Moodle accessibility statement
This accessibility statement applies to all student-facing instances of Moodle (modules.lancaster.ac.uk), run by Lancaster University.
The content on this Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is designed for everyone to find, read, and understand. It is compatible with assistive technologies and developed to meet the accessibility standards outlined in this statement. Where we have identified issues with the website’s accessibility or compatibility with assistive technologies they are listed in this statement.
View Moodle your way
We want as many people as possible to be able to use Moodle. For example, that means you should be able to:
- zoom in up to 300% on the majority of pages without the text spilling off the screen.
- navigate most of the website using just a keyboard.
- navigate most of the website using speech recognition software.
- listen to most of the website using a screen reader.
- use Moodle’s accessibility tools to adjust the font size and/or font face and line spacing.
AbilityNet provide advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.
We have integrated Blackboard Ally, an accessibility tool, with Moodle to allow you to download resources in a range of alternative formats.
Departments are responsible for ensuring that the pages and content they create within Moodle are accessible. Blackboard Ally can help staff address accessibility issues in Moodle content. The overall accessibility of teaching materials is improving, the complexity and volume of documents means that achieving full accessibility of all materials will take time.
If you have any difficulty using any teaching materials in your Moodle learning space, please contact your course convenor or departmental officer.
How accessible is Moodle?
We know some of the content within the Moodle area isn't fully accessible and therefore does not meet the accessibility standards:
- Live video streams and some videos may have poor quality or missing captions;
- Some documents stored on Moodle (for example PDFs, spreadsheets, word documents or presentations) may not be fully accessible;
- The text may spill off the screen on certain pages if you zoom in up to 400%;
- Some courses may be confusing to navigate;
- Some elements need better colour contrast;
- Some non-text elements do not have a text alternative;
- Tool tips will not be read out by screen reader software;
- In some parts of Moodle, ARIA labels and headings are missing or incorrectly applied;
- The PDF created in the feedback download is not fully accessible to screen reader software.
Further details are shown below.
Feedback and contact information
Please contact us if you have an accessibility query including:
- If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or Braille.
- If you are experiencing issues with accessing information or using Moodle
- If you find an accessibility problem not listed on this statement
- If you have positive feedback on the accessibility considerations made.
Reporting accessibility problems with Moodle
We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact us to register your difficulty. This helps us improve our systems.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).
Technical information about this website’s accessibility
Lancaster University is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.
This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.
We formally test the accessibility of key user journeys that represent the breadth of content across our website and associated platforms on a regular basis against WCAG 2.1 AA standards.
Some parts of the website and associated platforms may not work for everyone. Below are known issues that we either need to fix, cannot fix, or do not need to fix right now.
The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.
Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations
This section covers issues that we need to fix. The issues listed in this section refer to both the platform (https://modules.lancaster.ac.uk/) and the content hosted within.
Moodle is an Open Source Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), which means that some aspects of its accessibility are outside of our immediate control.
Moodle has been working with an external auditor to review the platform since January 2020. Key pages within Moodle, which are representative of its overall accessibility and functionality, were audited with automated tools and user journey testing. The WCAG 2.1 Level A and Level AA issues raised from this audit have all been addressed in Moodle 3.10 and Moodle 3.9.3 (both released on November 9th 2020). A large number of these accessibility improvements have also been back-ported to Moodle 3.7.5+ and Moodle 3.8.2+, where possible.
On 10 November 2020, Moodle received WCAG 2.1 Level AA accreditation based on successfully resolving the issues identified in the audit.
WCAG 2.1 Level AA accreditation badge for Moodle was issued on 10 November 2020.
On 30 June 2021, the Moodle app also received WCAG 2.1 Level AA accreditation.
The Moodle known issues page identifies reported issues with Moodle accessibility and the Moodle accessibility standards page outlines the design principles behind it, including information on supported browsers, screen readers and accessibility tools
We list below further areas within Moodle that we know are not fully accessible at Lancaster. We plan to fix or provide alternatives for all issues that we are made aware of alongside our periodic internal testing and auditing processes.
Moodle Platform issues
Incorrectly applied ARIA attribute labels
Some pages include elements which do not use allowed ARIA attributes (WCAG: 4.1.2).
