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Accessibility Statement for LSE Moodle Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

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LSE Moodle is LSE’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and is hosted and managed by the LSE Eden Centre Digital Education. LSE is currently using Moodle 3.9 with a bespoke theme that has been developed by an external contractor. Moodle hosts teaching and learning resources and activities and is built by the Moodle project, which is led and coordinated by by Moodle HQ. Moodle HQ is financially supported by a network of over 80 Moodle Partner service companies worldwide. Moodle HQ's goal is for Moodle to be fully accessible and usable for all users regardless of ability and is built in accordance with the WCAG 2.0 guidelines.

LSE aims to ensure that teaching, learning and assessment resources built in and/or uploaded to Moodle are fully accessible to all users.

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Moodle has many in-built links that are used for navigation purposes. These have meaningful names indicating their purpose and destination. Users of assistive technology such as screen readers should be able to access a list of all the links on a page and understand their purpose from the link text.

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Moodle has been designed to enable navigation around most of the site using just a keyboard. All components on a Moodle page should be focusable with the keyboard (available in the tab sequence) and should allow the focus to be moved away using only the keyboard.

Navigation by voice

Most of Moodle is navigable using Dragon speech recognition software when using the Windows operating system and by using Voice Control on MacOS.

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Users should be able to listen to and navigate around Moodle using a screen reader. Moodle uses standard ARIA structures and officially supports a range of screen readers NVDA Screen Reader (Windows), JAWS Screen Reader (Windows), Chromevox Screen Reader (Linux, Chrome OS, Windows, Mac OS X), Orca Screen Reader (Linux)

Using your preferred assistive technology

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  • - make your device easier to use if you have a disability

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https://info.lse.ac.uk/current-students/student-wellbeing/disability-wellbeing/disability-and-wellbeing-service

Assessing accessibility of the LSE Moodle platform

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The accessibility of the LSE Moodle platform is considered at two levels: system level and content level.

System level accessibility definition

The LSE Moodle platform is a complex system with many bespoke and customised parts. Its code is always evolving. From time to time, new modules (e.g. plugins, code patches) are added to the system and others are removed. When considering accessibility at system level we refer to the core Moodle application user interface including all plug-ins and the LSE Moodle theme.

The Moodle development community supported by the Moodle Accessibility Collaboration Group maintains a detailed list of known accessibility bugs and issues with the Moodle platform. This is subject to continuous change and updating and we will regularly update this accessibility statement annually to include up to date information. Please contact eden.digital@lse.ac.uk if you have any questions about Moodle system accessibility.

Moodle Plugins

At LSE, we use plug-ins with Moodle to enhance the platform for learning, teaching and assessment. The most widely used plugins are Echo 360, H5P, Talis Aspire, Zoom and Turnitin. Each of these have their own accessibility statements which you can view on their websites:

For information regarding the plugins used on LSE Moodle, and links to their accessibility statements, see ‘List of Currently Enabled Moodle Plug-ins'.

Content level accessibility definition

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At LSE, academic teams build the individual Programme, Departmental and Course pages and create and upload teaching, learning and assessment resources to them e.g. Lecture Slides and Notes, Assignment briefs, Audio and Video resources. When considering content level accessibility, we include all content contributed to the Moodle platform by course editors.

Although our aim is for teaching, learning and assessment resources built in and/or uploaded to Moodle to be fully accessible to all users, it is not possible to guarantee this.

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Consequently, it is impossible to say with 100% confidence if every part of LSE Moodle is accessible or not. In this respect, accessibility is a process of continuous improvement in response to our users and the wider technical environment.

Third party content

We do know that some parts of LSE Moodle are not fully accessible, but we are working very hard to improve things. At the time ofwriting, we consider that the following system and content issues are of greatest impact.

Navigating Moodle and its content

Navigation using Headings

  • The headings structure in the Moodle quiz module impacts upon the navigability for screen reader users.

  • Missing headings in some Moodle created content (e.g. in descriptions for activities and resources, labels and pages) impacts upon the navigability for screen reader users.

Navigation by Links

Some links in Moodle created content have been inadequately named (e.g. click here). Links should be descriptive and independently meaningful rather than repetitive and only meaningful in a visual context. When browsing Moodle course page contents using a screen reader, the screen reader will read a partial URL and link name instead of just reading a link name.

Navigation by Keyboard

Some Moodle courses have been set up using layouts that contain hidden and collapsed content. The hidden and collapsed content cannot be searched from the main page in which they are located. Users need to navigate to specific sections to be able to search for specific content. Although this content is accessible, Keyboard only navigation requires additional steps to reach and search the hidden and collapsed content.

Viewing Moodle pages

Although the Moodle theme in general has sufficient contrast between foreground and background colours there are some exceptions including:

  • Week/Topic section headings have white text with red background.

