Please read our student and staff community guidance on COVID-19
Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Accessibility statement for Moodle VLE

It is a University strategic priority that all staff and students must have access to equal opportunities to thrive and progress at Warwick, irrespective of background, disability, faith, gender, race and sexual orientation. Warwick is committed to developing accessible and inclusive approaches to ensure that everyone can participate in our community.

How can you use this VLE?

This VLE is run by the University of Warwick. The VLE, Moodle, is a platform on which teaching and learning resources and activities are hosted. Moodle is designed to be accessible however, it is also highly customisable. Authors are free to create and upload content and resources of their choosing. As a result, it is not possible to guarantee that all content hosted on the VLE is fully accessible. This statement has been written with that in mind.

We want as many people as possible to be able to use this VLE. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts using in-browser tools
  • navigate most of the VLE using just a keyboard
  • listen to most of the VLE using a screen reader. Moodle maintains a list of compatible screen readers.

We advise authors to consider their use of language, the readability and accessibility of the content they create.

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

About Moodle

Moodle is Warwick University’s Virtual Learning Environment hosted by CoSector. Moodle is led and coordinated by Moodle HQ. Moodle HQ is financially supported by a network of over 80 Moodle Partner service companies worldwide. Moodle's goal is to be fully accessible and usable for all users regardless of ability and was Moodle was built following WCAG 2.0 guidelines.

Moodle HQ maintains a list of known accessibility issues.

How accessible is this VLE?

Moodle as a Platform

The Moodle platform is an open source system maintained by Moodle HQ and a community of volunteer developers. It consists of ‘core’ functionality, developed and incorporated by Moodle HQ, and plugins created by Moodle HQ, companies and individuals. Updates and new versions are released regularly.

This accessibility statement will be updated as the platform evolves.

Moodle aims to be accessible, to provide equal functionality and information to all people. Moodle was built following WCAG 2.0 guidelines.

Content Hosted on Moodle

At University of Warwick, authors design and populate their own Moodle spaces. Authors may create and upload, link to or embed materials of their choosing to their Moodle spaces. Whilst we aspire for all teaching, learning and assessment resources hosted on Moodle to be fully accessible to all users, it is not possible to guarantee this.

As a result, we know we cannot guarantee that:

  • all content, activities and interfaces are navigable using just a keyboard
  • all files and content uploaded by authors is fully accessible to screen reader software
  • all non-text content has a text alternative
  • video content is accompanied by a transcript, captions, audio description or British Sign Language
  • text will reflow in a single column when you change the size of the browser window
  • you can modify the line height or spacing of all text
  • a colour contrast of 3:1.

What should you do if you can’t access or are having difficulty using this VLE?

If you need information on Moodle in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille:

email moodle at warwick dot ac dot uk

call 024 765 73737

If you are a student with existing arrangements or reasonable adjustments, please contact Disability Services.

Reporting accessibility problems with this VLE

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this VLE. If you find any problems that aren’t listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact:

email moodle at warwick dot ac dot uk

call 024 765 73737

When you contact us by email there is a process in place that will acknowledge your contact, tell you who is dealing with it and give you a timescale by which you can expect a reply. Once you have reported a problem with our VLE or asked for an alternative format, but you are not happy with our response, you can use our complaints process to register your difficulty; this helps us improve our systems and will be escalated to our Director of Social Inclusion, Kulbir Shergill.

Enforcement procedure

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).

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

Please see the University Website Accessibility Statement.

Technical information about this VLE’s accessibility

The University of Warwick is committed to making its VLE accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

This VLE is not compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard. The non-accessible sections are listed below.

Non accessible content

Moodle as a platform is designed for accessibility but it may host content that is not accessible.

Students encountering any of the potential accessibility issues below should please report it to moodle at warwick dot ac dot uk.

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Non compliance with the accessibility regulations

Display

The Moodle platform is designed for responsive display. However, there are some circumstances where accessibility is more limited:

  • Due to the nature of the content that might be hosted in Moodle it cannot be guaranteed that text can be resized without assistive technology up to 200 percent without loss of content or functionality. This doesn’t meet WCAG success criterion 1.4.4 (resize text).
  • It cannot be guaranteed that content can be presented vertically and horizontally without needing to scroll. This doesn’t meet WCAG success criterion 1.4.10 (reflow).

