prompted a host of reminiscing in the media. Bush’s passing, many wrote, was the end of an era where politicians acted like ladies and gentlemen, treating friend and foe alike with dignity and respect.
Much of it was revisionism, of course. Bush’s Willie Horton campaign ad in his 1988 battle with Michael Dukakis is still discussed in political science classes because of its racial overtones. Many of the tactics used in his 1992 campaign against Bill Clinton, buoyed by the spread of the Internet, set the stage for the dysfunction currently plaguing both media and government. And one might argue that the effects of Bush’s handling of the invasion of Iraq are still being felt today.
Still, Bush guided the country through perilous waters as the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union collapsed. And if there was something alive during Bush’s time that seems to be gone today, it’s the ability to compromise; for opposing sides to come together and accomplish something for the greater good.
On July 26, 1990, Bush signed what’s been called the most sweeping civil rights legislation enacted since the 1960s: The Americans with Disabilities Act. The signing came just weeks after the bill sailed through Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support.
And while the effectiveness of the ADA remains a subject for debate, there’s no doubt about its impact on the kiosk industry, the country at large and most importantly, the lives of people with disabilities.
Long in the making
Although the ADA was codified into law during Bush’s tenure, it has its roots in the three pieces of major civil rights legislation passed in the 1960s: the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1968. According to the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 covered employers, those receiving federal funds and places of public accommodation such as restaurants and bus stations, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, religion and national origin.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 protects the voting rights of minorities, while the Civil Rights Act of 1968 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, national origin and sex in the sale and rental of housing.
None of that legislation, though, covered people with disabilities. It wasn’t until the next decade when the country saw significant movement on disability rights. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibited discrimination on the basis of disability in federal programs and by recipients of federal financial assistance. In 1975, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act mandated that public schools accepting federal funds provide equal access to education for children with physical and mental disabilities. The act was revised and renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act in 1990.
Although the 70s-era legislation was a start, it was the ADA that addressed discrimination against people with disabilities in many employment situations and public accommodations in the private sector. The bill’s effect wasn’t confined to the United States. According to Patrisha Wright, co-founder of the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, the ADA served as the inspiration for the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and has prompted several other countries to pass similar legislation.
An unlikely champion
Although Bush championed the ADA’s passage, his support for disability rights legislation was something that few could have predicted. According to Lex Frieden, executive director of the National Council on the Handicapped, Bush had a major encounter with disability issues in the public sphere when then-President Ronald Reagan appointed him to oversee a task force that was working to weaken the Education for All Handicapped Children Act.
“Parents of kids with disabilities heard about that and began to call and write the White House and express their anger and angst to Vice President Bush,” Frieden told the Pacific Standard. “He was taken aback about that. He addressed his staff and told them back off [from gutting the EHCA].”
In addition, many in government were actively in favor of disability rights legislation, including then-Sen. Robert Dole of Kansas, who suffered wounds in World War II that left his right arm permanently disabled and his left arm minimally functional, and former White House Press Secretary James Brady, who was left partially paralyzed after being shot in March 1980 during John Hinckley’s assassination attempt on President Reagan. Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, whose brother was deaf, was the chief sponsor of the ADA in the Senate.
“It’s been the work of a true coalition, a strong and inspiring coalition of people who have shared both a dream and a passionate determination to make that dream come true,” Bush said at the signing, according to the. “It’s been a coalition in the finest spirit—a joining of Democrats and Republicans, of the legislative and the executive branches, of federal and state agencies, of public officials and private citizens, of people with disabilities and without.”
Much left to be done
The ADA has remained controversial since its passage, garnering criticism for the barrage of lawsuits it has prompted over the years.
At the same time, much of the technology we use in our daily lives wasn’t even in existence in 1990, so many technology providers are working to accommodate those with disabilities despite vague and often-changing government guidance. In many cases, the kiosk industry is at the forefront of those efforts.
