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Moodle and Accessibility

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From: M.Cooper
Date: Jun 28, 2006 4:10PM


Jared,

I feel I must respond on behalf of the team at the Open University who
have been working on specifying accessibility improvements in Moodle to
your comments on the WebAIM Accessibility Forums copied here:

>>>
"While it's great that they are making strides, many of the
accessibility 'fixes' in 1.6 are pretty poor and in some cases worse
than previous versions (the breadcrumbs, for instance). Their intentions
are good, but they just need more input from folks that really
understand accessibility."
<<<

I do not think this complies with the guidance on the use of this list,
to quote: "Please maintain high standards of civility and courtesy
toward other members of the listserv."

The 3 people who have done the bulk of this work have decades of
accessibility experience behind them. Not only do they have extensive
knowledge of the principles of and guidelines for accessibility but they
also regularly conduct evaluations with disabled people and pay due
regard to the interplay between accessibility and usability in web and
other software applications. I hope you meant no offence by your
comment but I am afraid some was taken.

That having been said, we of course welcome constructive criticism of
our work. If you wish to do so could you please post this to the Moodle
Accessibility Forum? The current draft of the Moodle Accessibility
Specification and the invite for feedback is at:
http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=48603

In specific response to the Breadcrumb issue you cite: We had made a
recommendation that the use of ">>" which was read by a screen-reader as
"greater than, greater than" was best replaced by suitable graphic with
appropriate alt-text. Unfortunately the implementation in response to
this recommendation was less than ideal and we are looking forward to
this being improved in the next release.

Achieving good accessibility in any application is an iterative process.
We do not claim to get it right first time but we do claim to be working
towards better access for all including people with disabilities.

Best regards,

Martyn



Martyn Cooper
Senior Research Fellow
Head: Accessible Educational Media team (http://iet.open.ac.uk/aem)

Institute of Educational Technology (http://iet.open.ac.uk)
Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
UK - MK7 6AA

Tel: +44 (0)1908-655729