  • Turn editing on button has white text with grey background providing insufficient contrast for some users.

  • Contrast can be adjusted using browser plugins such as the High Contrast plugin for Google Chrome.

Listening to content

  • Some images and audio video materials have not been provided with meaningful “alt” text, captions or transcriptions and are not perceivable to assistive technologies.

  • All new recordings are captioned using Automatic Speech Recognition, these captions are likely to contain inaccuracies. If you need high quality human authored captions for recorded lectures, please get in touch with the Disability and Wellbeing service who will liaise with your department and the Eden Digital team to ensure that recorded lecture captions meet your requirements.

  • The Moodle Messages platform provides no new message notifications, which negatively affects the usability of the platform for screen reader users.

Other known issues

Some content created with other tools (e.g. MS Word docs, MS PowerPoint slides, PDF docs) and subsequently uploaded to Moodle are poorly formatted for accessibility purposes and are difficult to access and utilise using assistive technologies.

What to do if you cannot access parts of LSE Moodle

If you need information on LSE Moodle, such as course content, in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille you should contact the academic department responsible for the course.

Reporting accessibility problems with LSE Moodle

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of LSE Moodle and content available within it. If you find any problems that aren’t listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact: Eden.digital@lse.ac.uk

Your message will be forwarded to the relevant team who will get back to you as soon as possible.

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Accessibility Regulations. If you’re not happy with the response contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Contacting us

If you wish to speak to contact us in relation to an accessibility issue covered in the accessibility regulations, you can contact the Eden Centre digital education team at eden.digital@lse.ac.uk.not have control over or responsibility for external web resources or journal articles which academic staff may link to. However, it is still important to report issues to your lecturers so they can tell the provider of these resources or journals.

Technical information about the LSE Moodle Platform accessibility

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This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Non-accessible content and Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Issues with

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Moodle development community supported by the Moodle Accessibility Collaboration Group maintains a detailed list of known accessibility bugs and issues with the Moodle platform. This is subject to continuous change and updating. There is an accessibility issue related to the LSE Moodle theme, which is when browsing Moodle course contents using a screen reader, the screen reader will read a partial URL and link name instead of reading the link name. This will be addressed in the next iteration of the theme design (due July 2021).

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LSE Moodle at the system level

In addition to issues tracked by the Moodle development community (see system level accessibility definition) we have identified issues that we are aware of that time specific to or particularly relevant to the LSE Moodle platform.

  • The headings structure in the Moodle quiz module impacts upon the navigability for screen reader users.

  • NVDA’s element list will occasionally omit the first item from the list of landmarks in courses in Grid Format. We are working to resolve this issue. Current workarounds include navigating by headings or links instead, turning off stylesheets, switching to JAWS, or changing user view to topics format.

  • The Moodle Messages platform provides no new message notifications, which negatively affects the usability of the platform for screen reader users.

Display contrast issues

Although the Moodle theme in general has sufficient contrast between foreground and background colours there are some exceptions including:

  • Week/Topic section headings have white text with red background.

  • Turn editing on button has white text with grey background providing insufficient contrast for some users. Contrast can be adjusted using browser plugins such as the High Contrast plugin for Google Chrome.

Issues with LSE Moodle at the content level

Issues with Text

  • Some content added to Moodle courses is not structured with appropriate Headings to aid navigation for screen readers.

  • Some hyperlink text doesn’t make sense when read on its own (for example, ‘click here’).

  • Some resources/files uploaded to Moodle courses do not have meaningful names to aid navigation and discovery of content (e.g. PowerPoints simply named “Slides.ppt” providing no indication of the topic or information covered).

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Issues

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Issues with images, video and audio

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These issues will be addressed through a combination of provision of enhanced guidance, staff training, provision of and increased use of Moodle course accessibility checklists and regular audits of Moodle courses.

Issues with content in documents e.g. PowerPoint, Word and PDF

Some PowerPoint, Word and PDF documents that are essential to learning, teaching and assessment may not meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be marked up to ensure they are accessible to assistive technologies.As part of the LSE , these issues will be addressed through a combination of provision of enhanced guidance, staff training, provision of accessible document templates (e.g. an accessible Assignment brief template in Word, an accessible PowerPoint slide template) provision of and increased use of Moodle course accessibility checklists and regular audits of Moodle courses.

Issues relating to the availability of accessible learning, teaching and assessment documents within Moodle should be raised first with the teaching team responsible for the Moodle course. If you continue to experience issues, you should contact eden.digital@lse.ac.uk.

  • Missing headings in some Moodle created content (e.g. in descriptions for activities and resources, labels and pages) impacts upon the navigability for screen reader users.

