Ensuring Your Kiosks are ADA Compliant

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Ensuring Your Kiosks are ADA Compliant

Picture of By Douglas Ralston

By Douglas Ralston

At True Omni we see many trends and connection points for travel companies as we look at more mature markets.   We see the way in-store media is starting to change and shape business models and

Self-service kiosks are changing the way we do business. Making sure that kiosks comply with accessibility rules ensures that all visitors are able to take advantage of the services offered, while also deterring potential lawsuits.

It’s a given that when an organization incorporates self-service kiosks into their offerings, they’re doing so to make their operation more efficient and improve the experience for the people they serve.

To achieve the maximum benefit from a kiosk, though, it’s critical for those devices to be accessible by each and every user. That can mean becoming aware of issues not previously considered.

One of the main concerns when embarking on a kiosk project is compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. 1 The ADA, which became law in 1990, prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including facilities open to the general public. The law is modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

With ADA lawsuits on the rise and the cost of such suits potentially reaching hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, it’s clearly in a deployer’s best interest to take the steps necessary to ensure their kiosks are compliant with ADA regulations.

And ultimately, making sure a business’s kiosks can accommodate all users isn’t just the law, it’s the right thing to do.

Covering the bases: ADA & physical requirements

While it is clear that meeting the physical reach requirements for a kiosk will not ensure accessibility for all users, these sections of the ADA regulations must be followed to ensure a kiosk deployment is ADA compliant.

ADA standards when it comes to physical kiosk accessibility include:

1. Forward reach limits

 

·       If a kiosk can be accessed via a forward reach and is unobstructed, the maximum height of the touch screen is 48 inches and the minimum height of the touch screen is 15 inches.

·       If there is an obstruction in front of a kiosk (such as a countertop) and the depth of the obstruction is 20 inches or less, the maximum height of the touch screen is 48 inches. The floor must be clear underneath the obstruction at an equal or greater depth.

·      If the obstruction exceeds 20 inches, the maximum height of the touch screen is 44 inches, and the maximum depth of the obstruction is 25 inches. The floor must be clear underneath the obstruction at an equal or greater depth.

2. Side reach limits

 

·       If a kiosk is only accessible via a parallel approach and the side reach is unobstructed, the maximum height of the touch screen is 48 inches and the minimum height is 15 inches.

·       If there is an obstruction (such as a countertop) in front of a kiosk and the obstruction depth is 10 inches or less, the maximum height of the obstruction is 34 inches and the maximum height of the touch screen is 48 inches.

·       If the obstruction depth exceeds 10 inches, the maximum depth of the obstruction is 24 inches, the maximum height of the obstruction is 34 inches and the maximum height of the touchscreen is 46 inches.

 

3. Operable parts

 

If your kiosk has peripherals such as a printer, the lowest allowable height of that peripheral is 15 inches.

 

4. Protrusion limits

 

If your kiosk is wall-mounted and has nothing below it to alert someone with visual impairments navigating with a cane to its presence, it can have a maximum depth of 4 inches from the wall, a minimum height of 27 inches and a maximum height of 80 inches.

5. Floor space requirements

 

It is the responsibility of the kiosk owner to provide adequate floor space around the kiosk to accommodate wheelchair users. Floor space requirements are outlined in their own section of the ADA website.

6. Software

 

Ensure software is able to comply with distance and accessibility structures, by adjusting the interface to easy-to-use navigation.   And ensure easy sharing and information via access, QR codes and more.  For future proofing consider ADA Audio and arrow navigation.

7. Functionality-based requirements: Access Board rules

The Architectural and Transportation Barriers and Compliance Board, also known as the Access Board, is an independent federal agency devoted to accessibility for people with disabilities. 6 In September 2017, as part of an effort to add clarity to the steps kiosk deployers must take to accommodate disabled users, the Access Board released a final rule for electronic and information technologies used by federal agencies, as well as guidelines for customer premises equipment and telecommunications equipment, including kiosks.  Any good organization in this field will be following and ensuring compliance.

Conclusion

 

At the end of the day, the best step deployers can take to make sure their kiosks are accessible and meet current requirements is to work with a kiosk provider and/or a legal team experienced in such matters.  True Omni can help and provide information needed to ensure Kiosk accessibility and the future of Kiosk functionality.  Make sure the company you are talking with is versed in public terminals, it can be a big difference and save you a lot of hassle and legal fees.

At True Omni, we are happy to be a part of this transition and discover new ways to connect, collaborate, and experience everything the destination has to offer. If you need assistance in moving your team to the next level in providing a next-generation visitor experience, we are just one click away. Contact us at info@trueomni.com or call 888-334-66664.

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