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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
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.
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
We are inviting any and all Retail companies to become a member of our Retail Advisory Council. There is no cost and you are partitioned in a “safe harbor”. A distinct group segment from the actual kiosk manufacturers, or the installation and logistics companies, the financing companies or the companies providing components.
We here at the Kiosk Manufacturers Association work and talk ADA and Accessibility. Once a year we meet with the U.S. Access Board. To make it easier for our suggestions and inputs to be accepted we have a wide interest Working Group. Help us meet the standards by participating with us. It’s no cost.
If interested in more send us a note.
Here are first 10 stipulations for ANSI Requirements along with a full copy at the end.
ANSI Essential Requirements: Due process requirements for American National Standards
1.0 Essential requirements for due process These requirements apply to activities related to the development of consensus for approval, revision, reaffirmation, and withdrawal of American National Standards (ANS).
Due process means that any person (organization, company, government agency, individual, etc.) with a direct and material interest has a right to participate by: a) expressing a position and its basis, b) having that position considered, and c) having the right to appeal. Due process allows for equity and fair play. The following constitute the minimum acceptable due process requirements for the development of consensus.
1.1 Openness Participation shall be open to all persons who are directly and materially affected by the activity in question. There shall be no undue financial barriers to participation. Voting membership on the consensus body shall not be conditional upon membership in any organization, nor unreasonably restricted on the basis of technical qualifications or other such requirements.
1.2 Lack of dominance The standards development process shall not be dominated by any single interest category, individual or organization. Dominance means a position or exercise of dominant authority, leadership, or influence by reason of superior leverage, strength, or representation to the exclusion of fair and equitable consideration of other viewpoints.
1.3 Balance The standards development process should have a balance of interests. Participants from diverse interest categories shall be sought with the objective of achieving balance. If a consensus body lacks balance in accordance with the historical criteria for balance, and no specific alternative formulation of balance was approved by the ANSI Executive Standards Council, outreach to achieve balance shall be undertaken.
1.4 Coordination and harmonization Good faith efforts shall be made to resolve potential conflicts between and among existing American National Standards and candidate American National Standards.
1.5 Notification of standards development Notification of standards activity shall be announced in suitable media as appropriate to demonstrate an opportunity for participation by all directly and materially affected persons.
1.6 Consideration of views and objections Prompt consideration shall be given to the written views and objections of all participants, including those commenting on the PINS announcement or public comment listing in Standards Action.
1.7 Consensus vote Evidence of consensus in accordance with these requirements and the accredited procedures of the standards developer shall be documented.
1.8 Appeals Written procedures of an ANSI-Accredited Standards Developer (ASD) shall contain an identifiable, realistic, and readily available appeals mechanism for the impartial handling of procedural appeals regarding any action or inaction. Procedural appeals include whether a technical issue was afforded due process.
1.9 Written procedures Written procedures shall govern the methods used for standards development and shall be available to any interested person.
1.10 Compliance with normative American National Standards policies and administrative procedures All ANSI-Accredited Standards Developers (ASDs) are required to comply with the normative policies and administrative procedures established by the ANSI Executive Standards Council or its designee.
Audio NavPad we guess that is being tested by companies like Amazon and others [Storm Technology]
Haptic touchscreen with programmable friction [Mimo Monitors]
It was a full agenda and there were several takeways. Also KMA provided sample Smart City RFPs from actual requests to help the Access Board gain a better understanding of the role of ADA and Accessibility in those types of projects.
One of the agenda items was to introduce to the Access Board our new ADA and Accessibility Co-Chairs Laura Miller and Randy Amundson.
By Craig Keefner — See Storm’s entire range of Assistive Technology Products (ATP) and find out more about exciting new product launches scheduled for later this year. These ATP devices are ADA compliant and RNIB Accredited, designed to offer menu navigation by means of audible content description. They allow users with impaired vision, reading difficulties or impaired fine motor skills to navigate through menus or directories that would typically be presented on a visual display or touch screen. Designed for use as the tactile/audio interface for any accessible self-service application such as kiosks, ticketing machines etc.
Last week we went thru a demonstration of gesture technology for kiosk for use by handicapped users. People unable to move their arms. People unable to speak.
People with ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, Spinal Cord Injury, Parkinsons, Cerebral Palsy and even some cases of Arthritis.
Furthermore, some people may not be able to use voice either, or even if they could, there may be noise or privacy concerns preventing use of voice.
We had a YouTube video created for us which demonstrates 3 different ways in which a user can choose buttons on a kiosk screen in a totally hands-free and voice-free fashion via use of head motion and/or smiling.
We get asked about configuring the Storm NavPad and it comes with API/SDK which lets programmers configure it. In Windows you can even light the lights so to speak. There are firms that specialize in assisting with that exact sort of thing (listed on our ADA page).
Another less software intensive is to use a lockdown such as KioWare. See the screenshots below.
See below — the Accessibility screen for turning on Nav-Pad support. Also, where you turn on JAWS and ZoomText. Turning Nav-Pad on automatically creates Hotkeys for all the NavPad keys.
Here are all the hotkeys
And here we show all the different ways to configure a Hotkey. The ‘Perform this action:’ list box has ~20 predefined actions: Begin/Renew Session, Copy, Paste, Toggle Virt Kbd, Volume Up/Down, etc…
ADA Accessibility Tip – Integrating Storm NavPad was last modified: June 28th, 2018 by News Editor
Section 508 Best Practices Webinar: Putting the Revised 508 Standards into Practice for Procurement
Section 508 Webinars — The next webinar in the Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series will take place May 29 from 1:00 to 2:30 (ET) and cover strategies for meeting the updated 508 Standards in federal procurements. Presenters from the General Services Administration (GSA) will review available tools and resources, such as an Applicability Checklist on the revised standards, a solicitation conformance template, a new conformance reporting tool for vendors, and GSA’s Accessibility Requirements Tool.
The Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series provides helpful information and best practices for federal agencies in meeting their obligations under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act which ensures access to information and communication technology in the federal sector. This webinar series is made available by the Accessibility Community of Practice of the CIO Council in partnership with the Access Board.
Section 508 Best Practices: Putting the Revised 508 Standards into Practice for ProcurementAdd to Calendar May 29, 2018, 1:00 – 2:30 (ET) Presenters: • John Sullivan, Government-wide Section 508 Program Director, GSA • Kevin Funk, Program Analyst, GSA • Kathy Eng, Senior ICT Accessibility Specialist, U.S. Access Board (moderator) Registration: www.accessibilityonline.org/cioc-508/session/?id=110667
Section 508 Best Practices Webinar: Putting the Revised 508 Standards into Practice for Procurement was last modified: May 10th, 2018 by News Editor
A New Spin on Song-Beverly Act ADA Litigation Against Retailers
How much data are you handing over at POS? How much data are you taking/handling? New litigation in California points also at operative locations for devices which are capturing the data.
Retailers operating brick-and-mortar stores in California are likely well aware of the state’s requirements for the collection of consumers’ personally identifiable information (PII). The Song-Beverly Credit Card Act of 1971 (the “Act”) imposes civil penalties for certain practices with respect to capturing and recording PII in cardholder transactions. See Cal. Civ. Code § 1747.08. Traditional litigation under the Act challenged retailers’ requests for telephone numbers, driver license numbers, and email addresses in connection with credit card payments at the point of sale. Beginning in 2011, when the California Supreme Court held that ZIP codes constitute PII, retailers most notably faced a wave of litigation regarding requests for customers’ ZIP codes at the point of sale before purchases were consummated. See Pineda v. Williams-Sonoma Stores, Inc., 51 Cal. 4th 524 (2011). As we reported in June 2017, filings in this area have garnered less attention in recent years as prudent retailers have modified certain aspects of their checkout policies and procedures.
ADA Kiosk – U.S. Access Board Launches YouTube Channel
The U.S. Access Board is a federal agency that promotes equality for people with disabilities through leadership in accessible design and the development of accessibility guidelines and standards. Its guidelines and standards address access to the built environment, information and communication technology, transportation, and medical diagnostic equipment. The Board also provides technical assistance and training on these design requirements and enforces accessibility standards that apply to facilities funded by the federal government. US Access-Board Website: https://www.access-board.gov/
ADA kiosk question. How do you move from technical accessibility compliance to creating engaging, effective digital experiences for people with disabilities? One very successful way is to involve people with disabilities in User Experience (UX) activities throughout the lifecycle of a design and development project. But there can be challenges, from recruitment of participants to designing appropriately inclusive research activities.
This webinar will make the case for involving people with disabilities in UX research and development activities, and the value this effort brings, and will provide you with some practical advice on how to involve people with disabilities in your UX work.
Attendees will learn: * How to plan and schedule UX activities with people with disabilities to get the right input at the right time for your project * Effective ways for recruiting and involving people with disabilities in research activities * Tips for ensuring that UX activities are inclusive to people with a range of disabilities * How you can obtain quality results that have impact on your project, and beyond.
The next webinar in the U.S. AccessBoard‘s free monthly series will take place March 1 from 2:30 – 4:00 (ET)and feature an open question-and-answer session. Questions are welcome on any of the Board‘s guidelines or standards, including the ADA and ABA Accessibility Standards and new standards for medical diagnostic equipment, as well as other topics related to the work of the Board. Questions can be submitted in advance or during the session.
Visit www.accessibilityonline.orgfor more information or to register. 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.
ADA – U.S. Access Board Webinar: Open Question and Answer Session (March 1) was last modified: January 8th, 2019 by News Editor
Congress Votes on H.R. 620 which impacts ADA kiosk
aka ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017
Update: The House passed the bill 2/15/2018 along party lines.
The ADA Education and Reform Act, or H.R.620, is slated to come up for a full vote in the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday or Thursday. But detractors say the bill would gut the part of the landmark ADA law which requires public businesses to make accommodations allowing for ease of entry for people with disabilities.
