“Please listen carefully, as our candidates have changed”

Voting machines have to be accessible to people with different disabilities.  Most of the times the manufacturers slap on a voice output system for blind voters and a dual switch scanning solution for physically disabled voters, then call it quits.  Results are not always pretty.

Now “Prime III”, an Auburn University prototype, tries a speech recognition system that covers both blind and physically disabled voters.  You listen to the choices over a headset.  Each candidate is assigned a random number.  To vote for that candidate, you say that number, not the name, for privacy reasons.

We’re guessing that this may not be optimal for some voters with hearing, cognitive, or speech disabilities.  But at least it’s a new idea.  And it also points up the multimodal reality: no single interface will work for all users.

SpeechTechMag.com: Mock Election Showcases Voice-Enabled Voting Machine

This entry was posted in Hardware, Most or all disabilities, Redundant input, Redundant output, Social participation, Software, Speech-to-text, Text-to-speech, Voting. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to “Please listen carefully, as our candidates have changed”

  1. Curious to know if the randomly assigned numbers are changed each time a new voter logs in or if they remain constant; the former would definitely be more secure. I’m also wondering how practical this would be in a noisy polling place.

    Speaking of multimodality, here’s an article decrying the trend towards multiple input strategies built into a single product, which completely fails to address the accessibility perspective:

    Embeded: Tips and Tricks: User-centric Design–Simple and Distinctive

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *