Georgia Tech Research Institute

Audio Output (7 of 7)

Issue: Audio output via speakers may be inappropriate due to privacy concerns.

A user, who is blind, is interacting with a kiosk that is outputting an audio message that says 'The social security number you've entered is...' through the speaker.

Audio output may be required for some users to interact with kiosks. The audio output may need to be at a relatively high volume to overcome ambient noise or to accommodate users who are hard of hearing. However, some information provided by kiosks, such as user account information or other private information, should not be broadcast over speakers.

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

Potential Solutions:
  • Provide a headphone output. When headphones are connected, disable the audio output through the speakers.

  • A user, who is blind, is interacting with a kiosk.  The user is wearing headphones, and no audio is being output through the speaker.
  • Avoid outputting potentially sensitive information through speakers. Consider whether any of the information the kiosk might potentially output could cause privacy concerns. If so, consider a design where private information is only output through the headphone jack and not through the speakers, or consider giving the user the option of whether or not private information should be output via the speakers.

Applicable Guidelines:
ADA-ABA - 707.4, 707.5
Section 508 - 1194.25(e), 1194.31(d)
Section 255 - 1193.43(e)(2)(e)