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FW: Moodle and accessibility
From: Michael Roush
Date: Aug 9, 2005 11:09AM
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Ive been using Moodle for about 6 months now. I found out about it when the organization I work for was presented with an opportunity to make use of a system called BlackBoard. We were very interested, but I was concerned about what I felt were some accessibility issues with the system when I started learning about it. Someone in a PHP users group I am part of suggested I check out Moodle, and thats what we have gone with.
As of Moodle v1.5 (released in June), they have made some advances in the realm of accessibility, but arent all the way there yet. They do have as a goal that all of Moodles pages out of the box will comply with US Section 508 guidelines by version 1.6. The worst accessibility barriers I have found with it have been with the installation and configuration of it more so than the student-side use of it. All that the developers really knew about testing for accessibility when I started using it was running the code through Cynthia Says. Before you scoff, realize that their bug-reporting forum has been open since day one for anyone to go in and supply information.
For me, the best part of the Moodle system is that it is open source software. If you find something that isnt accessible, you can do more than just complain about it or sue someone over it. You can fix it. And the lead developers are dying to have people use Moodle and report the bugs they find so it can be improved. If anyone out there would like to spend some time working on an open-source online learning environment to make online learning more accessible for people, Moodle is waiting for you.
Michael D. Roush, Technology Consultant