Ensuring accessible self-service

Published August 21, 2023

Self-service kiosks are popping up everywhere. From places like the DMV and local government buildings to hotels, airports, and more, self-service kiosks are becoming a popular way to provide faster service. But how efficient is it if it’s not accessible?

If you’re thinking about adding a kiosk to your brick-and-mortar business, there are a few things to consider. Customers and patrons living with disabilities must be able to access and use kiosks as per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Make sure your kiosk checks these boxes:

  • Wheelchair accessible – There should be kiosks at wheelchair height, or they must be adjustable. Also, be mindful of the location, avoid tight spaces, and have a wheelchair ramp nearby.
  • Clear instructions and guidance – Not everyone is tech-savvy, so instructions are needed. The instructions should be written clearly and accompanied by clear audio. In the event of errors, users should be told how to correct them.
  • Screen-reader accessible – Kiosks must be able to interact with screen readers or other assistive technology for those who use them. 
  • Customer service option – While kiosks offer convenience, they don’t suit everyone. A customer service representative should remain nearby to answer questions and troubleshoot technical issues.

Another way to add a convenient self-service option is to have an app for your business. This gives customers the option to make purchases and fill out forms via their smartphones for faster service. 

To create an accessible app, you’ll need to implement:

  • Adequate color contrast – The ideal is near-black text on an off-white background with a contrast level of at least 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for larger text
  • Multiple data entry methods – Manually entering information can be strenuous, so having autofill options can make navigating and using your app easier. There should also be an option to use speech to input information.
  • Straightforward layout – Less is more when creating a widely-used, accessible app. Having a clean, consistent layout makes it user-friendly and easy to navigate.

These are just a few things to consider when planning to install a kiosk or create an app. You want self-service to be accessible to meet your customers’ needs and avoid lawsuits. 

Want more guidance on creating accessible self-service? At our Accessible Mobile Apps & Kiosks event on Tuesday, Aug. 22, attendees will learn how to provide an accessible user experience for all when designing, developing, and deploying mobile apps and kiosks.

Key takeaways include:

  • Examples of mobile apps and kiosks.
  • Additional considerations when developing an app or kiosk.
  • What features and assistive technology to focus on.
  • iOS and Android: How operating systems affect design, development, and deployment.
  • Testing and deployment approaches.
  • And more.

Register now to start developing and designing accessible self-service for your customers.


Closed Captioning Services - Free Online Event!

Join us on Tuesday, February 27th, at 1 PM ET for a free online event to explore how to evaluate and select a closed captioning vendor for your business. Click here to learn more about this event and to register.

Click here to see our Events Calendar.

Accessibility.com's 2024 events will utilize the Zoom Events platform, offering a virtual expo hall for attendees to meet with prospective vendors. If your company is interested in being part of the expo hall, don't hesitate to get in touch with Amanda@Accessibility.com.

Vendor Directory

Accessibility.com now offers an impartial listing of digital accessibility vendors.  Search for products and services by category, subcategory, or by company name.  Check out our new Vendor Directory here.