Social Security Kiosks
Big contract for Social Security Administration announced for ADA-compliant kiosks. News from ReliaSource which was actually awarded the contract ($15.6M total?). Looks like $4M of that was service and maintenance. Interesting how it was titled “Visitor Intake Processing”.
- Great news for local manufacturer KIOSK winning a contract worth a total of $19M over ten years.
- SSA has come under a lot of fire recently for ADA and accessibility and it is terrific to see top-level manufacturer like KIOSK supplying an accessible kiosk.
- From Kim Kenney CEO of KIOSK — “This scalable solution provides an American Disability Act-compliant kiosk that will allow SSA customers to access and manage their account services in a convenient and efficient way,”
Baltimore, MD, July 25, 2022:
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has awarded ReliaSource its Visitor Intake Process (VIPr) Kiosk Contract. Worth up to $19M over ten years, the requirement’s purpose is to design, test, manufacture, integrate and maintain 1,600+ self-service kiosks and to improve the accessibility of SSA field offices to all visitors.
ReliaSource is a Baltimore-based Information Technology (IT) System Integrator that qualifies as a Historically Underutilized Business Zone Woman-owned Small Business (HUBZone WOSB). The award extends ReliaSource’s two-decade track record deploying and maintaining the SSA’s IT infrastructure both throughout and outside the contiguous United States. ReliaSource leverages its Nationwide Field Support and Lifecycle Asset Management verticals to deploy and support thousands of dispersed mission-critical environments.
ReliaSource partners with KIOSK Information Systems, North America’s leading manufacturer of self-service solutions, to prototype and manufacture the kiosks. “This scalable solution provides an American Disability Act-compliant kiosk that will allow SSA customers to access and manage their account services in a convenient and efficient way,” says KIOSK’s CEO, Kim Kenney
“ReliaSource has long understood and embraced the importance of SSA’s citizen-facing mission,” says ReliaSource’s President, Joseph Zuramski. “Having personally stepped foot in hundreds of SSA field offices, I can already envision the positive impact that our VIPr technology will make every day on the SSA’s constituents. Substantial credit belongs to the SSA’s efforts to formulate and validate the solution thoughtfully.”
Director of Business Development
RFP Notice in April 2021
Notice of Intent – Visitor Intake Processing (VIPr) Kiosks
The purpose of this synopsis is to provide notice that the Social Security Administration (SSA) intends to award an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract for a contractor to provide the design, development, delivery, testing, deployment of the kiosks, and maintenance, as described in further detail below.
Full and Open Competition
The Agency is in need of Self-Service Kiosks. The award will include a base year with nine option periods for Hardware and Maintenance. The new IDIQ contract will provide for the design, development, delivery, testing, and deployment of the kiosks themselves, and any preventive maintenance services (including emergency maintenance services) deemed necessary by SSA to maintain the kiosks in secure working order at SSA sites. Delivery and task orders against this contract will be firm fixed price. The potential period of performance of this contract will be 10 years if all options are exercised.
Statement of Work Excerpt
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is improving its field office kiosk technology for visitors to check-in and perform simple self-help services. We seek a solution easily usable by all members of the public that visit our field offices and accessible to people with disabilities. The kiosks shall be:
- Standalone, enclosed, custom-designed units
- Ruggedized for use in semi-supervised, indoor locations
- Zero client based systems with USB peripheral devices installed inside the kiosk cabinet
- Accessible and usable, as defined by the agency technical, accessibility, and usability requirements
- Purchased by the agency
- Installed by the contractor
- Serviced for 12 months by the contractor and with the option for the contractor to service up to 9 years
Because the check-in kiosk solution needs to be deployed in the near future, the Agency requires an accelerated design, manufacturing, and installation schedule. The fluid circumstances associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic may impact Agency plans, but as of the issuance of this solicitation, the Contractor shall deliver as many as 1,600 new kiosks to all of the Agency’s field offices within the contract ordering period (contract base year and option year one). The kiosks are located in nearly 1,250 field office locations in the contiguous 48 States, Alaska, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia (see Appendix 1 Delivery Locations and Unit Amounts). Prior to manufacture, the Contractor shall deliver a design prototype for the Agency to perform testing.
The Visitor Intake Process (VIPr) is used by SSA field office staff to manage the intake and workflow of field office visitors. In the early 2010s, a self-check-in kiosk was piloted and is now implemented across SSA field offices using off-the-shelf components. Some field offices have had cabinets made and others arrange the components on a desk or counter surface. The current self-check-in kiosk asks a few questions about the users’ visit and asks them to enter their Social Security Number (if they have one). The self-check-in is now compulsory in most field offices. Most users only interact with the touchscreen. A separate number pad is provided for blind and low vision users. Because many blind visitors are assisted by another member of the public, the design allows use of both the keypad and touchscreen in the same session. While a sighted person may elect to use the keypad to enter their Social Security Number (SSN), our user studies indicate that the vast majority of sighted users interact only with the touchscreen number pad. After the user enters their information, the kiosk instructs the user to either return with needed documentation or prints a “Waiting Room” ticket. The new design shall include an improved number pad and a navigation keypad that is easier to use by blind users.
User sessions are rather short (less two minutes) and SSA staff then manage the visitors through application workflows. Currently, an audio session for blind users is launched when they begin using the keypad and audio is played over speakers. With the hardware purchased under this solicitation, there are no speakers and a new audio session shall be launched whenever a user plugs in their headphones. The session resets any time the headphones are removed. The Contractor shall not include external speakers in the design so that blind users perceive a private kiosk session. A navigation keypad shall change system focus and visible indication of focus with or without headphones inserted. Interaction of Agency Designed Software and Kiosk Hardware
The agency will design and host the kiosk software on its own network and software infrastructure. However, Agency’s software will include accessibility features that rely on hardware components that shall be provided by the Contractor. For instance, the software is designed to start a screen reader when a user inserts a headphone jack into the kiosk; this requires that the Contractor shall provide a headphone jack sockets that include a tip switch that detects the insertion and removal of a headphone jack. Additionally, software will also rely on the use of a tactile navigation keypad which can be customized to support different navigation methods, so the Contractor shall provide a navigation keypad that supports the Agency’s software design. The Contractor shall provide hardware equipment and peripherals necessary for the proper functioning of the kiosks software.
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