Georgia Tech Research Institute
Accessibility Assistant

Accessibility Assistant


Control Panel Buttons (8 of 11)

Issue: Buttons requiring high levels of force to activate can pose difficulties for users with limited strength.

Buttons that require a great deal of force for activation may be difficult for users with limited strength to activate.

Populations Impacted: Users with upper mobility impairments.

Potential Solution:
  • Buttons should require moderate levels of force to activate. ADA and Section 508 guidelines place an upper limit of 5 pounds on control activation forces, but this force is excessive for buttons, which are typically intended for fingertip operation. Button activation forces in the range of 0.22 to 1.8 pounds are recommended (Bullinger, Kern, and Muntzinger, 1988). However, button activation forces should not be too low, lest accidental activations (e.g., when a user with tremors brushes against a control) become a possibility.

Applicable Guidelines:
ADA-ABA - 309.4
Section 508 - 1194.23(k)(2), 1194.25(c)
Section 255 - 1193.41(f)(2)(d)
HFDS -,,
Mercinelli - 2.4