Motor impairment

What is a motor impairment?

A motor impairment is often referred to as mobility difficulties. The disability can be the result of an accident or an illness, but it can also be congenital. A motor impairment can also be caused by muscular dystrophy, multiple scleroses (MS), Rheumatoid arthritis, amputation or serious injury, damage to the spine or spasticity.


Characteristics of motor impairment are problems with the mobility of limbs. These relate to problems with movement, sitting, standing and the use of hands or the function of arms. Motor impairments vary from temporary (broken limbs) to permanent. Sometimes these are degenerative (muscular dystrophy and MS) and sometimes these present a variable pattern of complaints. The disability is not always visible. In some cases the disability will be accompanied by painful symptoms. This usually results in reduced taxability. A motor impairment often calls for extra arrangements to be made and involves extra energy, which in turn can  prove too taxing for the study.

Possible obstacles 

  • No wheelchair accessibility in buildings/facilities
  • No ergonomic furniture in classrooms
  • No accessibility to apparatuses and facilities (e.g. lockers, light switches, copying devices and coffee machines)
  • Problems with taking notes, written assignments and examinations.
  • Performing two tasks at the same time present a problem.
  • Difficulty with use of computers
  • Reduced presence due to pain and also reduced taxability
  • Problems with energy levels as activities require extra time and effort.


picture of a student in a wheelchair