Web Accessibility

You are here

Motor disability

You may have one or more of various types of physical impairment that affect various parts of your body, including weakness, impaired muscle control (involuntary movements, lack of coordination or paralysis), lack of sensation, joint problems or a missing limb.

As a result, you may have problems to carry out some day to day tasks, such as using a mouse, moving a pointer, using a touchscreen, pressing two keys at once or keeping a key pressed. In more serious cases, you may be unable to use a keyboard at all and therefore not be able to enter data.

The main barriers to accessibility that you may come across in a web page are the following:

  • Graphic links and other actionable elements that have not be correctly labelled and are not accessible to voice recognition software.
  • Impossibility of interacting correctly with the page from the keyboard or other input devices.

To be able to interact with web pages you can use a special keyboard or mouse (keyboards with large keys, conventional keyboard with an overlay, a large trackball mouse, button mouse, etc.).

  • You can use a special keyboard or mouse (keyboards with large keys, conventional keyboard with an overlay, a large trackball mouse, button mouse, etc.).
  • If you need to press various keys at once and you cannot use both hands to do this, you can use the "StickyKeys" function to simulate this key combination with a certain number of presses on a single key.
    • For example, these keys can be set to carry out particular functions ([CTRL + ALT + SUPR], [ALT + F4], etc.) in Windows by using the StickyKeys function. The combination of the Control + Alt + Supr keys can be achieved by pressing the Shift or Caps key five times.
    • In the GNOME for GNU/Linux environment you can configure the activation of StickyKeys in the keyboard accessibility preferences window.
    • In the OS for Mac operating system you can activate the options for slow keys or easy press keys in the "Accessibility" window in the "Keyboard" section.
  • You can change the functions of all the buttons on your pointer device, enabling you to assign the most important functions to the buttons that are most useful to you, as well as configure the movement speed of the pointer device and adapt it to your handling capabilities.
    • In Windows, you can do it from the Control Panel > Accessibility Centre and select the options that best suit your needs in "Easier mouse use".
    • In OS for Mac, you can do this using the various options in the "Mouse and Trackpad" section in the Accessibility window.
  • You can configure the keyboard to emulate some of the mouse actions:
    • In Windows, you can do it from the Control Panel > Accessibility Centre and select the options that best suit your needs in "Easier keyboard use".
    • In OS for Mac, you can do this using the various options in the "Keyboard" section in the Accessibility window.

The most severe cases will require alternative systems for interacting with the device, such as a voice-based system (voice recognition) or using movements made by other parts of the body (head or mouth) by means of alternative pointer systems. This is why it is vital to remove the accessibility barriers described earlier.