Georgia Tech Research Institute

Audio Output (3 of 7)

Issue: Ambient sound from the environment interferes with the user's ability to hear audio output.

Kiosks may be located in noisy environments, where ambient sound from the environment makes it hard for users to hear audio output from the machine. This may be particularly problematic for users who are hard of hearing, and for users with vision impairments, who may rely exclusively on auditory information to use the device.

Populations Impacted: Users who are hard of hearing; users who are blind; users with low vision.

Potential Solutions:
  • Provide sufficient output volume and range of adjustment through the built-in speakers and the headphone output. The range of volume available should be implemented as described in Section 508 guideline 1194.25(f). Controls that allow users to adjust the output volume within the range specified in 1194.25(f) should be provided.

  • A user, who is blind, is interacting with a kiosk that is outputting audio.  A volume knob is provided so that the user can adjust the output volume.
  • Provide a headphone jack. Providing a headphone jack allows users to attach their own headphones for private listening to audio output. Headphones may also help users hear audio output by partially blocking ambient noise.

  • Provide redundant visual output for important audio output. All important information that is conveyed via audio output should be accompanied by equivalent visual information in the form of graphics, text, indicator lights, or other visual means.

Applicable Guidelines:
Section 508 - 1194.25(e), 1194.25(f), 1194.31(a), 1194.31(b), 1194.31(c), 1194.31(d)
Section 255 - 1193.43(e)(2)(b)