Something needs to be done about predatory lawyers for sure but this doesn’t do it. It basically drops the bar for companies a couple of notches and eliminates any legal action. Remains to be seen whether companies decide long term it is in their interest to deploy assistive infrastructure now, or later.
ADA lawsuits are already one of the lowest categories of lawsuits filed against businesses. The Center for American Progress has reported that the small uptick in ADA litigation can be attributed to “just 12 individual attorneys and a single disability law firm” which filed more than 100 cases each.
The likely outcome we predict is a vote along party lines in the house passes the bill and then it goes to the Senate where it will likely be blocked.
Another point of view: Seems it only adds a 180 window to the process of filing suit is all. You get 180 to make significant improvements. What determines significant vs. insignificant? So long as there is real money available through these lawsuits you’ll have trolls.
The entrance to the post office in a small town was up a flight of 20 steps. When told he needed to make the post office accessible to wheelchair users, the postmaster was befuddled. “I’ve been here for thirty-five years and in all that time I’ve yet to see a single customer come in here in a wheelchair,” he said, according to Joe Shapiro in his 1994 book, “No Pity.”
Back in 1990, President Bush told the business community they hold in their hands the key to the success of the ADA, for it can “unlock a splendid resource of untapped human potential that, when freed, will enrich us all.” He characterized passage of the ADA as one of his proudest achievements. Let’s not undo that success.
TTom Ridge is founder and chairman of Ridge Global, as well as chair of theNational Organization on Disability, a position he has held since 2006. He was America’s first secretary of Homeland Security and the 43rd Governor of Pennsylvania.
Passing H.R. 620 is good for all stakeholders. Simply having notice of claimed violations with a sufficient level of detail and the opportunity to cure within a limited time period prior to filing a lawsuit will eliminate the abusive tactics that have become commonplace.
Wheelchair-bound protesters dragged out of congressional hearing
Feb. 13, 2018, 7:37 PM WASHINGTON — Demonstrators interrupting a hearing in the House Rules Committee to protest reforms to the Americans with Disabilities Act were arrested and dragged out of the room inside the US Capitol on Tuesday.
Why Congress is Close to Gutting Key Provision of ADA
Pacific Standard 2/14/18 — Unscrupulous lawyers are a problem, so let’s work on sanctioning them. As Dara Baldwin says, “You got bad apples, go after the bad apples!” What shouldn’t happen is a legislative assault, fueled by donations from retail groups, on the fundamental right to equal access for people with disabilities.
U.S. Access Board Issues Correction to ICT Refresh Final Rule
The U.S. Access Board has issued a correction to its updated accessibility requirements for information and communication technology (ICT) to restore provisions on TTY access that were inadvertently omitted. The action applies to the final rule the Board published last January to jointly refresh its Rehabilitation Act (Section 508) standards for ICT in the federal sector and its Communications Act (Section 255) guidelines for telecommunications equipment.
The original Section 508 standards and Section 255 guidelines required that devices with two-way voice communication support use of TTY devices which provide text communication across phone connections for persons with hearing or speech impairments. In its ICT refresh, the Board had proposed replacing this provision with a requirement for real-time text (RTT) functionality, a new technology with significant advantages over TTYs. RTT transmits text in virtual real-time as each character is typed, whereas TTY messages can only be sent individually in sequence. Also, RRT technology is directly compatible with wireless and Internet protocol (IP) based networks.
In finalizing its rule, however, the Board chose to reserve the RTT requirement because the Federal Communications Commission had initiated its own rulemaking to address RTT functionality over TTY compatibility in IP-based telecommunication environments. In doing so, the Board intended to add the original TTY provision back into the rule, but the necessary language was unintentionally left out. The recent correction restores the TTY requirement with minor editorial changes for consistency with the new format and terminology of the updated requirements (Section 412.8). It also corrects a couple typographical errors in other sections of the rule. The corrections become effective March 23, 2018 without further action unless adverse comments are received within 30 days.
ADA – U.S. Access Board Issues Correction to ICT Refresh Final Rule was last modified: January 22nd, 2018 by News Editor
How To Configure Storm Interface Accessibility NavBar NavPad
Here are some quick notes on configuring Storm Interface products.
The functionality of the Nav-Bar is the same as that for all of Storm’s ATP products.
It enumerates as a combined HID/audio device, so no special drivers or software is required. Connection to the host system is via a single USB cable. When a headset is inserted into the audio jack or a button is pressed, the keypad transmits a unique keycode to the host system. Upon receipt of the keycode, the host system must de designed such that it will act appropriately. For example, upon receipt of the keycode for ‘Jack In’ then the audio should start playing.
The products dispatched from the factory are configured to use the default key code tables (as shown in the attached, which is a page from the product’s technical manual). If required, these keycodes can be changed by the customer by using a free software utility provided by Storm. This software utility is available to download from Storm’s website here:
RNIB Testing Confirms Compliance with ADA Requirements
With so much conflicting information about what manufacturers should do to ensure compliance with ADA, Storm Interface approached the RNIB for guidance and confirmation of conformance.
The Royal National Institute for Blind People provide laboratory testing and accreditation services to the World Blind Union and are one of the world’s (if not the most) recognized authorities in the accessibility sector. Storm had previously been commended by the RNIB for their work in achieving accessibility, but thought it best to specifically confirm compliance with ADA.
The following is a copy of their conclusions. These were drawn after completion of a comprehensive test program and assessment of Storm’s assistive technology product range. Storm is proud to have been recognized by the Royal National Institute for Blind People under their “RNIB Tried and Tested” program.
RNIB have assessed the various Storm keypads for compliance with the ADA standard for input devices (707.6) and our findings are summarised below. The Storm keyboards included are:
1. NavBar a. Black with coloured keys EZB6-63000 b. Black with white keys EZB6-53000 c. Silver-grey with coloured keys EZB6-73002 d. Silver-grey with white keys EZB6-43000
2. NavPad a. 5 Button EZ05-23001 b. 6 Button EZ06-23001 c. 8 Button EZ08-23001
3. AudioNav 1406-33001
707.6.1 Input Controls. The ADA states: “At least one tactilely discernible input control shall be provided for each function. Where provided, key surfaces not on active areas of display screens, shall be raised above surrounding surfaces. Where membrane keys are the only method of input, each shall be tactilely discernible from surrounding surfaces and adjacent keys.”
RNIB assessment: 1. NavBar (all models specified above) The Nav-Bar has 6 raised buttons in different shapes. The buttons are easy to feel and press and have tactile markings on them as well to help with identification. Conclusion: RNIB believes this passes the ADA requirements
2. NavPad (5, 6 or 8 keys) The Nav-Pad comes in three different designs and had 5, 6 or 8 buttons in different shapes. The buttons are easy to feel and press and have tactile markings on them as well to help with identification. Conclusion: RNIB believes this passes the ADA requirements
3. AudioNav The silver Audio-Nav has 5 buttons around a centre button. There are tactile markings on each of the 4 arrow buttons and a tactile circle on the centre OK button. The buttons are easy to feel. Conclusion: RNIB believes this passes the ADA requirements
707.6.2: Numeric keys. This is not applicable as there are no numeric keypads on the keyboards tested.
707.6.3.1 Contrast. The ADA states: “Function keys shall contrast visually from background surfaces. Characters and symbols on key surfaces shall contrast visually from key surfaces. Visual contrast shall be either light-on-dark or dark-on-light.”
RNIB assessment: RNIB assesses the colour contrast using simulation glasses developed by Cambridge University (http://www.inclusivedesigntoolkit.com/csg/csg.html). These glasses simulate a general loss of ability to see fine detail including cloudy vision. RNIB uses the benchmark given by the developers which indicates that the product excludes less than 1% of the population.
1. NavBar (all models specified above) The text and icons on the buttons have been tested with sim specs to simulate reduced contrast. The contrast passes in the sense that it ‘excludes less than 1% of the population’. For ADA we believe this will be sufficient.
The buttons on the black and the silver/grey Nav-Bar have been tested with the sim specs and it passes in the sense that it ‘excludes less than 1% of the population’. For ADA we believe this will be sufficient.
Conclusion: RNIB believes this passes the ADA requirements
2. NavPad The text and icons on the buttons have been tested with sim specs to simulate reduced contrast. The contrast passes in the sense that it ‘excludes less than 1% of the population’. For ADA we believe this will be sufficient.
The buttons on the brushed silver background have been tested with the sim specs and the contrast passes in the sense that they ‘exclude less than 1% of the population’. For ADA we believe this will be sufficient.
Conclusion: RNIB believes this passes the ADA requirements
3. AudioNav On the silver Audio-Nav the buttons have been tested with the sim specs and the contrast passes in the sense that they ‘exclude less than 1% of the population’. For ADA we believe this will be sufficient.
Conclusion: RNIB believes this passes the ADA requirements
707.6.3.2 Tactile Symbols. The standard states: “Function key surfaces shall have tactile symbols as follows: Enter or Proceed key: raised circle; Clear or Correct key: raised left arrow; Cancel key: raised letter ex; Add Value key: raised plus sign; Decrease Value key: raised minus sign.”
RNIB assessment: 1. NavBar The only button that this applies to is the round OK/Enter button. This button is round and has a tactile circle on the top. The tactile circle is very easy to feel. Conclusion: RNIB believes this passes the ADA requirements
2. NavPad The only button that this applies to is the round OK/Enter button. This button is round and has a tactile circle on the top. The tactile circle is very easy to feel. Conclusion: RNIB believes this passes the ADA requirements
3. AudioNav The OK button in the centre of the Audio-Nav has a tactile circle on it that is easy to feel. Conclusion: RNIB believes this passes the ADA requirements
Disclaimer RNIB has used its best endeavours to provide this opinion basing our results on the testing as specified above. RNIB cannot accept any responsibility or liability for claims made against this opinion.