Kiosk manufacturers have long adhered to dimension standards to ensure their devices can be accessed by those in wheelchairs, and have included assistive technologies such as audio headset connections and the ability to adjust text size on displays. Over the past few years, companies such as Storm Interface have developed touchpads, voice recognition capabilities and other tools to make it easier for those with limited hand motion and other disabilities to access kiosks, while companies such as GestureTek have developed video gesture technologies that enable sight-impaired people to interact with touchscreens.
And not long ago, the Kiosk Manufacturers Association created a working group of kiosk manufacturers and other experts to help address usability and compliance issues.
So while every issue with ADA compliance when it comes to kiosks can’t be foreseen, and many are left to the courts to decide, the industry continues to work towards making self-service technology accessible by all.
Nearly 40 years ago, George H.W. Bush laid down a challenge to make the United States a place where people with disabilities wouldn’t be excluded from the conveniences of life we all enjoy. There’s still much to be done, but the kiosk industry is working every day to meet that challenge.
Voice Recognition & Speech Self-Order Assist Coming – See KMA in NY at NRF Big Show Booth #1725 – Meeting notes U.S. Access Board (ADA)
PRESS RELEASEUPDATED: NOV 27, 2018 06:00 MST
WESTMINSTER, Colo., November 27, 2018 (Newswire.com) – The Kiosk Manufacturer Association had the yearly meeting in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 16, 2018, with the United States Access Board and it was a productive meeting. Thanks to the U.S. Access Board for meeting.
Voice & Speech — One of the show-and-tell devices was the new Audio NavPad by Storm Interface. During the meeting, the KMA presented a proposed framework for Code of Practice. For a write-up with pictures of all, including the physical hardware, visit the update for U.S. Access Board meeting 2018. Recent related news around this technology was noted from Kroger, Walmart, Target and Peapod. Voice shopping is currently estimated at $2 billion and expected to go to $40 billion by 2022. It’s coming more so than Amazon it seems.
NRF and Retail Advisory Board – At the NRF Big Show in New York in January, KMA will be exhibiting in booth 1725. As part of NRF, the KMA will be recruiting participants for the Retail Advisory Council. Simply put, KMA is looking for companies that have an interest in self-service in general, and also accessibility, and may or may not have input for us. This type of broad review, input and consensus is modeled on the ANSI process standards. Visit KMA booth at NRF and see. Here is the update on NRF 2019 and includes information on all the company members who will be there.
Kiosk Hall of Fame – nominations are being accepted. Nominations may be submitted here at the Kiosk Hall of Fame ballot. Current nominees are John Glitsos of First Wave; Marsha Mazz – who worked for the U.S. Access Board for 30 years (Marsha impacted the self-service market perhaps more than anybody); David Heyliger – Rocky Mountain Multimedia; Blaine Hurst – CEO of Panera Bread; and Tom Weaver – now executive consultant for KIOSK Information Systems in Colorado. Voting will commence shortly.
Research – a new research report from Frost and Sullivan released in November 2018 highlights the kiosk market. The market is detailed with revenue of $8,916.8 million in 2017 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.0 percent between 2017 and 2022. The unit shipment of self-service kiosks was at 2,277,523 in 2017 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.7 percent between 2017 and 2022. KMA plans to publish some extended excerpts and offer a discount.
Smart City News – available for download is Smart Cities and Counties data report. This report takes a comprehensive look at nearly 300 different smart solutions being purchased, reflecting over 70,000 purchases in the last three years, with the majority (59 percent) coming from cities and a sizable 41 percent originating from counties. Profiled are the various types of purchases involved, who is making them, which governments are out-ranking others and what trends are leading in this space.
