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Monday, December 19, 2016

Airline Kiosks and Websites Must Meet DOT Access Rules

Airline Self-Service Kiosks installed after December 12, 2016 must be Accessible under RULES previously issued by the Department of Transportation (DOT). This applies to kiosks used for checking in, printing boarding passes, and other passenger services. In addition, airline websites must be fully accessible to the public as of this date.

The rules require compliance with accessibility standards so that passengers with sensory or physical disabilities can use airline kiosks independently. The standards are based on requirements in the ADA Standards for ATMs and fare machines and provisions for self-contained closed products in the Board's Section 508 Standards covering electronic and information technology. They address operable parts, clear floor space, input controls, tactile elements, speech output, captioning, and other features. New units must comply until at least a quarter of all kiosks at each location are accessible. The requirement applies to U.S. and foreign air carriers that own, lease, or control automated airport kiosks at U.S. airports with at least 10,000 enplanements a year. In addition, U.S. airport operators that jointly own, lease, or control automated kiosks with U.S. or foreign air carriers must work with carriers to ensure that the kiosks installed are compliant.

The rules also require that public-facing pages of airline websites are accessible in accordance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. This mandate applies to U.S. and foreign carriers that operate at least one aircraft having a seating capacity exceeding 60 passengers and that own or control a primary website serving air travel consumers in the U.S. DOT issued these rules in 2013 under the Air Carrier Access Act which prohibits discrimination against air travelers with disabilities.

A compilation of rules, guidance, enforcement orders and publications on disability issues in aviation, information is available on DOT's website.

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