One of the barriers to participation is getting accessible systems set up and then configured for voters in the polling place. Could we use near field communications devices to automate common settings?
Most current voting systems have to be put into accessibility mode manually, either by restarting the system or by manually selecting the options. I've been thinking about how to make this easier.
I am at the CSUN International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference. One of the sessions included a demo by Steve Jacobs of Apps4Android on how near field communications (NFC) chips could be used to automatically set accessibility settings on an Android device.
This made me think about how we could use something like this to set up a voting system. It wouldn't do anything but set the initial settings - for audio, font size, language etc.
The poll workers at the sign-in table would have these devices pre-set for frequent needs - for example, for each language supported at the polling place, for high contrast, audio + video, audio only, tactile keypad, etc. They could be designed to be easy to hold, and have symbols indicating the setting they hold. A voter could ask for the one they want, and then set the system themselves.
Or they could be near the machines, so a voter could select the right one, and not even have to ask for it.