o TouchPay Member Profile o Point of Purchase Trends – Recap 2018 – Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc. o Tourism – Qwick Media Introduces ‘Shared Data” Interactive Kiosk Software o Touchscreens – TDS Adds New “38” Line of PCap Touchscreens o Sports Betting Kiosks: The Future of Sports Betting o Meridian Partners With Samsung SDS America Innovative Digital Signage Solution o NRF 2019 – National Retail Federation BigShow in NY o Whitepaper – Determining ROI for Merchandising Displays & Interactive Kiosks o Kiosk Manufacturer – Meridian Announces New Manufacturing Leadership o Digital Signage – Peerless-AV® Universal Projector Mount Line Heavy Duty Models o Peerless-AV® Launches New Diamond Level of Certified Installer Training Program o U.S. Access Board 2018 Meeting KMA ADA Board o Kroger Launches Voice Assistant Ordering for Grocery Ecommerce o Attracting Attention: 8 Ways to Increase Kiosk Usage o 5 Key Learnings from Panera’s Digital Transformation Blaine Hurst
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.
The plaintiffs are seeking a permanent injunction that would require Walmart to make its self-service kiosks throughout the U.S. accessible to blind customers; a declaration that Walmart has been violating the ADA; and court costs and attorneys’ fees.
According to the suit, Morales and Boyd were checking out at a self-service kiosk when Morales handed an employee her debit card and instructed the employee to enter her pin number on the keypad. She expected to pay about $80 for her items, according to the suit. During the transaction, the screen prompted the users to take money from the machine, the suit claims. When Morales and Boyd left the store, they asked a bystander to read the receipt and realized Morales was charged about $120.
They re-entered the store and called police, and the $40 was ultimately returned, according to the complaint.
Kiosk Manufacturer Association with ADA, NRF, and Emergency Kiosk updates
PRESS RELEASEUPDATED: OCT 8, 2018 05:00 MDT
EASTLAKE, Colo., October 8, 2018 (Newswire.com) – The Kiosk Manufacturer Association (aka KMA) is pleased to announce the appointments of inaugural Chairpersons for the ADA and Accessibility Committee.
Laura Miller of KioWare (https://kioware.com) and Randy Amundson of Frank Mayer, Inc. (https://frankmayer.com) have been named as Co-Chairperson for the ADA and Accessibility Committee. Both Laura and Randy have extensive experience in both software and hardware aspects of self-service technology and how assistive technology best serves the public.
The Kiosk ADA and Accessibility Committee includes:
As of 2015, according to U.S. Census surveys, over 12% of all persons in the United States have some type of disability and that number is growing.
To help address disabilities and the ADA regulations, the KMA has recently released a proposed framework for Voice Recognition and Speech Command. Working with the U.S. Access Board directly, the KMA is hopeful that a proposed Code-of-Practice can be adopted for this type of assistive technology. Public comment and working group participation is encouraged and only requires expertise and experience.
This is intended for global adoption with much of the input by the UK’s Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)
In another related public service, the KMA recently released a white paper describing emergency alert and detection technologies for public terminals for use in education, government, retail, transportation, hospitality and entertainment segments. Smart City and smart transportation are target markets. Mission critical public safety tools are the proposed end solution.
The purpose of the document is to define how Wayfinding Technology, Digital Signage and Kiosks can be networked and used to detect and/or prevent active shooter and mass casualty attacks and expedite the response of Law Enforcement and Emergency Services First Responders to catastrophic events in large public venues. We focus on several of the most respected technology providers in the industry and how they would each play a critical role as foundational partners to bring a combined solution to market.
The KMA has joined as a member of the National Retail Federation in order to help communicate education and issues on self-service kiosk technology. The most public iteration of this technology is in the QSR or Fast Casual segment where companies such as McDonalds and Wendy’s have chosen to adopt in order to serve all of their customers as they wish to be served.
In January 2019 in New York, the KMA will be exhibiting on the main floor of NRF’s Big Show and will be accepting members from providers to deployers. An Advisory Panel of companies deploying self-service which can provide their unique perspective on all of the above issues is the objective. See us in 1725.
