Georgia Tech Research Institute
 
Accessibility Assistant

Accessibility Assistant

Issues

Barcode Readers (1 of 4)

Issue: Some users may have difficulty orienting a product properly for scanning.

In order to scan barcodes, users must correctly orient the product to be scanned so that its barcode is facing the reader. Because the placement of barcodes on product packaging varies widely, locating the barcode and orienting the package so the barcode can be scanned can be difficult for users with visual impairments. Users with upper mobility impairments may also find it difficult to perform the fine manipulations required to orient products and pass them over the reader repeatedly.

Populations Impacted: Users who are blind; users with low vision; users with upper mobility impairments.

Potential Solutions:
  • Provide a reader that can read barcodes in multiple orientations with high sensitivity. A reader that can scan barcodes in any orientation and that is sensitive enough to successfully scan wrinkled or faded barcodes will be easier for users with visual impairments to use, because it reduces the need for the user to accurately orient the barcode.

  • Provide a reader that can scan multiple product surfaces at once. A reader that can scan multiple surfaces of a product (for example, the bottom and a side of the product) will be easier for users with visual impairments to use, because it reduces the number of product orientations the user must try before the barcode is read.

  • Use a technology that can identify products based on proximity. Some technologies such as RFID tags can be read by proximity, eliminating the need for the user to orient the product to the sensor in a particular way. Use of RFID tags and readers to identify products would simplify the process of scanning products at a kiosk.

Applicable Guidelines:
Section 508 - 1194.31(a), 1194.31(f)
HFDS - 6.4.1.1