Georgia Tech Research Institute

Labeling: Issue 4 of 6

Issue: Information presented in text labels is not accessible to users with visual impairments.

A numeric keypad on a kiosk is shown.  No tactile labels are provided.

Information that is presented only as printed text is not accessible to users who are blind, or to some users with low vision. Labels are used to identify controls and components on kiosks, and some kiosks may provide labels that contain instructions on how to use the device or a component of the device. It is important that all users have access to all of the information that is necessary for the operation of the device.

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

Potential Solutions:
  • Provide tactile labels for controls and components. Labels for controls and components should be provided in a tactile format, which could include Braille, raised lettering, or other raised markings that help identify controls.

  • A numeric keypad on a kiosk is shown.  A tactile nib is provided on the 5 key, and a Braille label is provided on the Enter key.
  • Provide critical instructions in Braille. Providing redundant labeling with at least the most important instructions in Braille will increase accessibility of information for users with visual impairments that are able to read Braille. (However, the percentage of users with visual impairments that are able to read Braille is fairly low, so other methods of providing information are also necessary.)

  • Provide information in an auditory format. The device should be capable of outputting information in an auditory format (i.e., speech output). Auditory information should include any necessary instructions on how to use the device, and may also include feedback, such as repeating the names of controls when they are activated, to help users identify controls.

Applicable Guidelines:
ADA-ABA - 707.5
Section 508 - 1194.31(a), 1194.31(b)
Section 255 - 1193.43(a)(2)