Scott Lynch Managing Director – RNIB Solutions
ADA News – RNIB Testing Confirms Compliance with ADA Requirements was last modified: January 10th, 2018 by News Editor
MEDIA RELEASE Contact: Peter Jarvis Storm Interface Phone: +44 (0)1895 456200 Email: email@example.com London, England. January 2018 Web: www.storm-interface.com
Storm Interface and Tech for All build on a shared vision
As the ICT sector in the U.S. is challenged to conform with the ADA and other accessibility regulations, two leading experts are collaborating to offer compliant and effective solutions.
Aggressive and high profile class actions against well-known retailers, restaurant chains, vending machine operators, healthcare providers and major airlines have sent a cold shiver through businesses deploying touch-screen, self-service terminals. It is becoming clear that anything less than full compliance with both domestic and international mandates creates significant litigation risks. Inevitably this harms reputations and may lead to costly court-supervised settlements.
Many businesses are striving to make their products, services and infrastructure as accessible as they can possibly be and not just to achieve compliance. This forward thinking universal design approach improves usability for all users including those with sensory impairment or limited mobility. It improves efficiency, productivity, and enhances their relationship with the consumer.
Storm Interface and Tech for All, Inc. have announced a formal collaboration to help clients deliver accessible experiences for people with disabilities. Storm Interface is the UK manufacturer of audible system interfaces and content navigation devices. Tech for All is a leading US-based international consulting firm focused on the accessibility and universal design of electronic, information, and communication technologies.
“The inter-dependence of accessible hardware and effectively designed application software is obvious”, said Storm’s Peter Jarvis. “However, too often ICT designers and specifiers consider the two factors of accessibility separately, as if they were unrelated”. Storm works with specialist kiosk software developers to ensure that Storm’s USB-connected devices are universally supported throughout the ICT sector. By collaborating with established expert developers such as Tech for All, Storm is able to provide clients with a complete accessibility solution.
Tech for All’s Caesar Eghtesadi agrees, “Our collaborative development approach produces a synergistic accessible design that delivers a successful experience for all users, including those with disabilities. This coordinated development approach is more cost-effective and efficient than the current adapt-and-patch approach.”
About Storm Interface For more than 30 years Storm Interface have designed and manufactured secure, rugged and reliable keypads,keyboards and interface devices. Storm products are built to withstand rough use and abuse in unattended public-use and industrial applications. Storm Assistive Technology Products are recognized by the Royal National Institute for Blind People under their ‘RNIB Tried and Tested’ program.www.storm-interface.com
About Tech for All, Inc. Tech for All, Inc. has for over 16 years served small to Fortune 500 companies in several industries, educational institutions, NGOs, and government agencies. It provides a full range of accessibility consulting services including planning, evaluation, design, development support, testing, implementation/deployment, and monitoring. www.TFAConsulting.com
Our contact details are as follows: USA Storm Interface 13835 N Tatum Blvd. Suite 9-510 Phoenix, AZ 85032 Tel: +1 480 584 3518 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tech for All, Inc. P.O. Box 213473 Royal Palm Beach, FL 33421 Tel: +1 561 333 2835 Email: info@TFAConsulting.com
UK, Europe and Other Territories Storm Interface 14 Bentinck Court Bentinck Road West Drayton Middlesex UB7 7RQ United Kingdom Tel +44 (0)1895 431421 Email: email@example.com
Storm Interface and Tech for All Announce Collaboration was last modified: January 10th, 2018 by News Editor
Kiosk Industry Group Association Quarterly News – Washington, D.C., Meeting with Access Board and Summit Research Report on Self-Checkout
PRESS RELEASEUPDATED: JAN 4, 2018 04:00 MST
EASTLAKE, Colo., January 4, 2018 (Newswire.com) – In Kiosk Industry Association news is the successful meeting with the U.S. Access Board on how best for the Association to work for the Access Board towards improving ADA accessibility guidelines. Here is the write-up with photos.
From Bruce Bailey of U.S. Access Board: “Thanks everyone for meeting with us. From our perspective, the meeting was quite informative and we very much look forward to working with you all in the future.”
One discussion point is the possibility for some kind of kiosk industry voluntary consensus document for accessibility. That would mean following ANSI process for the group.
From our perspective, the meeting was quite informative and we very much look forward to working with you all in the future.
BRUCE BAILEY, ACCESSIBILITY SPECIALIST, U.S. ACCESS BOARD
Some of the hallmarks of that type of organization are:
Consensus must be reached by representatives from materially affected and interested parties
Standards are required to undergo public reviews when any member of the public may submit comments
Comments from the consensus body and public review commenters must be responded to in good faith
Also in the news — Summit Research and Francie Mendelsohn present a new “shootout” report on “honest” self-checkout at Johns Hopkins and the hybrid POS checkout by Harris Tweeter.
As Francie says, “In this article we will look at two Self-Checkout kiosk deployments, illustrating one that is highly successful and one that is anything but. Because we have long seen that would-be kiosk providers and users will remember the failures far more often than the successes, we will devote the bulk of the discussion to that less-than-successful deployment.”
Francie Mendelsohn is a highly respected kiosk industry consultant with many years of experience. She has authored and compiled multiple research reports on the industry over the years.
Finally, we want to announce two new sponsors. At the Gold level is Pyramid, which provides self-order units for QSR and Fast Casual (such as McDonalds, etc.) along with new beacon location technology for customers. Pyramid currently operates in Europe and the U.K. and is expanding its operations in the U.S. At the Bronze level, we welcome Storm Interface which specializes in input devices and assistive technology (e.g., Audio Navigation Keypad).
The Kiosk Industry Group is a news and marketing association for self-service and kiosk manufacturers. It is for the benefit of kiosk manufacturers, developers, resources and client companies who are involved in self-service transaction machines (SSTM). News about the industry and by the industry is published on our website when it is relevant to companies that deploy or may deploy self-service or to companies that support those deployers with hardware, software or applications. The Kiosk Industry Group has been active since 1995. Our audience this year on the website is 50,000 (human). Visit https://kioskindustry.org for more information.
In compliance with ADA Standards for Accessible Design, new US Department of Transport regulations come into effect during 2016. These new mandates are intended to increase accessibility for those with sensory or mobility impairment.
Sight-impaired travelers will be able to access information and services via kiosks and ticketing machines by connection of a personal headset.
The host system will detect the connection of a headset as a signal to begin an audible summary of the information and services presented on the kiosk’s display screen or touch screen. A highly tactile keypad will enable those with no vision or low vision to navigation through those audible menus and make selections by a simple key press.
This Audio Navigation technology will also help non-readers. Some agencies consider that an inability to read may be the world’s most common form of disability; regardless of whether such inability stems from physiological, educational, cultural or cognitive reasons.
Storm Interface has been working with lead agencies and kiosk manufacturers to provide practical and affordable assistive technology solutions. They manufacture the Nav-Pad™ keypads currently used in many applications, including the Global Entry kiosks located in the immigration halls at most major US airports.
Storm has also been working with its long-time partner NCR Corporation in the development of a new generation of intuitive Audio-Navigation solutions for use in travel and self check-out applications. These activities have lead to the introduction of a new ADA compliant assistive keypad: the Audio-Nav. The Audio-Nav is easy to install and easy to use. It features tactile identifiers (tac-idents) to assist those with impaired vision. The ‘tac-idents’, keytops and connectors also feature integral illumination to assist those with partial vision or any residual light/dark perception.
The new Audio-Nav keypad also includes an integrated sound processor and headset connection to make audio communication with the host system as clear and intuitive as it can be. It is intended for use in conjunction with compliant text-to-speech applications.
Storm Interface is an award winning, UK based, manufacturer of human interface devices.
The Storm range of secured, sealed and toughened data entry devices are field proven and laboratory tested. They are constructed to survive in the most demanding applications and environments. Since 1986, Storm’s design, technology and manufacturing quality have established Storm products as the industry standard for durability and reliability.
NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is the global leader in consumer transaction technologies, turning everyday interactions with businesses into exceptional experiences. With its software, hardware, and portfolio of services, NCR enables more than 550 million transactions daily across retail, financial, travel, hospitality, telecom and technology, and small business. NCR solutions run the everyday transactions that make your life easier.
NCR is headquartered in Duluth, Georgia with over 30,000 employees and does business in 180 countries. NCR is a trademark of NCR Corporation in the United States and other countries.
A New Era of Accessibility – Audio Navigation was last modified: January 18th, 2018 by News Editor
Universal design aims to create an environment accessible to all, regardless of age, or linguistic or physical limitations. As Tokyo prepares for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, one venture firm working to make Japan a world leader in this area is led by Toshiya Kakiuchi. Wheelchair bound since childhood due to brittle bone disease, this young entrepreneur provides consulting on facilities and services for the disabled, aiming to change preconceptions and facilitate true hospitality.
ADA News – US Access Board Meeting in Washington, D.C.
On November 1st as part of our ADA Committee, several of us traveled to Washington, DC to meet with the U.S. Access Board.
The reason for visiting was to introduce ourselves to each other, discuss how we can work together more closely and give the Board an update on some of the latest access technology being used in the self-service space.
The discussions were wide-ranging and what started off as a 90 minute session transformed into 3 hours of conversation.
From Bruce Bailey of U.S. Access Board, “Thanks everyone for meeting with us and to Craig for organizing the visit.
From our perspective, the meeting was quite informative and we very much look forward to working with you all in the future.”
Major takeaways for us with the kiosk industry group association is coming up with a voluntary consensus document for accessibility. And doing that in process that follows the ANSI process. That means:
Consensus must be reached by representatives from materially affected and interested parties
Standards are required to undergo public reviews when any member of the public may submit comments
Comments from the consensus body and public review commenters must be responded to in good faith
Finally, but hardly least, is that David Capozzi mentioned the “AIM HIGH Act”. It is not about kiosks per se, but it is the most likely pending legislation to require participation. It is just a bill for now, but it has been reintroduced a few times, so it seems to be getting close.
