It's official: Level Access and eSSENTIAL Accessibility are becoming one! Read the Press Release.

Accessibility 101 for the Hardware Industry

Anyone remember VCRs? How about PC LOAD LETTER? Hardware is evolving
nearly as fast as software and people with disabilities shouldn’t be left behind.
Accessible design is good design for every user. Let’s make something beautiful together.

Real Users. Real Issues.

universal remote control with blurred smart tv in background

  • A cable TV remote lacks a tactile way to distinguish between different types of buttons (e.g., volume, DVR, channel numbers).
  • A game system requires two hands to perform a hard reboot.
  • An airline kiosk lacks a port to connect headphones for a traveler who is hard of hearing.

Section 508 & you


The Law:  Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act

First passed: 1973

Recently refreshed: 2017

Applies to: Hardware manufacturers selling to the federal government

Requires: Information and communications technology (ICT) must be accessible to persons with disabilities.

Read more about the Section 508 Refresh in our free whitepaper.

motherboards on table

The CVAA & you

Video game hardwares


The Law:  The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA)

First passed: 2010

Applies to: Hardware manufacturers

Requires: Advanced communications services (ACS) and products should be accessible by people with disabilities.

What is accessibility?

Braille Computer Display
Digital accessibility refers to the ability of users with disabilities to effectively use information technology (IT) systems including websites, mobile or web-based applications, software, and hardware. Digital accessibility is generally concerned with ensuring that IT systems are designed in such a way that they interact appropriately with assistive technologies.

Assistive technologies can include:

Screen readers, Braille keypads, or screen magnification software so users who are blind or low vision can read your content.

Voice recognition software that helps those with mobility disabilities (even arthritis) navigate the web and type using only their voice.

Head pointers and switch devices that allow those with more limited movement navigate without using their hands or a traditional mouse.

Why Accessibility?

Some of our elders remember the days when a computer filled an entire room. Now, we have computers in our pockets. So many aspects of our lives are made easier by technology.

Yet, those with disabilities are often left out when hardware, software, websites, and apps are designed without a thought for their needs.

A tablet at the doctor’s office has a sign-in program that disables the pinch-to-zoom feature, making it impossible for a woman with low vision to fill out her medical history.

An online learning portal uses automatically-generated captions on their videos, leaving a deaf student at a loss for words. Literally.

A retail website does not include alt text on their product images, so a shopper who is blind cannot “see” what the images show about the laptop bag he wants to buy.

By some estimates, one in five people has a disability that affects their daily life. Having equal access to technology has a profound, enabling effect for people with disabilities.

1 in 5 people has a disability that affects their daily life.

Get in touch

Want to get in touch? We’d love to hear from you. Here’s how you can reach us…