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Online course

Digital Accessibility: Enabling Participation in the Information Society

With a better understanding of users' needs, technologies can be developed to be accessible & provide a more inclusive environment


  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate


  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Digital Accessibility: Enabling Participation in the Information Society

Why join the course?

This course will help you to understand how those with sensory, physical and cognitive impairments may be disabled by barriers encountered when using digital technologies. The course will highlight how the use of accessible and inclusive design can help overcome many of these difficulties.

Why should we care about digital accessibility?

With a better understanding of users’ needs, technologies can be developed to be both accessible and meet legal requirements to provide a more inclusive environment.

On this course, you will discover how you can make an important difference to the lives of anyone who is elderly or has a disability. It is suitable for:

  • web development, design or marketing professionals, or anyone who creates content or specifies, designs, builds, tests, evaluates, uses or buys technology;

  • employers, who can discover how accessible technologies can increase the market for their products or services, or enhance the productivity of their employees;

  • and disabled and elderly people, who want to understand why some technologies may be causing problems, and how it is possible to help others understand these problems.

You will learn how technology can help at home, study or work if you or somebody you care about becomes ill or is disabled.

Learn with digital accessibility experts from across Europe

The course is led by Professor Mike Wald of the ECS Accessibility team at the University of Southampton, and supported by members of the Erasmus+ MOOC Accessibility Partnership.

By joining the course, you will have a unique opportunity to benefit from the extensive knowledge and experience of accessibility experts from eight universities across Europe, as well as the personal experiences of disabled or elderly people.

What topics will you cover?

  • What is digital accessibility?
  • Digital accessibility and business
  • Relationship between ‘usability’, ‘accessibility’ and ‘user experience’
  • Challenges and barriers met by disabled people
  • Video and audio barriers and subtitles, captioning and audio description
  • Desktop, laptop, mobile and self-service terminal accessibility
  • Creating, checking and evaluating document, web and self-service terminal accessibility
  • Input and output devices e.g. screen reader, Braille, switch access technologies
  • Digital and web accessibility guidelines, standards and principles of Universal Design

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

  • Explore the challenges and barriers met by disabled people in everyday life
  • Describe the relationship between ‘usability’, ‘accessibility’ and ‘user experience’
  • Identify a range of technologies that can help make desktops, laptops and mobile devices accessible e.g. screen readers, switch access technologies, speech input and braille input
  • Explore how to create video captions and experience screen reader technology
  • Apply Accessibility Guidelines in creating accessible documents and web content
  • Use document and web accessibility audits and testing to identify violations of accessibility guidelines

Who is the course for?

Everyone is welcome to take this course, and no previous knowledge is required or assumed

Who will you learn with?

Mike Wald

I am a Professor at the University of Southampton leading a team researching and teaching digital accessibility.

E.A. Draffan

Senior Research Fellow and member of the ECS Accessibility Team. A Speech and Language Therapist with interests in Assistive Technologies and digital accessibility supporting those with disabilities.

Abi James

I am research fellow with the ECS Accessibility Team focusing on how to improve accessibility and usability of digital tools for students with disabilities.

Who developed the course?

Southampton is a place for ambitious people keen to stretch their intellectual abilities and help change the world.

MOOCAP is a European Project whose name stands for “MOOCs for Accessibility Partnership”. The goal of the project is to provide education on accessible design in ICT.

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate and transcript

You can buy a Certificate of Achievement for this course — a personalised certificate and transcript in both digital and printed formats, to prove what you’ve learnt. A Statement of Participation is also available for this course.

Certificate of Achievement + transcript £59.00

Statement of Participation £39.00

Estimate prices in preferred currency

Charges to your account will be made in GBP. Prices in local currency are provided as a convenience and are only an estimate based on current exchange rates.