In the House of Representatives, a bipartisan bill has passed the House Judiciary Committee and awaits action by the House. This legislation requires that attorneys give notice to business owners before a lawsuit is filed. If the ADA problems — inaccessible bathrooms, parking lots, ramps, etc. — are not fixed within 120 days, the lawsuit proceeds.
But, if the business fixes the problems, a lawsuit would be moot. This would be a true win-win for everyone — other than the trial attorneys. In fact, some plaintiffs from ADA drive-by lawsuits are actually suing their supposed attorneys because they were deceived about the nature of the lawsuits filed.
A linchpin of Castro Street, Ava’s Downtown Market & Deli has weathered fierce competition, rising costs and parking troubles. Now the grocery store’s latest threat has to do with the dimensions of its displays and chairs.
Access Currents News from the U.S. Access Board • September/ October 2017
Access Board to Host Workshop Comparing Accessibility in the U.S. and Australia
GSA Holds Interagency Forum on Refreshed Section 508 Standards
Access Board to Meet November 15
Upcoming Board Webinars
Mayer-Rothschild Foundation Releases Report on Grab Bar Research
Transportation Research Board Issues Airport Wayfinding Guide
Access Board to Host Workshop Comparing Accessibility in the U.S. and Australia
The Access Board will host a workshop with accessibility experts from Australia on November 13that will compare how building accessibility is addressed in Australia and the U.S. The public is welcome to the free event which will explore methods used in both countries to regulate, monitor, and enforce compliance with accessibility requirements. The goal is to foster a better understanding of how covered entities meet their responsibilities under civil rights and other laws governing access to the built environment.
Representing Australia will be Michael Small, a former government official and the recipient of a Churchill Fellowship to study building accessibility from an international perspective. He was active in drafting Australia’s building accessibility regulations and standards and also produced a variety of resources to assist building professionals in meeting them. He will be joined by Robin Banks, a consultant in human rights who formerly headed the Australian Public Interest Advocacy Centre and served as a state Anti-Discrimination Commissioner.
The Access Board has invited panelists from disability rights organizations, building codes groups, government, the design profession, and industry. The structured portion of the program will run from 9:30 to noon. Following a break for lunch, there will be an informal guided discussion with invited panelists, other participants, and members of the public that will cover implementation, particularly in relation to alterations and additions to existing facilities. The public can attend in person or remotely through a phone bridge with communication access real-time translation (CART). Call-in instructions and the CART link will be posted on the Board’s website at a later date.
For further information, contact Marsha Mazz at (202) 272-0020(v), (202) 272- 0076 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Achieving Access for People with Disabilities in the Built Environment: An International Comparison November 13, 9:30 – 12:00 (ET), followed by an informal discussion after the lunch break Access Board Conference Center 1331 F Street, NW, Suite 800 Washington, D.C. Dial-in Number: (877) 701-1628, International: (517) 268-2743; Passcode: 69545743 CART Link: [to be posted] Note: For the comfort of all participants and to promote a fragrance-free environment, attendees are requested not to use perfume, cologne, or other fragrances.
GSA Holds Interagency Forum on Refreshed Section 508 Standards
The General Services Administration (GSA) held an interagency forum on accessibility to information and communication technology (ICT) on October 13 at its national headquarters in Washington, D.C. The full-day event focused on the refreshed Section 508 Standards issued by the Access Board in January which apply to ICT procured, developed, maintained, or used by federal agencies. The Access Board and several other agencies partnered with GSA in conducting the event, including the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Homeland Security. It attracted over 350 attendees from government, industry, and advocacy.
The day started off with welcoming remarks from Dominic Sale, Deputy Associate Administrator for GSA’s Office of Information, Integrity & Access and a keynote address by Access Board Executive Director David Capozzi.
“Although section 508 only applies to the federal government, its impact has been felt in state governments, the private sector, and around the world,” Capozzi noted. “Last year, the U.S. government spent about $80 billion on ICT; when you can harness that purchasing power to drive accessibility, progress is bound to happen.”
Capozzi recounted the history of Section 508 and called attention to its global effects. “The European Union now has a new set of ICT accessibility standards – modeled after our updated section 508 standards; Australia is using public procurement to drive accessible technology; and, Canada is developing a new law that will address public procurement of ICT as well,” he stated. “The world is paying attention to what we do here.”
The forum featured a series of workshops organized into tracks on ICT development, agency policy, and the revised 508 Standards. Representatives from the Access Board and other agencies conducted the sessions which addressed different aspects of Section 508 and the standards, including major changes in the updated standards, how the standards apply to federal acquisitions, IT development contracts and the IT lifecycle, revisions to federal agency Section 508 policies, testing methods and other topics. The event also provided an opportunity to publicize new tools and resources, including a“Toolkit” on the revised 508 standards developed by an interagency transition team and the Information Technology Industry Council’s recent release of an updated Voluntary Product Accessibility Template which businesses can use to document product conformance with the revised standards.
For further information on the Section 508 Standards, visit the Board’s website and GSA’s section508.gov website.
The Access Board will hold its next meeting on November 15 from 1:30 – 3:00 (ET) at the Board’s conference space in downtown Washington, D.C. The public is welcome to attend in person or through a live webcast of the meeting. A public comment period will be held during the final 15 minutes of the meeting. Those interested in making comments in person or by phone should send an email to Rose Bunales at email@example.com by November 8 with “Access Board meeting – Public Comment” in the subject line. Please include your name, organization, state, and topic of your comment in the body of the message.
The next webinar in the Board’s free monthly series will take place November 2 from 2:30 – 4:00 (ET) and review differences between the ADA Standards and counterpart provisions in the International Building Code (IBC) and the accessibility standard it references, the ANSI A117.1 Standard. While the ADA Standards and IBC/ANSI A117.1 were largely harmonized, substantive differences remain. In addition, the newly released 2017 edition of the A117.1 standard includes additional changes not reflected in the ADA Standards. A representative from the International Code Council, which maintains the IBC and published the new A117.1 standard, will partner with the Board to highlight differences between these documents, answer questions, and clarify common areas of confusion.
For more information or to register, visit www.accessibilityonline.org. Questions can be submitted in advance of the session (total limited to 25) 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.
Section 508 Best Practices Webinar The Board also offers a free webinar series on standards issued under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act which requires access to information and communication technology in the federal sector. This year’s sessions focus on the updated Section 508 Standards published by the Board in January. The next webinar in this series is scheduled forNovember 28 from 1:00 to 2:30 (ET) and will review available resources explaining the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. Issued by the W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative (WIA), WCAG 2.0 is a globally recognized, technology-neutral standard for accessible web content. The Board’s updated Section 508 Standards reference WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria Level A and AA and applies them not only to web-based content but to other electronic content as well. This session will cover various technical assistance materials issued by the W3C’s WIA to support use of the WCAG 2.0, including a customizable reference guide and guidance on developing conformant web content.
For more details or to register for this session, visit www.accessibilityonline.org/cioc-508/schedule. 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.
Mayer-Rothschild Foundation Releases Report on Grab Bar Research
At the Access Board’s September meeting, Board members received a briefing on the results of recent research sponsored by Mayer-Rothschild Foundation on grab bar specifications for independent and assisted toilet transfers in residential care facilities.
The study used subject testing to assess preferred configurations, dimensions, and placement of grab bars at toilets. Project Director Jon Sanford of Georgia Tech’s Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access and Margaret Calkins of the Mayer-Rothschild Foundation presented the findings from the project. The study tested the side and rear grab bar configuration required by the ADA Standards, parallel fold-down grab bars on both sides, and customized configurations preferred by test subjects. The subject pool included seniors who can bear weight and transfer independently and those who required assistance. Researchers collected feedback from both elders and caregivers on various specifications, including grab bar length, height, positioning, as well as spatial dimensions and clearances for assisted transfers.
There was strong preference, highly consistent among transfer types, for a hybrid configuration with fold-down grab bars on both sides approximately 13″ – 14″ from the toilet centerline along with a fixed grab bar on one side two feet from the toilet centerline. The optimal configurations were further tested in follow-up field trials and in laboratory biomechanical evaluations. Researchers also conducted force tests on bilateral fold-down grab bars to determine their maximum weight capacity.
These and other findings are discussed in the project report, “Determination of Grab Bar Specifications for Independent and Assisted Transfers in Residential Care Settings.” The research was funded by the Hulda B. & Maurice L. Rothschild Foundation, a national philanthropy dedicated to improving long-term care for elders. Visit the Mayer-Rothschild Foundation’s website for further information.
Transportation Research Board Issues Airport Wayfinding Guide
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) has published a guidebook on airport wayfinding for people who are elderly or have a disability under its Airport Cooperative Research Program. The new resource,Enhancing Airport Wayfinding for Aging Travelers and Persons with Disabilities, offers best practices for improving and optimizing information for wayfinding and travel by people with cognitive, sensory, or mobility challenges in the complex environment of airports. It is intended to help airport operators and planners implement pedestrian wayfinding systems in standardized accessible formats to better serve travelers with disabilities or who are elderly.
The guidebook includes an airport wayfinding accessibility audit, guidance on creating wayfinding plans, information on best practices and available technologies and state-of-the-art techniques for wayfinding, and other topics. Further information is available on TRB’s website.
ADA – News from the U.S. Access Board – September/ October 2017 was last modified: October 23rd, 2017 by News Editor
EASTLAKE, Colo., Oct. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The Kiosk Industry Group Association has formed an ADA committee and an ADA working group. And in November travel to Washington, DC to meet with the U.S. Access Board, the group responsible for writing ADA regulations. The idea is to work with the Access Board on an ongoing basis to help them better define regulations. We are also working with the ATMIA (www.atmia.com) as well and the ETA (www.electran.org) in this regard. Participation in the working group is open to all interested parties.
