WARF: P110167US01

Tactile Button Panel for Use with Touch Screens


Gregg Vanderheiden, David Kelso, J. Bern Jordan

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing an EZ ACCESS touch screen system for people with disabilities.
OVERVIEWTouch screen systems have many advantages, including simplification of the user's task and elimination of a separate keyboard. However, touch screen systems present an insurmountable barrier to many people with disabilities.
THE INVENTIONUW–Madison researchers have developed a touch screen system that attaches a simple button fixture over a portion of the screen. This is important because virtual ‘buttons’ may be difficult to see or manipulate.

The buttons have clear markings that can be felt by a user. When pressed, the buttons contact the touch screen and the task is performed as usual. The button panel may be mounted permanently or fastened.
  • Cross-disability access to public information and transaction machines
  • Provides a touch screen that is usable by a larger segment of the population, including the vision impaired and individuals who have trouble reading the text messages
  • Does not affect the layout and operation of the touch screen for users who are not disabled
  • Assistance is provided such that individuals familiar with the general layout of the screen can move rapidly through the system.
  • Can be used on any touch screen, including personal computers, ATMs, information kiosks, cell phones, copy machines and fax machines
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Emily Bauer at or 608-960-9842.
The WARF Advantage

Since its founding in 1925 as the patenting and licensing organization for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, WARF has been working with business and industry to transform university research into products that benefit society. WARF intellectual property managers and licensing staff members are leaders in the field of university-based technology transfer. They are familiar with the intricacies of patenting, have worked with researchers in relevant disciplines, understand industries and markets, and have negotiated innovative licensing strategies to meet the individual needs of business clients.