According to a U.S. Census Bureau 2002 survey, there are more than 51 million individuals with disabilities in the United States. This demographic is estimated to account for more than $175 billion in annual discretionary spending, including more than $35 billion spent on dining out and more than $13 billion in annual travel expenditures.
With such a large number of disabled individuals in the United States, it is important for self-service solutions, such as interactive kiosks, to be built to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifications.
Olea Kiosks has extensive expertise in building ADA-compliant kiosks. Many of our standard kiosks are fully ADA-compliant, and we also have vast expertise in building custom kiosk solutions that are as easy to use for impaired and non-impaired users.
What Are the ADA Specifications for Kiosks?
The goal of the ADA guidelines for kiosks is to ensure that these machines can be accessed and used by users with mobility limitations and hearing/vision impairments on the same level as users with no physical disabilities. This not only applies to the kiosk unit, but also the touchscreen, the peripherals, and the area surrounding the kiosk.
The first step to ensure ADA compliance is to evaluate how the kiosk is to be deployed. The ADA specifications state that there must be clear access to the kiosk, either front-access or side-access, for users with mobility limitations. The law requires ground clearance of at least 30-inches by 48-inches for both front-access and side-access.
In addition, the kiosk itself must provide an equivalent user experience for impaired users and non-impaired users. As a result, both standing and seated users must have the ability to reach the entire touch screen and easily interact with the necessary components, such as a keypad, keyboard, and card reader. The ADA specifications include:
For unobstructed front-reach access, the interactive controls of the kiosk (i.e. touch screen and other necessary controls) must be at least 15 inches, but no more than 48 inches above the floor.
For kiosks with obstructed front-reach access, the interactive controls of the kiosk can be set back anywhere from zero to 20 inches when the maximum height of the controls is 48 inches. If the maximum height is less than 44 inches, the controls can be set back a maximum of 25 inches.
For a unit that is designed for side-reach unobstructed access, the user controls can have a maximum height of 48 inches above the floor with a minimum placement at least 15 inches above the floor. These specs also apply to small obstructions up to 10 inches in width.
For side-reach access with an obstruction, the controls can be set back from zero to 10 inches when the height of the controls is a maximum of 48 inches. The height of the obstruction can be no more than 34 inches. The controls can be set back up to 24 inches if the maximum height is no more than 46 inches.
In order to best accommodate the height preferences of both a standing user and a seated user, Olea recently launched the revolutionary adjustable-height Verona Healthcare Kiosk. This kiosk is not only fully ADA-compliant, but it is built with ergonomics in mind for both the seated and standing user.
For a user in a wheelchair, the device can be lowered more than 10-inches to provide for easy access to the highest portions of the touch screen interface. For standing users, elevating the unit the additional 10-inches provides for comfortable interaction without having to bend over to reach the lower portions of the device.
ADA Compliance Is More Than Wheelchair Access
Frank Olea, CEO of Olea Kiosks, notes that “Most people only seem to think ‘wheelchair’ when considering ADA, and it seems as though vision impairment and hearing impairment are largely ignored.” Failing to accommodate vision and hearing impaired users means that your kiosks will not be useable by a large sector of your audience, which could mean unhappy customers and ultimately lost revenue.
One of the ways that kiosks can be made accessible for vision impaired users is to offer an enhanced user interface through technologies that are specially designed to create an equivalent experience for the vision impaired. One such technology is the EZ Access system which can be added to an interactive kiosk to allow vision impaired users to fully interact with the kiosk at a level that is on-par with a non-impaired user.
Similarly, Olea kiosks can be customized with a variety of enhancements that improve usability for hearing impaired users. Kiosks can be outfitted with headphone jacks that allow hearing impaired users to adjust the audio volume. In addition, visual cues and messages can be integrated into the touch screen interface to ensure that hearing impaired individuals can easily navigate the kiosk.
Contact Olea Kiosks Today
Olea Kiosks has extensive experience building ADA-compliant kiosks that not only meet the standards of the ADA, but are also thoroughly tested to ensure that the kiosks can be effectively used by an impaired user as well as a non-impaired user. Contact Olea today to find out how we can create a stellar ADA-compliant kiosk for your organization.