The case, titled Magee v. Coca-Cola Refreshments USA, was brought by Emmett Magee, a blind man from Louisiana who invoked the ADA in suing Coca Cola because its glass-front vending machines made it impossible for him to know what product he was choosing and at what price. He was thwarted buying soda from vending machines at a hospital and a bus station.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit turned away his claim, ruling that vending machines are “not a physical place open to public access” and therefore don’t fit the definition of “public accommodations” that are required to abide by the ADA. It also said that the hospital and the bus stations were public accommodations and “may very well” bear some responsibility to make vending machines on their premises accessible to the disabled.
Section 1: A changing landscape page 3 Section 2: Mandates, legal requirements, responsibilities page 4 Section 3: Consequences page 5 Section 4: Audible and tactile system navigation page 6 Section 5: Strategies for success page 8 Section 6: A Collaboration with RNIB page 9
A changing landscape
“The most common disability in the world today is an inability to read. This disability may be caused by physiological, cognitive, developmental, educational or cultural reasons”. Peter Jarvis.
As the average age of the travelling population increases, the public’s awareness of the challenges faced by those with sensory, cognitive or mobility impairment has also increased.
The trend for provision of customer services via touch screen terminals creates additional disadvantages for those with disabilities. Access to information and services is effectively denied to those who are unable to see, read or interact with content presented in an exclusively visual format via a display screen.
Those disadvantages are frequently manifested in a very public environment (a modern passenger transport terminal) in full view of staff and other passengers. Transport terminals are often busy, highly stressed environments where any perceived impediment to progress through the immigration, customs clearance, check-in, security clearance or boarding process is considered as an unwelcomed disruption to the ‘regular’ passenger service experience. Transit through a passenger terminal has been described as an embarrassing and sometimes humiliating experience by those with disabilities. It frequently requires intervention and assistance from travelling companions, staff or other members of the travelling public.
In the USA access to information and services for disabled military veterans and seniors has become a visible indicator of patriotic pride and national unity. Something of which politicians, law makers and corporate leaders are now very much aware. In a smartphone carrying, social media aware/active population there will be more consumer pressure, more mandated requirements and more international cooperation to achieve global improvements in accessibility.
SECTION 2 Mandates, standards, legal requirements, guidelines and best practice
Current and planned
Many countries have legal frameworks that embody an expectation of equality, fairness and non-discrimination on grounds of race, religion, gender, colour, age or disability. In addition, some have enacted specific legislation to eliminate discrimination and eliminate barriers to information and services for persons with disabilities.
Examples of current requirements are listed below. These examples do not constitute a comprehensive or complete listing. Please refer to your local mandating authorities for latest/current requirements.
UK Equality Act 2010 Europe Pending replacement of Disability Discrimination Act 2010 EN 301-549 mandates a comprehensive set of accessibility requirements for public procurement of ICT products and services in the EU. This mandate is now proposed as the basis for an internationally adopted standard,
Americans with Disabilities Act 2010. Design for Accessibility. US Department of Transport: Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) became effective during 2010 with implementation required to commence by Dec 2016. US Rehabilitation Act: Section 503 [Federal government contractors]. Section 504 [Rights in education, employment and other settings]. Section 508 [Requirements for electronic and information technology developed, maintained, procured or used by the Federal Government]. FCC: 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), requiring communications services and products to be accessible to people with disabilities. Implemented December 2016.
Other Territories United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) for international standards.
SECTION 3 Consequences of non-compliance
Current and planned
At the time of writing, several, high profile, class action law suits have created precedent and motivation for litigants to seek substantive legal redress (damages) for corporate non-compliance. Manufacturers and operators of public use IT terminals (kiosks) have been the primary targets.
The excerpts below were taken from articles written by Gregory F. Hurley & Michael Chilleen, attorneys at Sheppard Mullin law firm.
‘There has been a surge in Americans with Disability Act (ADA) class actions filed against businesses that use kiosk type devices.’
‘Until the legal landscape becomes more clear, it would be prudent for businesses to assess the accessibility of their kiosks and to consider options that are accessible and independently useable by individuals with a variety of disabilities.’
‘The availability of hefty damages in many states increases the potential exposure businesses face… Potential liability can be overwhelming when this type of lawsuit is brought as class actions.’
‘… general provisions [of the ADA] include not only clear space and reach range standards, but the requirement of “effective communication” with the blind and deaf.’ ‘Although self-service kiosks can benefit both customers and businesses, they also create significant lawsuit exposure.’
In his article ‘The next wave – ADA Lawsuits against touchscreen POS devices’, attorney Richard Hunt of Hunt Huey PLLC states, ‘Touchscreen point-of-sale devices are ubiquitous, and the next wave of ADA lawsuits will undoubtedly be against businesses that use them.’
SECTION 4 Audible and tactile system navigation
System users with impaired vision will rely heavily on audible descriptions and summaries of the visual content as usually presented to sighted users (via the display screen). Due to privacy concerns and the high ambient noise levels in many passenger terminals, audible content will usually be delivered to sight impaired users via an audio headset, handset or cochlea implant (rather than general use amplified speaker systems).
Navigation of audible content and selection of available services can be achieved by manipulation of tactile controls (usually a keypad device) and/or by voice commands (Voice Activation).
RNIB and Storm Interface recommend that provision of a compliant tactile interface, used in conjunction with a suitable audio device (usually a headset or handset), provides an effective and viable means to navigate screen based content. This type of audible menu navigation capability meets current requirements for provision of access to information and services for those with impaired sight or reading ability.
A voice activation capability can usefully augment a tactile / audible menu navigation system, providing accessibility options for those who are unable (for any reason) to manipulate tactile controls.
There will be many different users (voices) initiating a limited number of generic commands (page up, page down, select, enter, confirm, cancel, sound volume up, sound volume down, etc.). For this reason system response to a more limited menu of voice activation commands is often a more practical and tolerant proposition than adoption of more sophisticated voice recognition or intelligent voice learning technology. However, it should also be noted that capability for voice activation and voice learning are not mutually exclusive.
At the time of writing, the authors of this paper are not aware of any mandates or enacted legislation that requires or specifies the provision of voice activation features. However, as technology typically advances at a faster rate than the enactment of new standards or legislation, the authors of this paper envisage the emergence of voice activation as a viable means to further enhance system accessibility.
Software applications will need to support the delivery of audible content (audio tagging) and respond to data input from the tactile interface and/or voice input device (usually Voice Over USB or Voice Over IP). Audio content can be generated by the host application using one of many “text to speech”, “recorded voice”, “synthesized voice” or “image description” utilities. If the tactile/audio interface device supports VOUSB or VOIP then concierge or audio conferencing services can also be supported. It should be possible for the system user to adjust the sound volume and preferably the playback speed of any audible content during initiation of the audio program and/or during playback. The intro content should repeat (loop) to give the user time to adjust their headset, sound volume and play back speed before continuing to the system navigation and application content. It should also be possible for the user to skip forward or backwards through familiar content. Disconnection of the headset (or handset) should end the audio program and reset the device to its default sound level settings. Connection or reconnection of a headset or handset should restart the audio program, returning the audio program to its initial intro content.
Disconnection of the headset (or handset) should end the audio program and reset the device to its default sound level settings. Connection or reconnection of a headset or handset should restart the audio program, returning the audio program to its initial intro content.
Storm and the RNIB also recommend that pressing and holding down the select (enter) key for at least 3-4 seconds should also initiate a “help” or “more info” feature (even if a dedicated help key is also provided). This feature could also initiate a request for assistance from a qualified attendant if appropriate. It is proposed that this “press and hold for assistance” feature should be adopted for all tactile system navigation devices. This to create a universally recognized means to request assistance.
During user trials of Audible System Navigation Products it was observed that an initial challenge encountered by sight impaired users was to find the location of the headset jack plug socket. In addition to the provision of tactile idents to assist in location of the socket, Storm Interface and the RNIB propose that (going forward) a general protocol for location of the headset socket be adopted by terminal manufacturers. For example; the headset socket and any dedicated tactile navigation controls could usually be found in the bottom left quadrant of any customer facing control panel. This would limit the amount of searching required. This proposal has already been adopted by some hardware manufacturers. However, it is accepted that there are many “legacy” systems already deployed that may not be configured in this way.
As these tactile interfaces and audio devices will be used by many different people in exposed public environments, they must be intuitive and easy to use. They must be resistant to hard use and abuse. To facilitate regular wash down and sanitation procedures they should also be sealed against fluids and particulates. They must also be reliable and responsive to ensure immediate access to vital information and services at all times.
Strategies for Success
Recognizing and meeting the challenges faced by manufacturers, system specifiers and system operators Accessibility is most effectively achieved when adopted as a primary system specification. It is most successfully implemented if considered during the concept design process. Accessibility should be a primary objective during the origination of hardware solutions, application software and content to be delivered. Consideration should also be given to the environment in which the system will be installed and the specific needs of users with disabilities. It is worth noting 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. They may also need to resist hard use and abuse (vandalism). All human interface devices must be robust, responsive and reliable.
Bolt-on or retrofit accessibility solutions have been successfully implemented to achieve compliance with legal mandates in response to court judgements or as a condition of legal settlements. However, it is clear that the most effective and efficient solutions are implemented by design as part of the original design brief. Compliance with mandates may be an essential requirement, but a determination to make any self-service terminal as accessible and ‘as good as it can be’ for all users is often a more successful strategy.
There is advice, support, guidance and product evaluation services available from recognized agencies such as the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) in the UK and the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) in the USA. With guidance from the RNIB, Storm Interface have worked to ensure that compliant commercially viable hardware solutions are available to terminal manufacturers and system specifiers.
