These guidelines are intended to assist the University community, purchasers and vendors in making University information technology fully accessible and usable by persons with disabilities. They are based on proven techniques for the design of universally accessible information systems that can be used by individuals with and without disabilities. For technical assistance or guidance regarding these guidelines, please contact [email protected]


  1. Keys, controls and latches should be easily within reach, identifiable by touch, usable with one hand and easy to manipulate.
    • For many people with disabilities, limited dexterity, strength and movement make it difficult or impossible to reach or activate poorly designed hardware features.
    • Activate each control, key or latch to verify that it is easily operated or activated.
    • Guideline References: Section 508 1194.26 (a) | 1194.23 (k) (2)
  2. Keys and controls should be identifiable by touch without activating them.
    • Hardware should be usable by all persons, and industry standardization in controls makes identification by touch readily available for most types of equipment. If this feature is not available then equipment should be labeled with appropriate touch identifiable labels.
    • Verify that all necessary controls are easily identifiable by touch alone.
    • Guideline References: Section 508 1194.26 (a) | 1194.13 (k) (1)
  3. If keystroke repeat is supported, the delay between repeat should be adjustable to up to two seconds per keystroke.
    • For individuals with limited fine motor dexterity or control, key activation needs to be adjustable to avoid repeated key strokes or improper keystrokes from being entered.
    • Adjust the keystroke timing within with the operating system to insure that appropriate timing intervals are available.
    • Guideline References: Section 508 1194.26 (a) | 1194.23 (k) (3)
  4. The key or control status should be identifiable by touch, sight or sounds.
    • Key or control status should be identifiable in other ways than by visual verification.
    • Test for the appropriate functionality of audio, tactile and visual status indicators.
    • Guideline References: Section 508 1194.26 (a) | 1194.23 (k) (4)
  5. If touch-screen or touch operated controls are used, they should comply with guidelines 1-4 and allow for the use of alternative input devices.
    • Individuals with a variety of mobility related disabilities should be able to fully operate all hardware systems.
    • Verify that hardware controls can be activated effectively or with an alternative input device.
    • Guideline References: Section 508 1194.26 (b) | 1194.25 (c)
  6. Alternative forms of user identification should be provided on systems that use biometrics.
    • Many forms of biometrics require that users touch or view into the verification device; many individuals with disabilities do not have the capability to operate these types of verification systems.
    • Verify that the user can activate the system without the need to use the biometrics.
    • Guideline References: Section 508 1194.26 (c) | 1194.25 (d)
  7. Industry standard ports should be provided for alternative input and output devices.
    • To meet the needs of persons with disabilities, the ability to attach a variety of adaptive hardware products is necessary. Adaptive hardware often requires that standard serial and parallel ports be available.
    • Verify that the appropriate ports are present and active on the hardware.
    • Guideline References: Section 508 1194.26 (d)