Incorrectly structured lists
Some pages include lists which contain elements that will make the list difficult to interpret by screen readers (WCAG: 1.3.1).
Hidden elements contain focusable content
Some aria-hidden elements contain focusable elements which may confuse users using the tab key or a screen reader to navigate. (WCAG: 4.1.2).
Some pages may contain elements with low contrast between the elements and its background particularly when under focus.
Moodle is developed by a third-party, with customisation applied locally by the University. Thus, some of the issues with the colour contrast may be fixed by Lancaster, however some issues may be part of the Moodle platform that we cannot control (WCAG: 1.4.3).
Individual page-related issues
The following issues have been identified on certain Moodle pages currently hosted on Lancaster University’s Moodle platform.
Some pages contain links that do not have discernible text (WCAG: 2.4.4, 4.1.2).
Frames without a title attribute
Some pages contain frames without a title attribute. Screen reader users rely on a frame title to describe the contents of a frame (WCAG: 2.4.1, 4.1.2).
Text alternatives for non-text elements
Some non-text content does not have alternative accessible text. (WCAG: 1.1.1).
Headings are not sequential
Heading tags have been used inconsistently to create emphasis to text, rather than styling them with CSS (WCAG: 1.3.1).
Some page titles do not accurately describe the content of the page. Some of the page titles are not unique which can cause confusion (WCAG: 2.4.2).
Links without meaningful purpose
Some links have not been labelled clearly. This means that the links do not make sense when they are taken out of context, and for some links it is not possible to know what the purpose of the link is (WCAG: 2.4.4).
Issues with Moodle content
Some documents may contain text with low contrast between the text and its background. This can cause the text to be difficult to read, especially for those with low vision, poor eyesight, or colour blindness.
Images without a description
Some documents may contain informative images that do not have a description or alternative text. People with screen readers or other assistive devices rely on these descriptions to understand the image content and purpose.
Some Portable Document Format documents (PDFs) have not been appropriately tagged. PDF tags are hidden labels that clarify the structure of the document and define which elements are headings, paragraphs, tables, lists, etc.
Some documents may not contain marked-up headings which provide structure to a document.
Non-Optical Character Recognised (OCR)
Some documents are either entirely scanned or contain pages that are scanned. Screen readers may therefore be unable to convert these images into words, even if the image only consists of text.
Users can create OCRed conversions of such documents using Blackboard Ally.
This section covers issues that we cannot fix right now. We’ve assessed the cost of fixing these issues but believe that doing so would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the law.
From September 2020, all video recordings included as teaching materials should have automated captions, and all recorded content created before September 2020 must have captions added if used for teaching after this date.
Audio-only content, such as podcasts, do not currently require captioning but a transcript of the content should be provided alongside the link to the audio.
Some recorded content may not have captions by default. All video recording applications used at Lancaster have the ability to produce auto-captions, the accuracy of which is generally good but can be affected by numerous factors. As with any automated speech recognition system, there may be some errors in the speech to text conversion process. Automatically generated captions are briefly checked for major inaccuracies and in most cases, any errors will be minor and won’t affect the overall learning for those who use closed captions. Fully accurate captions will be provided to any students who have disclosed an appropriate disability or impairment.
Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations
This section covers issues that we do not need to fix right now. The law calls these exemptions.
PDFs and documents
Some PDFs that are not essential to providing our services were published before 23rd September 2018. We provide a facility within Moodle whereby resources can be downloaded in a range of alternative formats via Blackboard Ally.
Moodle contains third-party content. We do not have control over and are not responsible for the accessibility of some of this content, but we make best endeavours to work with the third party to improve its accessibility. This may include:
- Turnitin for similarity checking of assignments (see information on Turnitin Accessibility). Some people may also use Turnitin for the submission and marking of assignments. Turnitin Feedback Studio currently converts submissions into an image-based PDF, which are partially inaccessible to people using screen readers.
- Links to Panopto (see information on Panopto Accessibility);
- Links to external services such as Learning On Screen (see Learning On Screen’s Accessibility Statement) and Leganto (see Leganto Accessibility Statement).
Preparation of this accessibility statement
This statement was prepared on 13 September 2022. It was last reviewed on 13 September 2022.
Moodle was last tested on 13 September 2022. The test was carried out by Lancaster University.