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Re: making moodle more accessible


From: Eoin Campbell
Date: Jan 14, 2008 11:20AM

"Susan" < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
>I have been happily putting together a course using moodle but today I have
>been told that there are problems with accessibility for such courses. Does
>anyone know of the sort of issues that are likely to arise? Has anyone any
>experience of making moodle more accessible?

Moodle 1.8 is explicitly intended to be accessible,
but it is not as accessible as I had hoped.
When I looked into it a while back, I was surprised to find that
the use of the h1, h2 and title elements is not what I expected.
- The h1 element is used as part of the site-wide banner area,
rather than a container for the title of the current page.
- The title element contains the last portion of the breadcrumb
trail text, not the real page title.
- The h2 element contains the 'real' title describing the content
of the page.

An example page showing this usage is viewable at

Although I believe the Open University and Moodle teams are working
hard on accessibility, and 1.8 is certainly better than previous versions,
I wonder if some of the implementation choices they have made are
really correct from an accessibility perspective.
The maximally accessible usage of the heading and title elements
is somewhat subjective, so I suspect that the Moodle developers
have decided this usage is most appropriate, but I would
disagree with them.

That said however, the issue of the accessibility of the VLE
should be separate from the issue of the accessibility of the
course materials contained within it.

As a general principle unrelated to accessibility, I think
authors should create course materials
independently of the VLE, as SCORM-compliant
packages, and import them into Moodle, rather than create
native Moodle pages within the VLE itself.

This will allow those materials to be imported into any VLE,
not just Moodle.
From an accessibility perspective, providing SCORM
packages would allow learners without high-speed Internet
access to download a complete package and view
it offline.

Eoin Campbell, Technical Director, XML Workshop Ltd.
10 Greenmount Industrial Estate, Harolds Cross, Dublin, Ireland.
Phone: +353 1 4547811; fax: +353 1 4496299.
Email: <EMAIL REMOVED> ; web: www.xmlw.ie
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