Hardware Accessibility Guidelines

Hardware to be developed, purchased or acquired by the University of Minnesota must be accessible to persons with disabilities. “Hardware” includes — but is not limited to — computers and peripherals, telecommunication products, Audio and multimedia capture and playback devices, authentication devices, copiers and fax machines.

Keys, Keyboards and Keypads

  • An option for ignoring brief or repeated keystrokes is provided.
  • An option for adjusting key-repeat and key-activation latencies (the amount of time a key is held down before an event is triggered) is provided.
  • An option for adjusting key-repeat rate is provided.
  • An option for auditory feedback of toggle key status is provided.
  • Tactile feedback of key status (e.g., keys that remain depressed when engaged) is provided.
  • Key status information is available to software applications.

Touch Operated Controls

  • Controls can be discerned tactilely without activation.
  • Raised borders around controls on membrane interfaces are provided.
  • "Home" keys are tactilely identified.
  • Non-visual means of distinguishing controls and control clusters (e.g., shape, texture and/or layout) are provided.
  • A key guard or overlay option is provided.

Controls and Latches

  • At least one mode that is operable with limited reach, strength and/or dexterity is provided.
  • At least one mode that does not require disparate and concurrent actions is provided.
  • At least one non-time response mode, means of by-passing or adjusting the response interval is provided.

Drives and Removable Media

  • Drive openings and related controls must be positioned as not to require extended-reach or manual dexterity.
  • Drive openings and related controls must be tactilely discernible.

Standard Ports

  • Industry standard ports are provided.

Audio Output

  • Software access to system sounds (alerts and hardware-generated sounds) is provided.
  • An option for visual feedback of warning sounds and other audio indicators is provided.
  • Blinking or flashing visual indicators must do so at a frequency of less than twice a second (2 Hz) or greater than 55 times a second (55 Hz).
  • A means of connecting headphones or other audio output devices is provided.
  • A physical volume control is provided.


  • Methods for adjusting the height, depth and angle of a display are provided.
  • Non-reflective display surfaces or non-glare filters are provided.

Color and Contrast

  • Non-visual indicators for color identifiers, alerts/warnings, prompts or feedback are provided.
  • Color combinations of significant brightness and contrast are provided.

Documentation and Technical Support

  • Documentation and training materials in alternative accessible formats is included or available upon request.
  • Accessibility knowledgeable customer support is provided.
  • Any training provided by manufacturers, venders or other parties accommodates the functional capabilities of all participants.

Biometric Identification

  • A non-biometric identification alternative is provided.
  • Alternative methods of biometric identification are provided.

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