Picture of two students looking at a computer screen. Picture of a professor with a computer teaching a small group of students. Picture of a student working at a laptop.

Physical Access

UDI e-Tool- Cognitive Access


Physical Access within UDI Online refers to approaches and elements that support the ease of navigation of course web sites, clarity in the display of course content, and availability of course information in multiple formats to provide opportunities for diverse learners to acquire and manipulate course content within a digital learning environment.



The UDI Online project team has identified two Principles of UDI which are most applicable to the Physical Access Domain. The identification of these UDI Principles with the Physical Access Domain are based on results from faculty and student interviews conducted by the UDI Online Project team, and from an extensive review of the literature regarding online courses, which indicate several factors that can enhance access to course content for diverse learners. Examples from the surveys, interviews, and the literature review suggest that Physical Access is enhanced when information is delivered in multiple formats, displayed clearly, and easily navigated to facilitate student engagement with course materials and content. The following Principles of UDI were deemed to most directly align with the Physical Access Domain. These Principles support diverse learners in acquiring and manipulating course content in online and technology-blended courses.

  1. Low Physical Effort
  2. Size and Space for Approach and Use



Instructors may provide text or captioned transcriptions of audio-based content as well as audio-based versions of text-heavy content. Careful attention should be given to web site navigation to facilitate Physical Access to digital information. To read about specific e-Tools, go to the below.


Recommendations for Online and Blended Courses

Research conducted by the UDI Online Project team identified the following recommendations related to Physical Access in online and blended courses:

Faculty Recommendations for Online and Blended Courses:

  • Consideration of technical elements within online and blended courses with clear ways for students to obtain technical support
  • Provide alternate formats for the delivery of course content

Students Recommendations for Online and Blended Courses:

  • Increased need for multiple formats to access course content