About EZ Access ® Technologies & Implementation

An EZ Access ® certified implementation helps self-service kiosk manufacturers and their clients meet or exceed ADA guidelines and Section 508 requirements


EZ Access ® Offers Accessibility For All


EZ Access helps ensure a safer harbor for those concerned with ADA and Section 508 compliance.

Developed by the Trace Research & Development Center at the University of Wisconsin - Madison (recently relocated to the University of Maryland), EZ Access ® is the only cross disability solution set for self-service kiosks. Whereas, solutions may exist that are helpful to the visually impaired, they do not meet the needs of the physically or cognitively disabled. Other solutions may work for disabled people who are technically adept, but not for those who may be uncomfortable with technology or who have become disabled later in life (i.e., the elderly). EZ Access ® helps solve this problem.


EZ Access ® Offers a Safer Harbor By Ensuring That Self-Service Kiosks Meet ADA Guidelines and Section 508 Requirements

Federal and state ADA codes and regulations are intended to provide cross disability access to public computers (self-service kiosk installations). By working with Assistra Technologies to implement EZ Access ®, clients will more easily satisfy government guidelines, evidence their concern for inclusivity and diminish the threat of related litigation. In short, EZ Access ® technologies, along with a proper implementation and certification provided by Assistra, will provide both the guidance to create accessible kiosks, and a "safer harbor" for clients trying to be sure that they comply with the requirements for accessibility in public spaces.


EZ Access ® provides cross-disability access by combining a tactile keypad along with simple interactive techniques in ways that work together robustly and flexibly to accommodate users. This allows more people to use the product according to their own ability, preference or circumstance.


EZ Access ® offers accessibility for all, not just for the visually impaired.image Key to meeting the requirements of 508 and the ADA is the ability to address not just the needs of one type of disability, but the need to meet the needs of all of the disabilities covered by these laws. EZ Access ® represents an integrated package of techniques that work across disabilities, that work with people who are both technically adept and less technically oriented, and that work without training and can be easily understood and incorporated into kiosks. EZ Access ® addresses the needs of people who are blind, have low vision, have cognitive, language, and learning disabilities, have trouble reading for any reason, have limited reach or strength, are hard-of-hearing or deaf, etc. And they do this without the user having to invoke any special modes. The techniques can all be used simultaneously with the touch screen in the same way a keyboard and mouse can be used together on a computer. With EZ Access ® the user can choose whichever approach works best for them, switching between them at any time during kiosk use.


EZ Access ® Features:

  • Speech output + navigation - gives complete access to any onscreen controls and context (text, image and controls).
  • Button help - provides a way for users to instantly identify any button on the device and get information about it.
  • System help - provides context sensitive information about using the device.
  • Layers of help - provides extra help when people might be stuck or unsure of what to do next.
  • ShowCaptions - provides a visual presentation of any text or sounds created by the device that are not already visually displayed for those with hearing impairments or deafness.

EZ Access ® Certification and Licensing

Assistra certifies EZ Access ® implementations to ensure ADA Guidelines are followed and Section 508 Requirements are met.

“To be called EZ Access requires both a tactile keypad and a certified implementation of the EZ Access techniques.”

    —   Gregg C. Vanderheiden. Ph.D., Director, Trace R & D Center

Our certification program covers:

  • Hardware requirements, including housing, control placement, and audio
  • Screen design
  • Navigation and highlighting
  • Operating behavior, speech output, and timing

Certified implementations can display the EZ Access ® trademark to advertise a strong commitment to accessibility.


Tactile Keypads for EZ Access ® Implementations


With over 10 years of research and testing, the Trace Research & Development Center, then located at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, has developed tactile keypads specifically designed for use with proper EZ Access ® implementations.


Striving towards standardization, the new linear keypad designed for use in EZ Access ® implementations can easily be incorporated into new kiosk designs and also retrofitted onto existing kiosks.
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Striving towards standardization, the new linear keypad designed for use in EZ Access ® implementations can easily be incorporated into new kiosk designs and also retrofitted onto existing kiosks.


New Tactile Keypad Interface Features:

  • Highly tactile, illuminated keys with distinct shapes and textures
  • A horizontal layout for optimal ease of use
  • Designed to work with both visual and audio cues for the user
  • A modern and sleek look that meshes with nearly any kiosk design

The keypads can be integrated either during manufacturing or as an aftermarket retrofit.



Types of electronics that can benefit from an EZ Access ® implementation.


EZ Access ® technologies have been implemented in self-service kiosks, wayfinding kiosks and fare machines. Examples include all Amtrak ticketing kiosks, Homeland Security border control kiosks and Post Office stamp and shipping self-service kiosks. EZ Access ® can also be applied to a wide range of devices including:  ATMs, vending machines, voting machines, public gaming machines, self-service restaurant ordering devices, cellular phones, tablets and other personal portable electronics.


EZ Access ® Software Toolkit


Our highly customizable software allows you to focus on creating a superb, accessible user experience without the hassle and cost of implementing basic functionality from scratch.   For HTML-based kiosks, it provides:

  • Linear content navigation
  • Active element highlighting
  • Content and input text-to-speech

Click here for frequently asked questions about EZ Access ®.

EZ Access ® was developed by the Trace Center under funding from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), US Administration for Independent Living & US Dept of Education under Grants H133E080022 (RERC-IT) and H133E130028/90RE5003-01-00 (UIITA-RERC). However, no endorsement of the techniques by the funding agencies should be inferred.

Providing Assurance of ADA & Section 508 Compliance



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