Developed as part of the Storm Assistive Technology Products range these system navigation and audio interface products have been designed, developed and field proven to deliver the most intuitive and effective system interface for those with impaired vision or reading ability, restricted reach or limited fine motor skills.
These interface products are offered in a range of formats with options for integrated sound processors, headset connections and keytop illumination. High contrast keytop graphics, high visibility fonts and raised tactile idents ensure these products achieve the highest levels in accessibility. They are compliant with all applicable accessibility requirements. Remember to ask your system manufacturer to install only genuine STORM-ATP products.
RNIB Business Collaboration
Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is the leading organisation in the UK representing 2 million blind and low vision persons. The agency is regularly consulted on the needs of the blind community by government, business and many international bodies.
RNIB Solutions offers a range of services to the business community including technical assessment, consultancy, training and user testing. RNIB is also a lead player in the World Blind Union, a global umbrella agency representing 191 national blindness agencies.
RNIB works in partnership with other agencies to bring about a world where vision loss is no longer a barrier to inclusion in society. RNIB work with businesses such as Storm Interface as a consultant and critical friend facilitating the development of more inclusive hardware, software and services. RNIB also offer an accreditation which businesses can work towards as a recognised mark of excellence in inclusive design.
In recent years RNIB Solutions has partnered with a very diverse range of businesses to create exemplar Accessibility invocations. The scope of RNIB’s recent engagement is vast and includes everything from personal labeling devices and showers to complex mobile applications and smart television operating systems. Essentially RNIB’s goal is to help businesses to embed inclusive design principles in any product or service. RNIB is also active on the Accessibility strategy boards of many major technology companies In a recent engagement, RNIB worked with a major consumer electronics brand to envision an integrated Accessibility framework for their smart television range.
Over a period of around two years, technical advice, training and product iteration testing and review services were provided. At the conclusion of the project, the manufacturer launched an entire range of state of the art smart televisions offering out of the box Accessibility for persons with disabilities.
In another assignment, a major long haul airline approached RNIB with the desire to ensure compliance for its online booking facility. Again through a structured programme of tailored training, web consultancy and testing, the service was developed to a level where full compliance became attainable.
RNIB’s collaboration with Storm established and quantified the effectiveness of the company’s audible and tactile system navigation products. The commercial availability of compliant and effective interface devices (as developed by Storm) enables manufacturers of self-service systems to provide unprecedented accessibility to information and services for those with sensory, cognitive or motor impairment.
Storm Assistive Technology Products under user assessment at the RNIB test facilities in the UK.
An RNIB User Group were asked to complete two “real world” tasks;-
To choose and then purchase tickets for a family (adults and children), using different fare classifications, travelling by rail to and from designated stations.
To register as a voter, using a prescribed voter registration code (incorporating both numbers and letters), and then cast and confirm a vote for one of the several candidates standing in a fictitious election.
These assessments were made using various models and configurations of tactile/audible navigation devices. Users were then asked to rate each device against a number of objective criteria. They were then asked to comment on the ‘ease-of-use’ and advantages / disadvantages of each device.
ADA Whitepaper 2017 was last modified: October 2nd, 2017 by News Editor
The final rule as published in the Federal Register, to the section for “closed functionality” (402) which is the core requirements for a kiosk. The section for Operable Parts (407) would also be quite important.
402.1 General. ICT with closed functionality shall be operable without requiring the user to attach or install assistive technology other than personal headsets or other audio couplers, and shall conform to 402.
402.2 Speech-Output Enabled. ICT with a display screen shall be speech-output enabled for full and independent use by individuals with vision impairments.
EXCEPTIONS: 1. Variable message signs conforming to 402.5 shall not be required to be speech-output enabled.
2. Speech output shall not be required where ICT display screens only provide status indicators and those indicators conform to 409.
3. Where speech output cannot be supported due to constraints in available memory or processor capability, ICT shall be permitted to conform to 409 in lieu of 402.2.
4. Audible tones shall be permitted instead of speech output where the content of user input is not displayed as entered for security purposes, including, but not limited to, asterisks representing personal identification numbers.
5. Speech output shall not be required for: The machine location; date and time of transaction; customer account number; and the machine identifier or label.
6. Speech output shall not be required for advertisements and other similar information unless they convey information that can be used for the transaction being conducted.Start Printed Page 5838
402.2.1 Information Displayed On-Screen. Speech output shall be provided for all information displayed on-screen.
402.2.2 Transactional Outputs. Where transactional outputs are provided, the speech output shall audibly provide all information necessary to verify a transaction.
402.2.3 Speech Delivery Type and Coordination. Speech output shall be delivered through a mechanism that is readily available to all users, including, but not limited to, an industry standard connector or a telephone handset. Speech shall be recorded or digitized human, or synthesized. Speech output shall be coordinated with information displayed on the screen.
402.2.4 User Control. Speech output for any single function shall be automatically interrupted when a transaction is selected. Speech output shall be capable of being repeated and paused.
402.2.5 Braille Instructions. Where speech output is required by 402.2, braille instructions for initiating the speech mode of operation shall be provided. Braille shall be contracted and shall conform to 36 CFR part 1191, Appendix D, Section 703.3.1.
EXCEPTION: Devices for personal use shall not be required to conform to 402.2.5.
402.3 Volume. ICT that delivers sound, including speech output required by 402.2, shall provide volume control and output amplification conforming to 402.3.
EXCEPTION: ICT conforming to 412.2 shall not be required to conform to 402.3.
402.3.1 Private Listening. Where ICT provides private listening, it shall provide a mode of operation for controlling the volume. Where ICT delivers output by an audio transducer typically held up to the ear, a means for effective magnetic wireless coupling to hearing technologies shall be provided.
402.3.2 Non-private Listening. Where ICT provides non-private listening, incremental volume control shall be provided with output amplification up to a level of at least 65 dB. A function shall be provided to automatically reset the volume to the default level after every use.
402.4 Characters on Display Screens. At least one mode of characters displayed on the screen shall be in a sans serif font. Where ICT does not provide a screen enlargement feature, characters shall be 3/16 inch (4.8 mm) high minimum based on the uppercase letter “I”. Characters shall contrast with their background with either light characters on a dark background or dark characters on a light background.
402.5 Characters on Variable Message Signs. Characters on variable message signs shall conform to section 703.7 Variable Message Signs of ICC A117.1-2009 (incorporated by reference, see 702.6.1).
407 Operable Parts
407.1 General. Where provided, operable parts used in the normal operation of ICT shall conform to 407.
407.2 Contrast. Where provided, keys and controls shall contrast visually from background surfaces. Characters and symbols shall contrast visually from background surfaces with either light characters or symbols on a dark background or dark characters or symbols on a light background.
407.3 Input Controls. At least one input control conforming to 407.3 shall be provided for each function.
EXCEPTION: Devices for personal use with input controls that are audibly discernable without activation and operable by touch shall not be required to conform to 407.3.
407.3.1 Tactilely Discernible. Input controls shall be operable by touch and tactilely discernible without activation.
407.3.2 Alphabetic Keys. Where provided, individual alphabetic keys shall be arranged in a QWERTY-based keyboard layout and the “F” and “J” keys shall be tactilely distinct from the other keys.
407.3.3 Numeric Keys. Where provided, numeric keys shall be arranged in a 12-key ascending or descending keypad layout. The number five key shall be tactilely distinct from the other keys. Where the ICT provides an alphabetic overlay on numeric keys, the relationships between letters and digits shall conform to ITU-T Recommendation E.161 (incorporated by reference, see 702.7.1).
407.4 Key Repeat. Where a keyboard with key repeat is provided, the delay before the key repeat feature is activated shall be fixed at, or adjustable to, 2 seconds minimum.
407.5 Timed Response. Where a timed response is required, the user shall be alerted visually, as well as by touch or sound, and shall be given the opportunity to indicate that more time is needed.
407.6 Operation. 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.
407.7 Tickets, Fare Cards, and Keycards. Where tickets, fare cards, or keycards are provided, they shall have an orientation that is tactilely discernible if orientation is important to further use of the ticket, fare card, or keycard.
407.8 Reach Height and Depth. At least one of each type of operable part of stationary ICT shall be at a height conforming to 407.8.2 or 407.8.3 according to its position established by the vertical reference plane specified in 407.8.1 for a side reach or a forward reach. Operable parts used with speech output required by 402.2 shall not be the only type of operable part complying with 407.8 unless that part is the only operable part of its type.
407.8.1 Vertical Reference Plane. Operable parts shall be positioned for a side reach or a forward reach determined with respect to a vertical reference plane. The vertical reference plane shall be located in conformance to 407.8.2 or 407.8.3.
407.8.1.1 Vertical Plane for Side Reach. Where a side reach is provided, the vertical reference plane shall be 48 inches (1220 mm) long minimum.
407.8.1.2 Vertical Plane for Forward Reach. Where a forward reach is provided, the vertical reference plane shall be 30 inches (760 mm) long minimum.
407.8.2 Side Reach. Operable parts of ICT providing a side reach shall conform to 407.8.2.1 or 407.8.2.2. The vertical reference plane shall be centered on the operable part and placed at the leading edge of the maximum protrusion of the ICT within the length of the vertical reference plane. Where a side reach requires a reach over a portion of the ICT, the height of that portion of the ICT shall be 34 inches (865 mm) maximum.
407.8.2.1 Unobstructed Side Reach. Where the operable part is located 10 inches (255 mm) or less beyond the vertical reference plane, the operable part shall be 48 inches (1220 mm) high maximum and 15 inches (380 mm) high minimum above the floor.
