Categories of Disabilities

Web accessibility concerns more than a person's ability to see the content. It also impacts how well content transitions from section to section, including appropriate differentiation of font colors, as well as appropriate use of typeface headings. Such headings should not be used as a decorative element but rather as a structural element to help the content flow and make sense.

Web accessibility issues disabilities ranging from visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, and neurological disabilities:

visual impairment icon

Visual

This includes, but is not limited to, blindness, low vision, and color-blindness.

auditory impairment icon

Auditory

This includes, but is not limited to, deafness and hard-of-hearing.  

physical impairment icon

Physical

This includes, but is not limited to, inability to use a mouse, slow response time, limited fine motor control.  

cognitive impairment icon

Cognitive

This includes, but is not limited to, learning disabilities, distractibility, inability to remember or focus on large amounts of information.

Assistive Technologies

For people with disabilities, various means of assistive technologies exist to aid in their accessing of digital information. These assistive technologies include the following:

  • screen reading software
  • magnification software
  • speech recognition software
  • alternative input devices
  • refreshable braille displays
The following videos demonstrate how users with impairments experience a web page when using such assistive technologies.

Screen Reader Demo

User demonstrates the JAWS screen reader.

Screen Reader Demo for Digital Accessibility

Screen Reader Demo for Digital Accessibility.

Video Resources

Experiences of Students with Disabilities -
The students in the following video share some of their experiences with the web and accessibility.

Keeping Web Accessibility In Mind - Gain an appreciation of web accessibility by understanding the user perspective with this overview of the difficulties users with disabilities face on the web and some of the motivations for web accessibility.