Georgia Tech Research Institute
 
Accessibility Assistant

Accessibility Assistant

Issues

Reach and Visibility: Issue 1 of 3

Issue: Some components of kiosks may be difficult for users with mobility impairments to reach.

A user in a wheelchair, using a side approach to a kiosk, reaches for the touchscreen on the device but is unable to reach it because a protrusion from the base of the machine limits how close he can get to the machine.

Users of wheelchairs or other personal mobility devices may have limited reach capabilities. Some users have power wheelchairs that allow them to raise and lower their seats to increase their reach capabilities; however, many users have manual wheelchairs that do not allow for these sorts of adjustments. Some wheelchair users are unable to shift their upper bodies, limiting their access to only controls within arm's length. Thus, it is important that the components of a kiosk that users must interact with are operable from a seated position, without requiring excessive leaning or reaching.

Populations Impacted: Users with lower mobility impairments.

Potential Solutions:
  • Follow the ergonomic standards to determine where to position the controls to ensure easy access by all users.

    • The position of any operable control should be determined with respect to a vertical plane that is 48 inches in length, centered on the operable control, and at the maximum protrusion of the product within the 48 inch length.
    • Where any operable control is 10 inches or less behind the reference plane, the height shall be 54 inches maximum (according to Section 508) or 48 inches maximum (according to ADA-ABA) and 15 inches minimum above the floor. (See note below.)
    • Where any operable control is more than 10 inches and not more than 24 inches behind the reference plane, the height shall be 46 inches maximum and 15 inches minimum above the floor.
    • Operable controls shall not be more than 24 inches behind the reference plane.

    Note that Section 508, which was based on older ADA guidelines, specifies a maximum height of 54 inches. The newest ADA-ABA guidelines specify a maximum height of 48 inches, and a forthcoming update to Section 508 is expected to follow suit.

  • A user in a wheelchair, using a side approach to a kiosk, is able to reach the touchscreen on the device because the protrusion from the base of the machine is reduced, allowing a closer approach.
  • Allow adjustment of component positions. Where possible, allow users to adjust the position of components to meet their specific needs. Components could be adjustable between two or more discrete positions, or freely within a range of positions.

Applicable Guidelines:
ADA-ABA - 308.2.1, 308.2.2, 308.3.1, 308.3.2
Section 508 - 1194.25(j), 1194.31(f)
Section 255 - 1193.41(f)(2)(c)
ISO/IEC 71 - 8.3.1