Georgia Tech Research Institute

Card Readers (1 of 7)

Issue: Users may have difficulty locating the card reader.

A swipe-style card reader on a kiosk is shown.  The card slot is not labelled, and it is the same color as the rest of the device, making it difficult to locate.

The location and type of card reader often varies from machine to machine. Therefore, users with visual impairments may be unsure of where to search for a card reader, or what type of card reader to search for.

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

Potential Solutions:
  • Ensure that the card reader is easy to distinguish from the rest of the machine. The card reader should be prominently located on the machine, so that a searching user can find it quickly. It should also be tactilely identifiable as a card reader. For example, instead of providing only a small slot in the machine into which a card must be inserted, provide an interface that can be easily located and identified by touch. The visual appearance of the card reader should also contrast with the machine, to assist users with low vision to locate it.

  • A swipe-style card reader on a kiosk is shown.  The card slot is labelled, and it is a darker color than the rest of the device, making it easier to locate.
  • Provide tactile labels. The card reader should be clearly labeled with a Braille label, raised text, or other tactile markings.

  • Describe the location of the card reader to the user both visually and auditorily. Provide both on-screen text and/or graphics and auditory output indicating the location of the card reader to the user, making use of obvious landmarks on the machine to establish the location (i.e., "the card reader is located to the left of the display screen").

  • Use an indicator light to draw attention to the card reader. When a card must be read (for example, when user identification information is required), illuminate an indicator light on the card reader to indicate its location and attract the attention of the user.

Applicable Guidelines:
ADA-ABA - 707.5
Section 508 - 1194.31(a), 1194.31(b)
Section 255 - 1193.41(a)(2)(b), 1193.41(i)(2)(a)
HFDS -,,,,