9-2.1 Rationale

Self–contained products, unlike personal computers, do not support assistive technology software. Consequently, unlike other provisions that allow a product to meet the standards by being compatible with assistive technology, this provision requires self–contained, closed products to contain built–in accessibility. Most of the technical standards for Subpart B of the law - 1194.21 Software applications and operating systems; 1194.22, Web–based Intranet and Internet information and applications; 1194.24, Video and multimedia products (to the extent that they are embedded in a Web page or application); 1194.26, Desktop and portable computers) - assume that part of the solution to accessibility is the installation of assistive technology (e.g., speech synthesis or voice recognition). For people with disabilities to use self–contained products, the functionality of assistive technology must be an integral part of the design. That is, the functional performance criteria of Subpart C (1194.31) apply: that input and output must be available for people with limited mobility, hearing, speech, and vision.

A personal headset is considered a personal device for audio output, since it is not considered installed assistive technology. Headsets might be also used for privacy in addition to accessibility reasons.