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A Study of Users with Visual Disabilities and a Fingerprint Process



Mary F. Theofanos, Brian C. Stanton, Charles L. Sheppard


The Department of Homeland Security¿s (DHS) United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) program is a biometrically-enhanced identification system primarily situated at border points of entry such as airports and seaports. Section 508 applies to US-VISIT when it procures, develops, maintains, or uses Electronic and Information Technology (EIT) products. The US-VISIT program has a number of committees and programs that are developing processes to meet the functional performance criteria and technical standards of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (United States Code Title 29 Section 794d), as amended in the Workforce Reinvestment Act of 1998. The NIST Biometrics Usability group performed a usability test to study the interaction of people with disabilities with fingerprint devices. This report presents the results of a formative usability study that examined how persons with visual impairments interact with a fingerprint scanner. The study was designed to investigate how those with a visual impairment: 1.locate the scanning device 2.proper placement of a hand on the device 3.determine the duration of a fingerprint scan.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7484
Report Number


biometrics, usability, accessibility , visually impaired, audio tones


Theofanos, M. , Stanton, B. and Sheppard, C. (2008), A Study of Users with Visual Disabilities and a Fingerprint Process, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 12, 2024)


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Created April 10, 2008, Updated March 26, 2009