Despite their growing popularity, many public kiosks with touchscreens are inaccessible to blind people. Toucha11y is a working prototype that allows blind users to use existing inaccessible touchscreen kiosks independently and with little effort. Toucha11y consists of a mechanical bot that can be instrumented to an arbitrary touchscreen kiosk by a blind user and a companion app on their smartphone. The bot, once attached to a touchscreen, will recognize its content, retrieve the corresponding information from a database, and render it on the user's smartphone. As a result, a blind person can use the smartphone's built-in accessibility features to access content and make selections. The mechanical bot will detect and activate the corresponding touchscreen interface. We present the system design of Toucha11y along with a series of technical evaluations. Through a user study, we found out that Toucha11y could help blind users operate inaccessible touchscreen devices.
CHI 2023 Honorable Mentions Award