• Morita, P. P., Bin Noon, G., Ugaya Mazza, L., Morgan, G. (2023). New Technologies for Self-Service Devices and Their Impacts on Usability for Persons with Disabilities. Canadian Standards Association, Toronto, ON.

Executive Summary

Self-service interactive devices, or kiosks, refer to devices that require user input to provide physical or electronic output to access information or services without interacting with service personnel. Self-service devices are used in retail, banking, travel, and health care. While practical benefits to self-service devices for both service providers and users are unequivocal, the requirement for increased accessibility is growing as a result of national and international efforts to develop inclusive societies. CSA/ASC B651.2, Accessible Design for Self-service Interactive Devices, specifies the requirements for electronic and mechanical self-service interactive devices to be accessible and usable by people with blindness or low vision, hearing, physical, cognitive, or intellectual disabilities and impairments. Here, accessibility refers to the extent to which products, systems, services, environments, and facilities can be used by people from a population with the widest range of user needs, characteristics, and capabilities to achieve identified goals in identified contexts of use.

The main goal of this research project is to review new and existing input and output technologies that could be incorporated into self-service interactive devices to enhance accessibility and usability of self-service interactive devices. Each technology was evaluated to determine its purpose, readiness for use and implementation, direct or indirect applicability, applicable standards, and the evidence for its usability by people with disabilities.

The usability of a technology was determined based on the quality of the experience that people have when interacting with the technology or a product or system with which that technology is integrated. Applicability to CSA/ASC B651.2 was based on the technology's ubiquity for both personal and commercial uses as well as the quality of available literature on the usability of the technology.

Exploration of the objectives was done through two successive research approaches:

  1. Literature search and technology review on existing and emerging input and output technologies potentially applicable for self-service interactive devices; and
  2. Stakeholder consultations with people with lived experience of disability and industry and regulation experts to validate and explore the applicability of the research findings.

Overall, of the approximately 20 technologies assessed, 14 are recommended for consideration for review in the preparation of the updated standard: facial detection, facial recognition, sign language avatars, gesture recognition, personal device integration, word completion and prediction, screen readers, antiglare screens, text-to-speech capability, fingerprint recognition, iris recognition, voice command and dictation, text enlargement, and refreshable braille displays. These technologies were re-examined in order to take into account relevant guidance. However, the recommendations discussed in this report are not universal for all self-service devices, as various technologies recommended for inclusion may have different impacts, utility, and legal implications in varying contexts. Finally, recommendations for future research are provided.