|(a) A voting system shall be accessible to voters with physical disabilities including no vision, low vision (visual acuity between 20/70 and 20/200, and/or 30 degree or greater visual-field loss), no hearing, low hearing, limited manual dexterity, limited reach, limited strength, no mobility, low mobility, or any combination of the foregoing (except the combination of no hearing and no vision, see subsection (b) of this section), by providing voters with physical disabilities with a practical and effective means to cast an independent and secret ballot in accordance with each of the following, assessed independently and collectively: (1) The voting system shall provide a tactile-input or speech-input device, or both; and (2) The voting system shall provide a method by which voters can confirm any tactile or audio input by having the capability of audio output using synthetic or recorded human speech, which is reasonably phonetically accurate; and (3) The voting system shall provide a means for a voter to change the voter's selection prior to the voter casting the ballot; and (4) Any operable controls on the input device that are needed for voters without vision shall be discernable tactilely without actuating the keys. (Note: All the buttons on the device would not have to be discernable tactilely, only those buttons that are actually required for the individual to use the "operation without vision" mode.); and (5) Any audio and non-audio access approaches shall be able to work both separately and simultaneously; and (6) If a non-audio access approach is provided, the system shall not require color perception; the system shall use black text or graphics, or both, on white background or white text or graphics, or both, on black background, unless the office of the Secretary of State approves other high-contrast color combinations that do not require color perception; and (7) Any voting system that requires any visual perception shall offer the election official who programs the system, prior to its being sent to the polling place, the capability to set the font size to a level that can be read by voters with low vision. (Note: Although there is no standard font size for this situation, a san-serif font of 18 points as printed on a standard 8.5 x 11 piece of paper will allow the most universal access.); and (8) The voting system shall provide audio information, including any audio output using synthetic or recorded human speech or any auditory feedback tones that are important for the use of the audio approach, through at least one mode (e.g., by handset or headset) in enhanced auditory fashion (i.e., increased amplification), and shall provide incremental volume control with output amplification up to a level of at least 97 dB SPL, with at least one intermediate step of 89 dB SPL; and (9) For transmitted voice signals, the voting system shall provide a gain adjustable up to a minimum of 20 dB with at least one intermediate step of 12 dB of gain; and (10) For the safety of others, if the voting system has the possibility of exceeding 120 dB SPL, then a mechanism shall be included to reset the volume automatically to a safe level after every use (e.g., when handset is replaced) but not before; and (11) If sound cues and audible information, such as "beeps" are used, there shall be simultaneous corresponding visual cues and information; and (12) If a non-audio approach is used in conjunction with an audio counterpart, any spoken text shall also be presented on screen, with the exception that any auditory confirmation of a voter's selection as required by subsection (b) of this section shall not be printed in text on the screen (Note: A graphic representation of a ballot with a check, "X," etc. beside a candidate or proposition is allowed.); and (13) All controls and operable mechanisms shall be operable with one hand, including with a closed fist, and operable without tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist; and (14) The force required to operate or activate the controls shall be no greater than 5 lbf (pounds per square foot); and (15) If a forward approach by a person in a wheelchair to a voting system is necessary, the maximum high-forward reach allowed shall be 48 inches (1220 mm) and the minimum low-forward reach shall be 15 inches (380 mm). If the high-forward reach is over an obstruction, reach and clearances shall be as shown in the figure below or otherwise in accordance with the ADAAG, as written at the time the system is certified for use in the state of Texas; and
Attached Graphic (16) If a side or parallel approach by a person in a wheelchair to a voting system is necessary, the maximum side reach allowed shall be 54 inches (1370 mm) and the low side reach shall be no less than 9 inches (230 mm) above the floor. If the side reach is over an obstruction, reach and clearances shall be as shown in the figure below or otherwise in accordance with the ADAAG, as written at the time the system is certified for use in the state of Texas; and
Attached Graphic (17) The highest operable part of controls, dispensers, receptacles, and other operable equipment shall be placed within at least one of the reach ranges outlined in paragraphs (15) and (16) of this subsection. (b) Although we strongly encourage voting system vendors to strive to develop systems that will provide a secret ballot for all individuals, this office recognizes that the technology available at the time of the adoption of this section will not accommodate voters who have a combination of no hearing and no vision. A voting system may be considered accessible and in compliance with state law without allowing voters with a combination of no hearing and no vision to cast a secret ballot.