Hardware checklist

Checkpoint 1.3: Touchscreens

Provide an alternative input method for touchscreens or touch-operated controls.


Touchscreens or contact-sensitive controls provide no tactile cues so they require the user to be able to see the areas of the screen in order to activate a touch control. Blind users cannot locate the areas of the touchscreen to activate the controls. Touch-operated controls often require physical body contact. Someone with a physical disability who may have an artificial limb would not be able to activate the control.

Required development techniques

When touchscreens are used, provide a redundant set of controls that complies with the following in order to meet Checkpoint 1.3 from the IBM Hardware Accessibility Checklist. These requirements apply to the redundant set of controls when a touchscreen is used:

Recommended development techniques

The above techniques are required; the following technique is recommended to enhance accessibility:

Provide audible feedback when a user pauses over a section of a visible keyboard.

Required test techniques

Test the hardware to ensure that it complies with accessibility requirements. These requirements apply to the redundant set of controls when a touchscreen is used.


Force or torque gauge.


The following techniques are required to verify this checkpoint:
Action Result
1 Check each control or each key to determine that it can be identified uniquely without activating it. This can be accomplished by touching or viewing each control or key and perceiving the distinctions as to its physical configuration or location in regard to other controls or keys. Pass:
2 Check that each control can be activated with only one hand, requires no tight grasping, pinching, no twisting of the wrist, and requires no more than 5 lbs of force to activate. Use a force or torque gauge to measure the force required to activate the control. Pass:
3 If key repeat is supported, verify that the repeat rate can be set to at least 2 seconds. Pass:
4 Verify the status of locking and toggle keys is visible and that the status is available through touch or sound. Pass:

©2009 IBM Corporation

Last updated July 01, 2009.