Under the general requirements of the AODA, all public sector organizations must make new self-service kiosks accessible. Moreover, private sector organizations should also take accessibility into account when they design, procure, or acquire new kiosks. Accessible self-service kiosks allow organizations to serve more customers.
What are accessible self-service kiosks?
Self-service kiosks are electronic terminals that users can interact with. Customers or clients can use them to access products or services without staff assistance. For instance, people now use self-service kiosks to:
- Check out at stores
- Order food at restaurants
- Buy tickets at theatres
- Check in at airports
- Print ID cards in government offices
- Withdraw money from bank accounts
Technical Features of Accessible Self-Service Kiosks
Self-service kiosks should have technical features so that everyone can use them on their own. For instance, good colour contrast on display screens makes kiosks accessible for people with visual impairments. Similarly, audio output allows people with print disabilities to hear the instructions on the screen. Likewise, speech input gives people the chance to operate kiosks by voice. Furthermore, accessible kiosks should allow extra time for people to complete tasks. This feature benefits people with various disabilities who may need more time to process and respond to the kiosk’s instructions.
Structural Features of Accessible Self-Service Kiosks
Self-service kiosks should also have accessible structural features. For example, kiosks should be at a height customers can reach using assistive devices, such as wheelchairs or scooters. In addition, kiosks should be stable. Finally, kiosks should have tactile keyboards, as well as headphone jacks and volume controls. These features allow people using a kiosk’s speech output to do business quietly and confidentially.
More and more businesses now offer self-service kiosks as an extra service option for customers or clients. However, this service option is not always open to everyone. Many customers or clients cannot use these new devices. Instead, they must continue to rely on staff to serve them, even when less staff members are working. Businesses designing or purchasing new kiosks should make sure that all customers or clients can use them.