407.8.2.2 Obstructed Side Reach. Where the operable part is located more than 10 inches (255 mm), but not more than 24 inches (610 mm), beyond the vertical reference plane, the height of the operable part shall be 46 inches (1170 mm) high maximum and 15 inches (380 mm) high minimum above the floor. The operable part shall not be located more than 24 inches (610 mm) beyond the vertical reference plane.
407.8.3 Forward Reach. Operable parts of ICT providing a forward reach shall conform to 407.8.3.1 or 407.8.3.2. The vertical reference plane shall be centered, and intersect with, the operable part. Where a forward reach allows a reach over a portion of the ICT, the height of that portion of the ICT shall be 34 inches (865 mm) maximum.
407.8.3.1 Unobstructed Forward Reach. Where the operable part is located at the leading edge of the maximum protrusion within the length of the vertical reference plane of the ICT, the operable part shall be 48 inches (1220 mm) high maximum and 15 inches (380 mm) high minimum above the floor.
407.8.3.2 Obstructed Forward Reach. Where the operable part is located beyond the leading edge of the maximum protrusion within the length of the vertical reference plane, the operable part shall conform to 407.8.3.2. The maximum allowable forward Start Printed Page 5839reach to an operable part shall be 25 inches (635 mm).
407.8.3.2.1 Operable Part Height for ICT with Obstructed Forward Reach. The height of the operable part shall conform to Table 407.8.3.2.1.
Table 407.8.3.2.1—Operable Part Height for ICT With Obstructed Forward Reach
Operable part height
Less than 20 inches (510 mm)
48 inches (1220 mm) maximum.
20 inches (510 mm) to 25 inches (635 mm)
44 inches (1120 mm) maximum.
407.8.3.2.2 Knee and Toe Space under ICT with Obstructed Forward Reach. Knee and toe space under ICT shall be 27 inches (685 mm) high minimum, 25 inches (635 mm) deep maximum, and 30 inches (760 mm) wide minimum and shall be clear of obstructions.
EXCEPTIONS: 1. Toe space shall be permitted to provide a clear height of 9 inches (230 mm) minimum above the floor and a clear depth of 6 inches (150 mm) maximum from the vertical reference plane toward the leading edge of the ICT.
2. At a depth of 6 inches (150 mm) maximum from the vertical reference plane toward the leading edge of the ICT, space between 9 inches (230 mm) and 27 inches (685 mm) minimum above the floor shall be permitted to reduce at a rate of 1 inch (25 mm) in depth for every 6 inches (150 mm) in height.
Sept 13, 2017 — The U.S. Access Board recently updated the 508 requirements for accessible ICT (information and communication technology) in the Federal space. This is their “press release”.
About the Update of the Section 508 Standards and Section 255 Guidelines for Information and Communication Technology
On January 18, 2017, the U.S. Access Board published afinal rule updating accessibility requirements for information and communication technology (ICT) covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and Section 255 of the Communications Act. This document provides an overview of the rule and highlights substantive changes to the ICT requirements. The preamble to the final rule discusses the requirements in greater detail.
Updated Section 508 Standards for Federal ICT
The Access Board’s final rule revises and refreshes its standards for information and communication technology in the federal sector covered by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The Board’s Section 508 Standards, which were first issued in 2000, apply to ICT developed, procured, maintained, or used by federal agencies. Examples include computers, telecommunications equipment, multifunction office machines such as copiers that also function as printers, software, websites, information kiosks and transaction machines, and electronic documents.
Updated Section 255 Guidelines for Telecommunications Equipment
The Board’s final rule also updates guidelines for telecommunications equipment covered by Section 255 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. The Section 255 Guidelines, which the Board initially published in 1998, cover telecommunications equipment and customer premises equipment, including telephones, cell phones, routers, set-top boxes, and computers with modems, interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol products, as well as software integral to the operation of telecommunications function of such equipment.
Goals of the Refresh
The Board updated the 508 Standards and 255 Guidelines jointly to ensure consistency in accessibility across the spectrum of information and communication technologies (ICT) covered. Other goals of this refresh include:
enhancing accessibility to ICT for people with disabilities;
making the requirements easier to understand and follow;
updating the requirements so that they stay abreast of the ever-changing nature of the technologies covered; and
harmonizing the requirements with other standards in the U.S. and abroad.
How the Final Rule was Developed
The Access Board initiated this update by organizing an advisory committee to review the original 508 Standards and 255 Guidelines and to recommend changes. The 41 members of the Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee (TEITAC) comprised a broad cross-section of stakeholders representing industry, disability groups, and government agencies. Its membership also included representatives from the European Commission, Canada, Australia, and Japan. The committee addressed a range of issues, including new or convergent technologies, market forces, and international harmonization and submitted its report to the Board in April 2008. Recognizing the importance of standardization across markets worldwide, the committee coordinated its work with standard-setting bodies in the U.S. and abroad, including the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the European Commission.
The Board released drafts of the rule based on the committee’s report in 2010 and 2011 and followed up with an official notice of proposed rulemaking in February 2015. With each release, the Board held public hearings and solicited public comment. Over the course of this rulemaking, the Board held seven public hearings and received over 630 comments.
The final rule revises both the structure and substance of the ICT requirements to further accessibility, facilitate compliance, and make the document easier to use. Major changes include:
restructuring provisions by functionality instead of product type due to the increasingly multi-functional capabilities of ICT;
incorporating the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 by reference and applying Level A and Level AA Success Criteria and Conformance Requirements to websites, as well as to non-web electronic documents and software;
specifying the types of non-public facing electronic content that must comply;
requiring that operating systems provide certain accessibility features;
clarifying that software and operating systems must interoperate with assistive technology (such as screen magnification software and refreshable braille displays);
addressing access for people with cognitive, language, and learning disabilities; and
harmonizing the requirements with international standards.
Incorporation of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
The final rule incorporates by reference a number of voluntary consensus standards, including WCAG 2.0. Issued by the W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative, WCAG 2.0 is a globally recognized, technology-neutral standard for web content. The final rule applies WCAG 2.0 not only to web-based content, but to all electronic content. The benefits of incorporating the WCAG 2.0 into the Section 508 Standards and the 255 Guidelines and applying it in this manner are significant. WCAG 2.0 addresses new technologies and recognizes that the characteristics of products, such as native browser behavior and plug-ins and applets, have converged over time. A substantial amount of WCAG 2.0 support material is available, and WCAG 2.0-compliant accessibility features are already built into many products. Further, use of WCAG 2.0 promotes international harmonization as it is referenced by, or the basis for, standards issued by the European Commission, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, and France.
Harmonization with European Commission ICT Standards
Harmonization with international standards and guidelines promotes greater accessibility worldwide, enhances uniformity, and heightens market incentives for integrating accessibility into information and communication technology. Throughout the rulemaking process, the Board coordinated its refresh with the European Commission’s development of counterpart ICT accessibility standards. In 2014, the European Commission adopted the “Accessibility requirements for public procurement of ICT products and services in Europe” (EN 301 549) which is available for use by European government officials as technical specifications or award criteria in public procurements of ICT products and services. The Board has worked to ensure broad harmonization between its ICT requirements and the European Commission’s standards (as revised in 2015).
Structure of the Rule
The final rule provides parallel chapters that separately address general application and scoping of the Section 508 Standards and the Section 255 Guidelines (Chapters 1 and 2). These sections apply to both 508-covered and 255-covered ICT functional performance criteria (Chapter 3), technical requirements for hardware and software (Chapters 4 and 5), criteria for support documentation and services (Chapter 6), and referenced standards (Chapter 7).
Coverage of Electronic Content (508 Standards)
Like the original 508 Standards, the updated 508 Standards apply to a federal agency’s full range of public-facing content, including websites, documents and media, blog posts, and social media sites. The final rule also specifically lists the types of non-public-facing content that must comply. This includes electronic content used by a federal agency for official business to communicate: emergency notifications, initial or final decisions adjudicating administrative claims or proceedings, internal or external program or policy announcements, notices of benefits, program eligibility, employment opportunities or personnel actions, formal acknowledgements or receipts, questionnaires or surveys, templates or forms, educational or training materials, and web-based intranets.
“Safe Harbor” for Legacy ICT
Existing ICT, including content, that meets the original 508 Standards does not have to be upgraded to meet the refreshed standards unless it is altered. This “safe harbor” clause (E202.2) applies to any component or portion of ICT that complies with the existing 508 Standards and is not altered. Any component or portion of existing, compliant ICT that is altered after the compliance date (January 18, 2018) must conform to the updated 508 Standards.
Functional Performance Criteria (Chapter 3)
The functional performance criteria are outcome-based provisions that address accessibility relevant to disabilities impacting vision, hearing, color perception, speech, cognition, manual dexterity, reach, and strength. These criteria apply only where a technical requirement is silent regarding one or more functions or when evaluation of an alterntative design or technology is needed under equivalent facilitation. If a technical provision covers a particular function of hardware or software, meeting the relevant functional performance criterion is not required.
The functional performance criteria require that technologies with:
visual modes also be usable with limited vision and without vision or color perception;
audible modes also be usable with limited hearing and without hearing;
speech-based modes for input, control, or operation also be usable without speech;
manual operation modes also be usable with limited reach and strength and without fine motor control or simultaneous manual operations; and
have features making its use simpler and easier for people with limited cognitive, language, and learning abilities.
Technical Requirements for Hardware and Software (Chapters 4 and 5)
Requirements in Chapter 4 apply to hardware that transmits information or has a user interface. Examples include computers, information kiosks, and multi-function copy machines. These provisions address closed functionality, biometrics, privacy, operable parts, data connections, display screens, status indicators, color coding, audible signals, two-way voice communication, closed captioning, and audio description.
Software requirements in Chapter 5 apply to computerized code that directs the use and operation of ICT and instructs ICT to perform a given task or function, including applications and mobile apps, operating systems, and processes that transform or operate on information and data. These provisions cover the interoperability with assistive technology, applications, and authoring tools.
