Technology relies heavily on us having two hands that work without pain to interact with the interface. Without full and unencumbered use of those two hands, interacting with technology can be difficult. Physical impairment that can cause problems range from painful arthritis to only having one arm. Physical access needs may be due to tremors, pain or paralysis.
Around 13% of people in NZ have permanent physical disabilities, the number increases in likelihood with age. Almost half of physical disabilities that were received from an injury were received on a job. There are also many people who experience chronic pain when using a keyboard or mouse. Temporary physical impairments might include dominant hand injuries and situational impairments might be only being able to operate your phone one handed. While it is impossible to compare, if you’ve ever broken your dominant arm and tried to do up the fly on your jeans one handed, you have a tiny inkling of what it is like to have a physical impairment.
The impact of a physical impairment on technology use ranges from struggling to use a mouse and relying on a keyboard, to being blocked from using a website because it won’t support the assistive technology being used. Providing better access to the Internet for people with physical access needs relates to ensuring that the all aspects of the website can be operated using just a keyboard and reducing the amount of input/clicks/tabs required.
"Access Advisors is a pan-disability digital accessibility consultancy. Our mission: to help New Zealand be more digitally inclusive. Making products and services more accessible makes it easier for people to do things others take for granted. Access Advisors helps so disabled people can enjoy the same opportunities as everyone else."