• University of Southampton
  • Moocap logo

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

11,217 enrolled on this course

  • Duration

    5 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

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

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • 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

What do people say about this course?

"In the first two weeks of this E-learning program I learned a lot of differtent things: Most of all it was important for me to get an authentic overview of challenges, people with a handicap have to face in their everyday life. Additionally I recognized how helpful some of the tools, recommended on this website are for everybody. Facilitations always make sense! I didn't understand everything about the software chapter as it was very technical but I still did learn something as I had no Idea about similar things before. Obviously the definitions explained in the program were more easy to understand thanks to the explaining videos which I would like to praise anyway. All in all it was fun going through the first weeks of this E-learning program and I'm looking forward for the ones following."

Who will you learn with?

I am a Professor at the University of Southampton leading research and teaching about digital accessibility and advising universities and government organisations about inclusive learning and teaching

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.

I am an accessibility consultant and researcher. I collaborate with the University of Southampton to identify best practices for creating accessible and inclusive technologies within organisations.

Who developed the course?

University of Southampton

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.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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