  • Some links in Moodle created content have been inadequately named (e.g. click here). Links should be descriptive and independently meaningful rather than repetitive and only meaningful in a visual context.

  • Navigation by keyboard: Some Moodle courses have been set up using layouts that contain hidden and collapsed content. The hidden and collapsed content cannot be searched from the main page in which they are located. Users need to navigate to specific sections to be able to search for specific content. Although this content is accessible, Keyboard only navigation requires additional steps to reach and search the hidden and collapsed content.

Listening to content

  • Some images and audio video materials have not been provided with meaningful “alt” text, captions or transcriptions and are not perceivable to assistive technologies.

  • All new recordings are transcribed using Automatic Speech Recognition, these transcriptions are likely to contain inaccuracies. If you require higher quality transcription or captions for recorded lectures, please get in touch with the Disability and Wellbeing service for assistance.

Other known issues

Some content created with other tools (e.g. MS Word docs, MS PowerPoint slides, PDF docs) and subsequently uploaded to Moodle are poorly formatted for accessibility purposes and are difficult to access and utilise using assistive technologies.

Disproportionate burden / Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

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The Accessibility Regulations don’t do not require us to fix content within Moodle  if they’re if not essential to providing our services. Consequently, although we will still make Moodle courses for previous academic sessions available to students (as part of LSE Moodle Archive) we will not retrospectively fix accessibility issues as a matter of course. We will consider specific issues on request.

We will focus our efforts on ensuring that Moodle and new content, created in and uploaded to it, is as accessible as possible.

What to do if you cannot access parts of LSE Moodle

If you need information on LSE Moodle, such as course content, in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille you should contact the academic department responsible for the course.

Reporting accessibility problems with LSE Moodle

Issues relating to the availability of accessible learning, teaching and assessment content within Moodle should be raised first with the teaching team responsible for the Moodle course.

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of LSE Moodle and content available within it. If you find any problems that aren’t listed on this page, continue to experience issues after contacting the responsible teaching team or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, please contact the Eden Centre digital education team at Eden.digital@lse.ac.uk

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Accessibility Regulations. If you’re not happy with the response contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Contacting us

If you have any questions in relation to this accessibility statement or would like to notify us of a Moodle system level accessibility issue, you can contact the Eden Centre digital education team at eden.digital@lse.ac.uk.

How we tested this website

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What we’re doing to improve accessibility

What have we done so far?

  • Undertaken a Moodle content review

  • Compiled guidance and training resources on digital accessibility for staff

  • A quick guide on digital accessibility

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At the time of writing LSE is in the process of implementing an inclusive education action plan.

The School has appointed an academic developer specialising in inclusive education and will also be appointing a learning technologist who specialises on inclusive education.

Part of this response will be to investigate and then implement guidance to assist content authors in making their content fully accessible as well as automatically providing Moodle course content in alternative formats.

This action plan is in the early stages but will start to move into the implementation stage in the next 12 months. We also plan to address any accessibility problems introduced by the LSE theme during the same timeframe.

  • essentials

  • A digital accessibility Moodle resource

  • Tested Yuja Panorama, a new accessibility checker for Moodle (see future developments)

  • Eden Digital have established a Moodle Baseline for staff, including guidance on digital accessibility standards.

  • Produced and linked to relevant accessibility statements.

In addition, the Eden Centre have set up an Inclusive Education team which includes a Head of Inclusive Education, an Academic Developer, a learning technologist and student interns. They are working to implement the Inclusive Education Action Plan.

As part of the LSE inclusive education action plan, these issues will be addressed through a combination of provision of continuously updated guidance, staff training, provision of accessible document templates provision of and increased use of Moodle course accessibility checklists and regular audits of Moodle courses.

The issues identified above will be addressed through a combination of provision of enhanced guidance, staff training, provision of and increased use of Moodle course accessibility checklists, regular audits of Moodle courses and the introduction of Yuja Panorama.

Staff are encouraged to make the most of inbuilt accessibility checkers such as those included in Office 365 and only then check with Yuja Panorama when uploading to Moodle (available from MT 2022).

The Eden Centre Digital Education team also provide guidance on accessibility expectations through the provision of a Moodle Baseline for staff.

The Inclusive Education team have also produced training for academics. This includes:

Future developments

In October 2022, we will also be introducing Yuja Panorama to academics. This is a tool for Moodle which will provide scores on the accessibility of content uploaded by staff and suggestions on how to make improvements. It will also allow students to convert content to alternative formats.

In addition, we are planning to work with an external consultant to complete another accessibility audit of all of our web properties.

In addition we will be working on an accessibility roadmap for Moodle and education technology applications in use at LSE.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 07 December 2020. It was last updated 02 February 2021revised August 2022.