Working with learners with physical disabilities

Image: Photo of a man using a laptop on a stand & wearing headphones with speaker

Image : messy graphic with text Biggest Issue

Learners with physical disabilities
often have multiple issues and concerns

Ensure Digital Champions understand
the boundaries of their role
and know how to signpost learners
to other services

  • Learners often have multiple needs so learning support needs to be very tailored to each individual and provided one to one
  • Delivering support to learners who are often isolated in their own home
  • Developing learning materials in a range of accessible formats
  • Building and maintaining learner confidence
  • Ensuring sufficient resources are available to provide on-going learning support
  • Capacity to provide support especially in rural areas
  • Supporting volunteers with maintaining boundaries as the learner often has multiple issues and concerns which it would not be appropriate for them to be involved with
  • Fear of technology change, especially for learners who use outdated versions of tech who may be concerned to change in case new tech is not so accessible

Image: Jigsaw graphic with top tips of what to teach: Smart or assistive technology; communication tools; Online safety; Universal credit; Current hobbies; Order prescriptions

Image : Jigsaw graphic with top tips for DCs : tailor support; build trust; follow procedure; be flexible; let people try; focus on needs

Image: Jigsaw graphic of top tips for projects: Tailor recruitment of DCs; Extra DC training; Partnership working; Investigate technology

Tailor recruitment of DCs
– Having Digital Champions with lived experience is good way to deliver a learning programme as they will have a better understanding of people’s needs 

Extra DC training
– Provide Digital Champions with high quality information on different disabilities and how they impact on using different technology
– Give Digital Champions information on different technical accessibility solutions
– Ensure Digital Champions have completed relevant training on Digital Champions Network
– Encourage Digital Champions to access advice, guides and training from specialist organisations such as RNIB (who have a helpline) and AbilityNet 
– Ensure Digital Champions understand the boundaries of their role & know how to signpost learners to other services

Partnership working
– Local partnerships are essential for delivering good quality, targeted support 

Investigate technology
– Assistive/smart technology is diverse with new apps & products coming out daily
– Smartspeaker tech can be useful in breaking down the barriers by providing voice-activated options 


Research, Reports and Publications

Image: Jigsaw graphic with the text Top tip

Always remember that learners may not be typical of their group and may have multiple additional needs => Look at the other guides for tips and resources

Many thanks to our partners AbilityNet and RNIB who contributed to developing the learning on this topic