Georgia Tech Research Institute
 

Products

Select one of the following products to obtain information about accessibility that is tailored to that product.

Desktop All-in-One Devices
Desktop All-in-One Device A desktop all-in-one device integrates several common office appliances into a single device. The primary function is printing, but these devices also typically support copying, scanning, and faxing. The user interfaces of desktop all-in-one devices can be somewhat complex. Some features of the device require interaction with the hardware interface, while other features can be controlled through software. The hardware interface usually poses many accessiblity challenges; the software may also have accessibility problems, especially for users who are blind, if it is not designed with accessibility in mind. These devices are normally used in a home or small office environment. For home users in particular, it is important that both the device, including maintenance aspects, and the software be accessible to all users, including users with disabilities.


Digital Multi-function Copiers
Digital Multi-function Copier A digital multi-function copier integrates several common office appliances into a single device. In addition to making copies, a typical digital multi-function copier supports printing, scanning, faxing, and document storage. Because of the number of functions typically supported by these devices, a rather complex user interface is often required. The complexity of the user interface, and certain design features necessary to accommodate the complex interface (e.g., small labels and icons, small and numerous controls), pose many accessibility challenges. The physical dimensions of these types of devices, which are typically tall and are designed to be used by users in a standing position, also pose accessibility challenges.


Kiosks
Kiosk Kiosks are interactive devices that allow users to access information or conduct other self-service functions. Examples include product price check stations, internet access terminals, job application kiosks, building directories, fountain drink dispensing machines, wayfinding kiosks, digital photo order stations, museum exhibit information kiosks, gift registry terminals, and sign-in/sign-out stations. The number of kiosks in use is increasing, and the range of tasks handled by these machines continues to expand. Kiosks can reduce interaction times, enhance privacy, and provide greater convenience for many users. However, as the reliance on kiosks to provide services to the public increases, the importance of providing kiosks that are accessible to people with disabilities increases as well. Both the physical design and the user interface of POS machines can pose a wide variety of problems for users with various types of disabilites.


Laptop Computers
Laptop Computer Laptop computers, also known as notebook computers, are portable personal computers. Laptops are generally capable of performing the same tasks as desktop computers, though compromises to decrease power consumption and size often mean that laptops are computationally less powerful than desktop computers. Because laptop keyboards are smaller than standard desktop keyboards, the keys tend to be smaller, some key locations are changed and some keys are omitted entirely, and multiple functions are combined onto each key. Specialized hardware devices known as "touchpads" or "trackpoints" are used in lieu of a mouse. Laptop computers pose a number of accessibility issues. Missing or rearranged keys pose problems for users who are blind and users with cognitive impairments. The smaller keyboard and small, densely populated ports and controls pose problems for users with upper mobility impairments. The small display and small hardware labels pose problems for users with low vision. The lack of standardization of key placement and other design features across laptops causes problems for many users with various impairments.


Point of Sale Machines
Point of Sale Machine Point of sale (POS) machines are interactive devices that allow customers of a business to conduct self-service financial transactions. Examples include credit card payment terminals, retail store self-checkout stations, movie theater ticket machines, machines used for ordering food at convenience stores or quick service restaurants, airport check-in machines, and gas station pay-at-the-pump systems. The number of POS machines in use is increasing, and the range of transactions handled by these machines continues to expand. POS machines can reduce transaction times, enhance privacy, and provide greater convenience for many shoppers. However, as the reliance on POS machines to conduct business increases, the importance of providing POS machines that are accessible to people with disabilities increases as well. Both the physical design and the user interface of POS machines can pose a wide variety of problems for users with various types of disabilites.


Programmable Thermostats
Programmable Thermostat Programmable thermostats are thermostats that automatically adjust the set temperature in a user's home at different times according to user-defined settings. Programmable thermostats range from basic models with only one program to more complex models with the ability to create a different program for each day of the week. Programmable thermostats may have only hardware controls, only a touchscreen, or a combination of the two. Programmable thermostats can be especially beneficial to users with disabilities, because the programmability nearly eliminates the need for interaction with the device after initial setup. However, programmable thermostats still pose a number of accessibility issues. Programmable thermostats sometimes have complex user interfaces, especially for creating a new program, which can be problematic for users with cognitive impairments. Other aspects of the programmable thermostat can cause problems for users with impaired vision, especially if the unit has only a touchscreen. Additionally, users with upper mobility impairments may experience difficulty accessing and using the controls on a programmable thermostat.


Digital Video
Digital Video "Digital video" refers to digital media files, typically played on a computer, that may contain both audio and video content. As Internet connection speeds have increased, the popularity of digital video on the web has skyrocketed. Digital video can be delivered in two ways: streaming and downloadable. "Streaming" is the simultaneous transfer and display of digital video from the Internet. The video file resides only on the server machine and is not copied to the client machine. "Downloadable" video can be copied from the server to the client, and the local copy is then played by the user. Without some effort to add accessibility features, such as captioning or audio description, to digital video files, the multimedia content will not be completely accessible to some users. If the digital video requires special software to play it, the accessibility of software package used to play the video must also be considered.


PDF Documents
PDF Document Icon The Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format that was developed by Adobe Systems to represent documents in a format that is independent of the original application, operating system, and hardware that was used to create the document. PDF documents are documents that are stored in the PDF file format. PDF documents must have certain characteristics in order to be accessible to users with disabilities. For example, the document must be a searchable text file (not just a scanned image) so that a screen reader can read the words in the document; the structural elements of the document must be indicated by tags, so that a screen reader can properly interpret elements such as headings, paragraphs, and tables; and the reading order of the document must be logical and easy-to-follow, so that a screen reader can present the content of the document to the reader in the proper order.