Support Documentation and Services (Chapter 6)
Access to support documentation and services for the use of ICT is also addressed. Product documentation must cover how to use the access and compatibility features required for hardware and software. Electronic documentation must comply with the requirements for electronic content. Alternate formats must be made available upon request for documentation provided in a non-electronic format. Support services, including help desks, call centers, training services, and automated technical support must accommodate the communication needs of customers with disabilities and include information on access and compatibility features.
Referenced Standards (Chapter 7)
In addition to WCAG 2.0, the final rule also references other voluntary consensus standards to address:
ergonomics for the design of accessible software (ANSI/HFES 200.2, Human Factors Engineering of Software User Interfaces – Part 2: Accessibility)
interference to hearing aids by wireless telephones (ANSI/IEEE C63.19-2011, American National Standard for Methods of Measurement of Compatibility between Wireless Communications Devices and Hearing Aids)
handset generated audio band magnetic noise of wire line telephones (TIA-1083-B, Telecommunications—Communications Products—Handset Magnetic Measurement Procedures and Performance Requirements)
speech quality in digital transmissions (ITU-T Recommendation G.722.2, Series G. Transmission Systems and Media, Digital Systems and Networks or IETF RFC 6716, Definition of the Opus Codec)
audio description by digital television tuners (A/53 Digital Television Standard, Part 5: AC-3 Audio System Characteristics)
accessible PDF files (ANSI/AIIM/ISO 14289-1-2016, Document Management Applications — Electronic Document File Format Enhancement for Accessibility — Part 1: Use of ISO 32000-1 (PDF/UA-1))
keypad arrangement (1 ITU-T Recommendation E.161, Series E. Overall Network Operation, Telephone Service, Service Operation and Human Factors)
Effective Date and Next Steps
Federal agencies and contractors covered by Section 508 are not required to comply with the updated 508 Standards immediately. The Rehabilitation Act gives the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR Council) and federal agencies up to six months to incorporate the updated 508 Standards into their respective acquisition regulations and procurement policies and directives. It will be up to the FAR Council to establish the date by which new and existing procurements for 508-covered ICT must meet the updated 508 Standards. For all other non-procured ICT, federal agencies and contractors must comply with the updated 508 Standards beginning on January 18, 2018 (i.e., one year after publication of the final rule in the Federal Register). During the interim period before the updated 508 Standards take effect, the original 508 Standards continue to serve as the accessibility standard for all 508-covered ICT.
With respect to the updated Section 255 Guidelines, compliance is not required until the guidelines are adopted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is the federal agency tasked with implementation and enforcement of Section 255. The FCC’s existing regulations under Section 255 specify accessibility requirements that largely track the Board’s original Section 255 Guidelines. When the FCC initiates a rulemaking to revise its existing regulations, it has the discretion to adopt the Board’s 255 Guidelines in whole or in part. Any FCC rulemaking, when completed, will specify the effective date for its updated accessibility requirements under Section 255.
For further information on this rulemaking, visit the Board’s website at www.access-board.gov, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact Bruce Bailey at (202) 272-0024 (v), (202) 272-0070 (TTY) or Timothy Creagan at (202) 272-0016 (v), (202) 272-0074 (TTY).
ADA News – EZ Access® trademark Licensed by Assistra Technologies
MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) has executed an exclusive license agreement with Assistra Technologies, LLC, covering a portfolio of patents and trademarks relating to disability access systems for self-service kiosks, touch screen systems, and similar devices. The patents included in the license cover a variety of aspects of such systems and devices, such as novel methods for touch screen access for the vision impaired, tactile interfaces, and keypad designs. The license also includes the well-known “EZ®” and “EZ Access®” trademarks, which have been in use in the market to designate systems and certifications for providing disability access to electronic device interfaces.
The licensed technology was developed by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Trace Research and Development Center. The researchers recognized that public self-service kiosks in the United States should be accessible for everyone, including individuals with disabilities such as reduced vision or other physical limitations. Assistra’s implementation of this technology, pursuant to its license with WARF, will further the Trace team’s goals by helping to improve the cross disability access of self-service kiosks, including a kiosk’s accessibility to people with vision, hearing, mobility and minor cognitive impairments.
EZ Access® approved hardware and technologies are currently being used by several government and public institutions, including the Department of Homeland Security for border passport kiosks; and also by Amtrak and the U.S. Post Office for self-service kiosks. Assistra plans to expand the use of EZ Access® technology to include several major airlines.
Assistra will help ensure the quality of all EZ Access® implementations by creating a more formal certification program and by providing consulting services that will make EZ Access® technologies easier to integrate into both new and existing self-service kiosks and other public electronic devices such as voting machines.
“In many situations, people with disabilities are finding themselves in the position of needing to educate themselves about a kiosk’s technology every time they approach a new self-service kiosk.” says Bruce Winkler, Assistra Technologies’ Managing Partner. “One of our goals with the suite of EZ Access® technologies is to strive towards consistency and simplicity, and thereby achieve maximum accessibility by those with sensory, mobility or cognitive impairment.”
Winkler added, “Our implementation of the EZ Access® technologies developed by the University of Wisconsin Trace Center provides cross-disability access by combining a tactile keypad along with simple interactive techniques in ways that work together robustly and flexibly to accommodate users. This allows more people to use the product according to their own ability, preference or circumstance. What’s more, Assistra will work with its customers to ensure that their implementations of our EZ Access® technology will be ADA and Section 508 compliant.”
In addition, Assistra plans to enhance the existing EZ Access® product and service offerings by working with kiosk manufacturers to develop all-in-one self service kiosks that already implement the licensed technology, as well as software toolkits that will allow more companies and institutions to easily incorporate the licensed technology into their kiosk designs. According to Mr. Winkler, “markets and institutions that can benefit from the licensed technology include airport and transportation kiosks, accessible voting machines for polling places, ordering kiosks at fast food chains, and wayfinding kiosks in government buildings, federal parks, and hospitals to name a few.”
The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) helps steward the cycle of research, discovery, commercialization and investment for the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Founded in 1925 as an independent, nonprofit foundation, WARF manages more than 1,700 patents and an investment portfolio of $2.6 billion as it funds university research, obtains patents for campus discoveries and licenses inventions to industry. For more information, visit www.warf.org.
About Assistra Technologies LLC
Assistra Technologies LLC is a Wisconsin-based company that has been formed to operate as the sole provider of EZ Access® branded products and services, including expert services and design certifications for kiosk manufacturers and their clients to help them meet or exceed ADA guidelines and Section 508 requirements. For more information, visit www.assistratech.com.
About The UW-Trace Research & Development Center
The Trace R&D Center was formed in 1971 at the University of Wisconsin – Madison to address the communication needs of people who are nonspeaking and have severe disabilities. The Center was an early leader and innovator in the field that came to be known as “augmentative communication” and has recently relocated to the University of Maryland. For more information, visit http://trace.umd.edu.
EZ® and EZ Access® are registered trademarks of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF).
The revised Section 508 Standards and Section 255 Guidelines address many changes to technology that have occurred since 2000. Among the most significant changes are the widespread use of mobile technology and the increasing use of mobile devices to perform a variety of ICT functions.
Join us for this session where the presenters will focus on Chapter 4 Hardware. The presenters will discuss Closed Functionality, the new requirements for speech-output for ICT with display screens, privacy, operable parts, ICT with two-way voice communication, closed caption and audio description processing technologies and user controls and others. The presenters will also discuss sources for technical assistance and provide examples of how the hardware provisions may be implemented.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND: The intended audience for this training includes developers, federal procurement officials and everyone involved with implementing Section 508.
Agenda Today’s webinar focuses on the 508 hardware accessibility requirements from Chapter 4, with special attention to how they are applied to telecommunications products:
• How do the Revised 508 Standards (2017) compare with the Original 508 Standards (2000)?
• What has changed? What is new?
• How do the Revised 508 Standards apply to mobile?
• Examples of using the Revised 508 Standards for hardware: − Evaluating the accessibility of desk phone versus a smart phone
The revised Section 508 Standards and Section 255 Guidelines have significantly changed the way software is addressed in the existing Section 508 standards and Section 255 Guidelines (1998-2000). The incorporation by reference of WCAG 2.0 and … More details on session Revised Section 508 Chapter 5 …
The Revised Section 508 Standards and Section 255 Guidelines, incorporate the WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria Level A and AA and apply them to both web and non-web ICT, including electronic content. This session will review the robust technical … More details on session W3C WCAG 2.0 Resources…
ADA Kiosk – revised Section 508 Standards affecting hardware (audio) was last modified: January 18th, 2018 by News Editor
The next webinar in the Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series will take place July 25from 1:00 to 2:30 (ET) and review requirements for hardware, including mobile devices, in the updated Section 508 Standards that the U.S. Access Board published in January. Presenters will cover requirements for operable parts, technologies with two-way voice communication, devices with display screens, closed caption and audio description processing technologies, closed functionality, and privacy, among others.
The Section 508 Best Practices Webinar Series provides helpful information and best practices for federal agencies in meeting their obligations under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act which ensures access to information and communication technology in the federal sector. This webinar series is made available by the Accessibility Community of Practice of the CIO Council in partnership with the Access Board.
Section 508 Best Practices: Revised Section 508 Chapter 4 – Hardware July 25, 2017, 1:00- 2:30 (ET)Add to Calendar Presenters: • Bruce Bailey, IT Specialist, U.S. Access Board • Timothy Creagan, Senior Accessibility Specialist, U.S. Access Board • Deborah Kaplan, Section 508 Policy Lead, Office of the CIO, HHS (moderator) Registration: https://www.accessibilityonline.org/cioc-508/session/?id=110614
ADA Kiosk – Upcoming webinar on hardware Section 508 was last modified: July 6th, 2017 by News Editor