Kiosk Hall of Fame – we are now taking nominations for hall of fame candidates. Marsha Mazz of U.S. Access Board, John Glitsos of FirstWave and Dave Heyliger of Rocky Mountain Multimedia are the initial candidates. See https://kioskindustry.org/kiosk-about/kiosk-hall-fame/
For more information on all of these items, visit https://kioskindustry.org the communication site for the KMA. You can also contact Craig Keefner the manager at email@example.com
“Satellite” websites include RetailSystems.org, Selfservice.io and ThinClient.org. We are hosted at Rackspace, the premier hosting solution (especially during Prime Day). Last month we had 35,000 unique visitors, last 30 days Cloudflare humans = 28,500 Join our LinkedIn Group with over 1600 members.
Source: Kiosk Manufacturer Association
Kiosk Manufacturer Association News – ADA Committee Chairpersons for KMA Announced was last modified: October 10th, 2018 by News Editor
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.
NEW to KioWare for Android – Support Added for Storm Assistive Technology Products
“Accessibility should be a strong consideration for any kiosk deployment. With this release, both KioWare for Windows and KioWare for Android support the heavily tested and well-respected Storm ATP suite of keypads, keyboards & other accessibility products.” ~ Laura Miller of KioWare.
KioWare has released a new version of KioWare for Android kiosk software supporting Storm Assistive Technology Products such as the Nav-Pad, Nav-Bar and AudioNav. KioWare kiosk software products lock down your device into kiosk mode, turning your tablet into a secure kiosk or purposed device for self-service, digital signage, or mobile device management deployments.
Kiosk Accessibility Made Easy
Version 3.16 of KioWare Basic & KioWare Full for Android now includes support for Storm’s ATP devices. These ADA compliant devices 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. They are designed to provide a tactile/audio interface for any accessible self-service application. Devices supported include the Nav-Pad, Nav-Bar and AudioNav. KioWare for Android offers out of the box compatibility for those that want to make their Android self-service or purposed device experience accessible. Prior to this integration, devices running the Android OS were quite limited in their ability to provide an accessible self-service solution.
Additional New Features and Improvements
KioWare for Android 3.16 has also added features to improve the ability to provision Android devices. Android devices may now be provisioned via a USB storage device. Provisioning support has also been added for running shell scripts.
Secure File Browser
A secure file browser has been added to allow users to open a file browser and select a file to upload. With new security features, users can be restricted to browse only allowed files and folders on the file system. New functionality includes the ability for users to take new photos and videos or browse this file system for existing files.
Multiple Exit Passcodes & Actions
Different exit passcodes can now be used to call different exit actions. This allows for actions to be taken based on the exit passcode entered. Deployers can vary permissions based on user need.
Reboot Schedule Management
Reboot schedules can now be used on devices that are rooted.
View all updates to KioWare for Android version 3.16 here.
A license is needed for each deployed kiosk running KioWare for Android. Quantity pricing is available. Annual support and maintenance are recommended, and current support is required in order to upgrade. View a full description of features for this and other versions of the KioWare product line. These products are available as a free trial download. Existing clients have the ability to upgrade. KioWare has been providing OS, desktop, and browser lockdown security for the kiosk and self-service industry since 2001 and Android software since 2012.
Android Kiosk Software Supports ADA Assistive Technology was last modified: July 31st, 2018 by News Editor
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
U.S. Access Board Webinar: Accessible Airport Terminals (June 7)
For Airport Kiosk Accessibility Regulations, the next webinar in the U.S. Access Board’s free monthly series will take place June 7 from 2:30 – 4:00 (ET) and review accessibility requirements for airports under the ADA and other laws. The session will focus on areas of special concern, including passenger loading zones, self-service ticketing kiosks, security checkpoints, boarding bridges and devices, signage, sales and service counters, communication systems, and service animal relief areas. A representative from the Federal Aviation Administration will join the Access Board in conducting the session.
Visit www.accessibilityonline.org for more information or to register for the webinar. Questions can be submitted in advance of the session or can be posed during 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.
U.S. Access Board Webinar: Accessible Airport Terminals was last modified: May 11th, 2018 by News Editor