Assistive Technologies

The Moodle platform is designed to support screen readers and other accessible tools. Moodle maintains a list of supported screen reader and browser configurations. However, there are some circumstances where accessibility cannot be guaranteed:

  • that input fields collecting information about the user can be programmatically determined (e.g. read by screen reader software). This doesn’t meet WCAG success criterion 1.3.5 (identify input purpose).
  • that the language of each passage or phrase in the content can be determined programmatically (e.g. read by screen reader software). This doesn’t meet WCAG success criterion 3.1.2 (language of parts).

Images, Graphics and Visual Elements

The Moodle platform provides facilities to make content accessible (e.g. addition of ALT text for images). However, due to the nature of the content hosted on the platform and the choices made by those authoring content, it cannot be guaranteed:

  • that tech and images of text have a contrast ration of at least 4:5:1 or that large-scale text and images have a contrast ratio of at least 3:1. This doesn’t meet WCAG success criterion 1.4.3 contrast (minimum).
  • that images of text have not been used. This doesn’t meet WCAG success criterion 1.4.5 (images of text).
  • that all user interfaces and graphical objects meet the necessary contrast ratio. This doesn’t meet WCAG success criterion 1.4.11 (non-text contrast).

Navigation and Access

The Moodle platform is designed to provide accessible navigation, however, due to the content, possible customisations and choices of authors, it cannot be guaranteed:

  • that all headings and labels describe topic or purpose. This doesn’t meet WCAG success criterion 2.4.6 (headings and labels).
  • that the keyboard focus indicator is always visible. This doesn’t meet WCAG success criterion 2.4.7 (focus visible).
  • that navigation mechanisms (how you move around the VLE) are consistent. This doesn’t meet WCAG success criterion 3.2.3 (consistent navigation).
  • that all components with the same functionality will be labelled consistently. This doesn’t meet WCAG success criterion 3.2.4 (consistent identification).

Statuses and Error Messages

The Moodle platform alerts users when an error has been made for example, not entering text into a required field. However, we feel the error messages need to be improved. At present, we cannot guarantee:

  • that all input error messages are accompanied by suggestions for correction. This doesn’t meet WCAG success criterion 3.3.3 (error suggestion).
  • that all status messages, such as error messages, can be read by assistive technologies such as screen readers. This doesn’t meet WCAG success criterion 4.1.3 (status messages).

Third Party Services and Systems

Turnitin

Moodle currently integrates with a similarity checking service, called Turnitin. Turnitin generates Similarity Reports on submitted assignments via the Feedback Studio Interface. For information on the accessibility of the Feedback Studio interface, please see Turnitin’s accessibility guidance and the Turnitin Accessibility Conformance Report.

Planet eStream

Moodle currently integrates with a video streaming system, called Planet eStream. eStream hosts video content which can be shared, embedded in Moodle or submitted to an assignment. For information on the accessibility of eStream, please see Planet eStream's Accessibility Whitepaper Planet eStream Accessibility Whitepaper.

H5P

Moodle currently integrates with a content authoring tool, called H5P. H5P creates interactive content which can be embedded in to Moodle. For information on the accessibility of H5P, please see H5P's guidance on Content Type Accessibility.

Mahara (MyPortfolio)

Moodle currently integrates with an ePortfolio system, called Mahara. Mahara portfolios can be submitted to Moodle assignments. For information on the accessibility of Mahara, please see Mahara's guidance on accessibility.

Disproportionate burden

Whilst we aim for content hosted on Moodle to be accessible. Ensuring the items below are fully accessible would place a disproportionate burden on content authors. We will continue to review this list and seek out efficient and cost-effective solutions.

