Accessibility guidelines for kiosk UI and physical design


On this page we have reviewed standards set by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and UK Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) to build a set of guidelines that encompasses legislative standards for public kiosk design.

Definition of Accessible Design

Accessible design is the design of entities that satisfy specific legal mandates, guidelines, or code requirements with the intent of providing accessibility to the entities for individuals with disabilities.

  • Accessible design, therefore
    1.satisfies specific laws
    2.provides equal access for persons with disabilities
  • Definition of Universal Design:
    Universal design can be defined as the design of entities that can be used and experienced by people of all abilities, to the greatest extent possible, without adaptations.
  • Difference Between Universal Design and Accessible Design:
    Universal design and accessible design are often used interchangeably, and this can be confusing. While universal design and accessible design share a common core of design principles and strategies, they differ in that accessible design is legally mandated whereas universal design is not. The legal mandates and design guidelines associated with accessible design require that designs be compliant subject to legal penalties. Universal design, on the other hand, is motivated more by global competition and the creation of more universally accessible and usable products and services demanded by international markets.

Guidelines for Physical Kiosk Design

Accessible Design of Physical Kiosk Should:

  • satisfies ADA Laws (suggestion given by Derek Fretheim.)
  • provides equal access for
    people with hearing impairment
    people with vision impairment
    people who are in a wheelchair
    people who have artificial limbs
    people regardless of their height or stature
    people with photosensitive epilepsy

Possible Accessibility Features of Physical Kiosk

  • Wheelchair access from the front.
  • Wheelchair access from an angled left approach.
  • Wheelchair access from an angled right approach.
  • A shelf area to put personal belongings such as bags, at approximately waist height.
  • A place to rest a walking stick or cane.
  • A support that the user can lean on during the interaction process.
  • Outputs reachable and graspable by wheelchair users and those of small stature.
  • Inputs reachable and usable by wheelchair users and those of small stature (i.e. users can see clearly and manipulate); or Adjustability (if required) in the heights of inputs.
  • Angle of screens acceptable for all users (i.e. low and high stature, seated etc.); or Adjustability (if required) in the angles of screens.
  • Built-in Shielding from glare on screens.
  • The use of high contrast signage and labeling
  • A Handset which will be important for implementing access features for people who have hearing or visual disabilities .

Possible Performance Goals of Physical Kiosk

  • clear vision of the kiosk – For those with low vision, or who don't have their eyeglasses with them
  • ability to see the kiosk – For those who are blind, or whose eyes are otherwise occupied
  • ability to see colors – For those with color blindness
  • ability to hear the kiosk well – For those who are hard of hearing or are in a noisy environment
  • ability to hear the kiosk at all – For those who are deaf or are in a very noisy environment
  • fine Operation-- For those who have a physical disability
  • quick (or even moderately quick) responses – For those with physical disabilities or those with problems reading or understanding
  • good reading skills in the language(s) used by the kiosk – For those with mild cognitive or learning impairments, or those who have trouble reading the language
  • any reading skills in the language(s) used by the kiosk – For those with cognitive or learning impairments, or those who cannot read the language

Possible Methods Providing Access to Users of Physical Kiosk

  • For vision access
    Enhance or provide alternate means of perception; and make it possible to operate controls without relying on vision. Information can be presented in auditory form. Auditory and visual feedback can also be used to assist users in finding and activating controls on devices.
  • For hearing access
    When information is presented in auditory form, it is presented in visual form also and audio enhancements are available to make it easier for people who are hard-of-hearing to use the device. Audio enhancements include volume control within a sufficient range, and hearing aid compatibility.
  • For physical access
    There are accessible route to, approach to, and space for wheelchair (and scooter) access. People who have a general difficulty reaching and touching interfaces can use an alternative form of manipulation.
  • For cognitive access
    If the user does not have the capability to understand the purpose of a device, it is unlikely that access techniques can be provided. However, for some people with mild or moderate cognitive impairments, some assistance might help: simplification in sequencing of instructions and operations, using simple language and controls, or using adjustable spoken output for people who would otherwise not be able to read or who cannot read fast enough.

Accessibility Rules Related to Physical Kiosk from ADA Laws 10-01-25_FE_Kiosk_Accessibility_Rules.pdf

Guidelines for UI Kiosk Design

Experts in usability and accessibility have compiled lists of principles - often expressed as questions - to be applied in performing heuristic analysis. The following are recommended by the Fluid project:

Fluid User Research

Notes from chat with blind user about museum experience (January 13, 2010)


Universal and Accessible Design for Products, Services, and Processes 10-01-13_FE_Kiosk_Accessibility_Book.pdf