LSE Moodle Accessibility Statement

 

Accessibility Statement for LSE Moodle Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

This Accessibility Statement is provided by the London School of Economics and Political Science in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the Accessibility Regulations). The School seeks to ensure that people are treated equitably, regardless of age, disability, race, nationality, ethnic or national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or personal circumstances.

Priority 3 of the LSE 2030 Strategy is to “Develop LSE for everyone”. An accessible VLE is an essential part of this strategy.

About LSE Moodle

LSE Moodle is LSE’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and is hosted and managed by the LSE Eden Centre Digital Education. Moodle hosts teaching and learning resources and activities and is built by the Moodle project, which is led and coordinated 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.

Using Moodle

The following sections identify the main accessibility features that you should be able to use in Moodle.

View Moodle pages in your preferred way

You can change colours, contrast levels and fonts and zoom into pages up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen. This has been tested in multiple browsers using the native zoom function and the extensions High Contrast, Colour Enhancer and Midnight Lizard.

Moodle has an inbuilt headings structure that should enable screen readers and other assistive technologies to list and navigate to headings and sub-headings.

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 list of all the links on a page and understand their purpose from the link text.

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.

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

Listen to content using your preferred technology

Text-to-speech

Users should be able to listen to content selected with the mouse or keyboard using text to speech browser plugins or other assistive technologies.

Screen readers

Users should be able to listen to and navigate around Moodle using a screen reader. Moodle 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

The My Computer My Way guide provided by AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible is the LSE Moodle platform?

The accessibility of the LSE Moodle platform is considered at two levels.

System level accessibility

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.

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 to include up to date information.

Content level accessibility

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. 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.

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.

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 of writing, we consider that the following system and content issues are of greatest impact.

  • 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.

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.

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.

Technical information about the LSE Moodle Platform accessibility

LSE is committed to making its LSE Moodle VLE 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.

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

Issues with the Moodle platform

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).

Issues with Moodle courses and content

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).

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 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. If you continue to experience issues, you should contact eden.digital@lse.ac.uk.

Issues with images, video and audio

  • Some images do not have meaningful alternative text.

  • Some audio and video materials do not have text based closed captions or transcripts.

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.

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

Archived/legacy Moodle courses and content

The Accessibility Regulations don’t require us to fix Moodle  if they’re 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.

How we tested this website

At the time of writing LSE Moodle has been accessibility tested manually and with semi-automated freely available accessibility checking tools.

Accessibility information included in this statement has been drawn from:

We attempted to assess the accessibility of

  • The Moodle platform itself

  • The content within and uploaded to Moodle by the academic teams who use them for learning, teaching and assessment.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

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.

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