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Moodle is designed to provide equal functionality and information to all people. This means that there should be no barriers for people regardless of disabilities, assistive technologies that are used, different screen sizes and different input devices (e.g. mouse, keyboard and touchscreen).
As part of our ongoing commitment to provide an accessible platform and to continuously improve our compliance with WCAG 2.1 Level AA, 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 first received WCAG 2.1 Level AA accreditation based on successfully resolving the issues identified in the audit. Since the first accreditation Moodle undergoes an annual audit and re-accreditation process.
Moodle 3.10 and Moodle 3.11 have been audited and achieved WCAG 2.1 Level AA accreditation. Moodle 4.0 is scheduled to be audited in Q2 2022, with any findings to be addressed shortly after.
On 30 June 2021, the Moodle app also received WCAG 2.1 Level AA accreditation.
Moodle can be used by users to author content for other users. In some cases, accessibility features have been added to the authoring tools so that the content that is produced is as accessible as possible. An example is the “Atto text editor” which includes an “Accessibility checker” and an “Accessibility helper” which provide additional information for content authors on the accessibility of their content (like checks for sufficient contrast). The equations produced by the MathJax content filter have full accessibility enabled so they can be passed directly to the screen reader as maths content.
All components in Moodle need to be available to use by all users. Accessibility needs to be part of the design of every new feature in Moodle.
For simple features with no requirement for an advanced user interface, simple adherence to standard HTML5 does provide an accessible feature. In this case, it is better to use no ARIA than it would be to use it incorrectly (W3C no Aria).
All text that is presented needs to be displayed in a colour with sufficient contrast to its background colour so that the text is legible for all users. The foreground and background colours should meet the WCAG requirement for contrast, which varies depending on the size of the text. This can be tested with the WebAIM Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool.
Additionally, colour alone cannot be used to imply meaning. An example of a failure for this would be to display error messages in “red” with no other information to convey that this is an error message.
Icons (Images) can be displayed in a variety of ways, and the correct use of icons will depend on the context in which they are used.
Icons displayed on their own, as part of a link or as informative content must include accessible text to convey the meaning of the icon. For an image tag, this can be the “alt” attribute for the image tag. It can be valid to include both the “alt” attribute and the “title” attribute (shown when hovering with the mouse) so that all users can access the textual meaning of the icon.
Icons and Text
When an icon is displayed immediately before or after some text that also describes the meaning of the icon, it is redundant to repeat the same text twice. In this case, it is correct to hide the icon from screen readers by setting the “role” attribute to “presentation” or hiding it with the “aria-hidden” attribute set to “true”.
When multiple icons are displayed in a row as links, it is important that each icon is large enough and has sufficient space around it so the icon can be easily clicked with the mouse.
The minimum valid size for a link target is 44 by 44 pixels.
All components should be entirely operable through a keyboard-only interface.
Some important things to consider is that all components should be focusable with the keyboard (available in the tab sequence), and should allow the focus to be moved away using only the keyboard.
The element that currently has focus should have a visual focus indicator. ARIA focus management.
In some cases, a single component can contain many smaller components. In order to not pollute the page tab sequence, the parent element can exist in the tab sequence once and should maintain focus within its smaller components with arrow key navigation (roving tabindex or active descendant). ARIA keyboard navigation inside components.
- All form elements must have a label
- The form must be able to be completed entirely with the keyboard
- Invalid entries in the form fields should be indicated with the “aria-invalid” attribute set to “true”
- Warning messages for invalid form fields should be associated with the invalid field using the “aria-describedby” attribute.
Any component that contains no information or functionality that is not provided by other components on the page can be considered decorative only. Content that meets this description can be hidden from screen readers using a suitable technique (aria-hidden or presentation role).
The layout of each page of content should be separated into valid regions where each region has a unique label and the correct landmark role. This is typically done in the layout files of the theme.
All pages should have a unique title that describes the current page.
Advanced UX Widgets
- Does this component work entirely when accessed only via the keyboard?
- Does this component map to any widget from the ARIA Authoring Practices document and if so, does it implement all of the “Keyboard Interaction” and “WAI-ARIA Roles, States and Properties” listed for that widget?
- W3C Accessibility Standards Overview
- Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) 1.1
- WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices 1.1
- Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1
- Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) 2.0
- User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) 2.0
Moodle officially supports the following screen reader/browser configurations:
- Microsoft Edge, Jaws 15+ (Latest version recommended)
- Mozilla Firefox, NVDA 2014.1+ (Latest version recommended)
- NVDA Screen Reader (Windows)
- JAWS Screen Reader (Windows)
- Chromevox Screen Reader (Linux, Chrome OS, Windows, Mac OS X)
- Orca Screen Reader (Linux)
- WebAIM Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (Chrome, Firefox)
- Chrome Accessibility Dev Tools (Chrome)
- W3C Accessibility Tool Listing
- Equality Act 2010
- Public sector equality duty
- SENDA - Special Educational Needs and Disability Act/Bill