Audio and Video content

It cannot be guaranteed that all prerecorded audio and video content is accompanied with a text alternative, captions, audio description, sign language interpretation or audio description. This doesn’t meet the following WCAG success criterion:

  • 1.1.1 (non-text content)
  • 1.2.1 (audio-only and video-only - prerecorded)
  • 1.2.2 (captions – prerecorded)
  • 1.2.3 (audio description or media alternative - prerecorded)
  • 1.2.5 (audio description - prerecorded)
  • 1.2.6 (sign language - prerecorded)
  • 1.2.7 (extended audio description - prerecorded)
  • 1.2.8 (media alternative - prerecorded)

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 section 4.2. Application.

PDFs and other documents

Older PDFs and Word documents don’t meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role value).

The accessibility regulations don’t require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services.

Prerecorded Audio and Video content published before 23 September 2020

Prerecorded audio and video content is unlikely to be accompanied with a text alternative, captions, audio description or sign language interpretation. This doesn’t meet the following success criterion:

  • 1.1.1 (non-text content)
  • 1.2.1 (audio-only and video-only - prerecorded)
  • 1.2.2 (captions – prerecorded)
  • 1.2.3 (audio description or media alternative - prerecorded)
  • 1.2.5 (audio description - prerecorded)
  • 1.2.6 (sign language - prerecorded)
  • 1.2.7 (extended audio description - prerecorded)
  • 1.2.8 (media alternative - prerecorded)

We don’t plan to create a text alternative, captions, audio description or sign language interpretation to prerecorded audio or video content that was published before 23 September 2020 because prerecorded audio and video content published before 23 September 2020 are exempt from the regulations.

Live Audio and Video

Live audio and video streams don’t have captions. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.4 (captions - live).

We don’t plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

Third Party Content

Content embedded or integrated in to the VLE such as H5P interactive content or packages purchased from third party companies, could fail multiple WCAG 2.1 success criterion.

We don’t plan to redevelop or edit content we have not developed, funded or have no control over because third party content is exempt from the regulations.

Reproductions of Heritage Items

Reproductions of heritage items refers to content or items that could include, archaeological items, archives, books, estate records, manuscripts or paintings for example. These items, when reproduced on this VLE, could fail multiple WCAG 2.1 success criterion.

We do not plan to create accessible reproductions of heritage items where there is no automated and cost-efficient solution, or it is not possible to safely or authentically reproduce the item because reproductions of heritage items are exempt from the regulations.

Archives

VLE spaces that act as an archive, for example spaces for the previous academic year or that are no longer active, could fail multiple WCAG 2.1 success criterion.

We do not plan to create accessible content for archives which are no longer active and haven’t been updated after 23 September 2019 because archives which are no longer active (for administrative purposes) and haven’t been updated after 23 September 2019 are exempt from the regulations.

How we tested this VLE

This VLE was last tested in August 2019. The test was carried out by Academic Technology, IT Services, University of Warwick.

The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 relate and use language specific to websites therefore, it is not possible to complete a direct assessment of the VLE against the regulations. It has been necessary to translate and interpret the regulations to apply to a VLE context.

We commissioned a Jisc accessibility snapshot in March 2019 that assessed some accessibility areas, such as keyboard controls, of the VLE. The snapshot did not assess the VLE against the WCAG success criterion. The snapshot was conducted on a sample of three Moodle spaces deemed typical examples of VLE use or as having been regularly used by students.

We have tested this VLE by creating a VLE space and assessing the available functionality in the following against the WCAG success criterion:

  • Activities
  • Resources
  • Course Formats

Commonly used third party content and integrations

We tested:

What we are doing to improve accessibility

We are dedicated to improving the accessibility of this VLE for all users. To do so we will:

  • provide guidance to authors on designing and creating accessible content in the VLE
  • assess, and redevelop where it is possible, practicable and cost-efficient, existing features, integrations, interfaces and developments based on the WCAG 2.1 success criterion
  • remove or restrict customisations on the VLE to reduce the creation of inaccessible spaces and content
  • assess proposed new features, integrations, interfaces and developments based on the WCAG 2.1 success criterion

This statement was prepared on 18th September 2019.

It was last updated on 6th May 2020.

Help Guides

For help creating accessible Moodle spaces visit our accessibility help guides:

Creating Accessible Moodle Spaces