Physical Impairment and Digital Accessibility

There are several conditions that can lead to physical impairment and some of these can affect people's digital learning and work. For example, these may relate to chronic pain and fatigue, needing to do specific actions (e.g. take medications) regularly and/ or at specific times, or the ability to use one's arms, hands or fingers.

On this page, you can:

Please also see how to make them accessible and inclusive more generally.

Support

If you have a physical impairment, there are a few ways you could get support:

Staff

If you would like peer support, you could join a Staff Network, e.g. the Disabled Staff Forum.

Students


Quick Tips for creating accessible content and activities

Check content for issues

  • Make sure that your materials don't require being able to use a mouse to navigate them, and can be used with keyboard only, in a logical order. Keys often used are: Tab, arrows, spacebar.
  • Avoid long activities that don't allow for any breaks.

Provide content early

  • Provide materials early, so people that need to do forward planning in order to attend or that cannot attend unexpectedly can have an idea what a session or activity will be about.

Give options

  • Make sure you provide an asynchronous version of synchronous activities, so those that could not attend or actively participate can still engage with the materials.
  • When designing interactive materials, consider how easy they will be for people that can't use a mouse very precisely or that can't use any technology very quickly. Avoid drag and drop interactions, unless there is an easy way to complete them with keyboard only.

Be clear, concise, consistent

  • In long documents and materials, aim to provide a summary and action points at the top. Make sure you use headings, so people can navigate using the table of contents.

Ask, don't assume

  • Ensure you include breaks in longer sessions and encourage your audience to take breaks between activities. Let them know in advance when and how long the break will be.