Georgia Tech Research Institute

Card Readers (3 of 7)

Issue: Users lacking fine motor control may have difficultly aligning and inserting a card.

A swipe-style card reader on a kiosk is shown.  The card slot is simply a vertical groove running down the machine, with no features to help guide the card into the slot.

Precisely aligning a card with a card reader slot for insertion or swiping can be difficult for users lacking fine motor control.

Populations Impacted: Users with upper mobility impairments.

Potential Solutions:
  • Design the card slot so that it guides the card into the slot. A slot design with an opening that tapers into the insertion slot or a design that provides a clear area for the user to rest the card before sliding or inserting it reduces the amount of fine motor control required to interact with a card reader.

  • A swipe-style card reader on a kiosk is shown.  There is an opening at the top of the card slot into which users can easily place their cards, and a stop that helps ensure that the card is positioned properly before being swiped.
  • Provide a clear area around the card slot for users to brace their hands. Providing a space near the card slot where users can brace their hands to steady themselves and reduce tremors can help users perform actions more accurately.

  • Provide support for contactless card reading. Contactless cards (which use barcodes or RFID technology to store data) eliminate the need for the user to align and insert the card.

Applicable Guidelines:
Section 508 - 1194.31(f)
Section 255 - 1193.41(e)(2)(h)
HFDS -,,