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Accessibility statement for myUWS

This accessibility statement applies to myUWS, the Moodle Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) platform for the University of the West of Scotland (https://my.uws.ac.uk). This is where you will likely access learning resources, submit work, collaborate and communicate with other students and teaching staff. 

This website is run by the University of the West of Scotland (UWS). We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and text size using the UserWay widget
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader (including the screen reader included in the UserWay widget. Most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver have not been tested)

We’ve also made the site navigation text as simple as possible to understand.

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible this website is

myUWS uses Moodle, an Open Source Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) designed with accessibility in mind. Moodle’s goal is to be fully accessible and usable for all users regardless of ability. The Moodle website has detailed information about Moodle’s conformance to standards and known bugs and issues. All core Moodle activities and resources have been designed to be accessible but UWS also uses additional third-party plugins and contains a lot of user-generated content. This means that it is difficult to maintain a fully accessible site and that some aspects of accessibility are outside of our immediate control.

Content on myUWS is created and uploaded by University Staff.  Our aim is that all learning, teaching and assessment resources are, where possible, accessible to all users.  However, we cannot guarantee that this is the case.  Within the myUWS course for each of your modules, there should be an accessibility statement which outlines the types of resources used in the course and any known issues.  There will also be details of who to contact if you have problems accessing any materials or require an alternative format. In addition, we have Blackboard Ally for Moodle installed on myUWS.  This allows you to download some resources on your courses in alternative formats.  Information on using Blackboard Ally for Moodle can be found on the Ally for LMS Help for Students site.

We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible:

  • myUWS contains lots of files which must be downloaded to be viewed e.g. Adobe PDFs, Word Documents, PowerPoint presentations. These may not be fully accessible to a screen reader. You will also need access to the programs to view these files. You can download Microsoft Office apps, for free, on up to five of your own devices through your University Microsoft 365 account.
  • Not all images will have alternative text added
  • Video content may have poor-quality, inaccurate or missing captions
  • Live video streams e.g. synchronous live lectures or tutorials will likely not have captions
  • Most videos will not have audio descriptions available
  • Tool tips and pop up content may not be read out by screen reader software
  • Some of the links may not be labelled clearly. This means that the links will not make sense when they are taken out of context, and for some links, it is not possible to know what the purpose of the link is.
  • Turnitin feedback studio and Moodle Assignment, for the submission and marking of assignments, turns submissions into an image-based PDF, which are inaccessible to people using screen readers

Feedback and contact information

If you have a problem navigating myUWS to the courses that you are enrolled on:

Responses from this email address will be made only Mon – Fri from 9:00am to 5:00pm.  We’ll consider your request and get back to you in 3 working days.

Some resources on your modules will be available in alternative formats such as accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille.  However, if you need information within your modules in a different format, please contact the person(s) listed within the accessibility statement in that module. 

If you are a student with existing arrangements or reasonable adjustments, you can also contact Disability Services for support.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of our VLE. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact: educationfutures@uws.ac.uk.

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

In response to the nationally evolving coronavirus situation, University of the West of Scotland colleagues are now working remotely in line with Government guidance.  It is not possible to discuss accessibility issues for the myUWS site in person but you can call the Student Hub Team on 0141 848 3800 and ask them to pass your contact details onto Education Futures and someone from the team will respond to you within 5 working days.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

University of the West of Scotland is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Compliance status

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances and exemptions listed below.

Non-accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations Display

The Moodle platform is designed for responsive display. However, there are some circumstances where accessibility is more limited:

  • Due to the nature of the content that might be hosted in Moodle it cannot be guaranteed that text can be resized without assistive technology up to 200 percent without loss of content or functionality. This doesn’t meet WCAG success criterion 1.4.4 (resize text).
  • It cannot be guaranteed that content can be presented vertically and horizontally without needing to scroll. This doesn’t meet WCAG success criterion 1.4.10 (reflow).
  • Moodle is developed by a third-party and colour contrast for the standard product should meet accessibility regulations. However, it is possible that content owners may alter defaults which results in some text being hard to read. This does not meet WCAG 1.4.3.

Content within Moodle

  • myUWS contains lots of files which must be downloaded to be viewed e.g. Adobe PDFs, Word Documents, PowerPoint presentations. These may not be fully accessible to a screen reader. You will also need access to the programs to view these files. You can download Microsoft Office apps, for free, on up to five of your own devices through your University Microsoft 365 account. This does not meet WCAG Criteria 4.1.2.
  • The purpose of each link may not always be determined from the text alone, for example some links may just say ‘click here’.  This does not meet WCAG 2.4.4.
  • Images may not have alternative text. This does not meet WCAG 1.1.1
  • Video content may have poor-quality or missing captions. This does not meet WCAG 1.2.2.
  • Most videos will not have audio descriptions available. This does not meet WCAG 1.2.3 and 1.2.5.
  • Moodle Assignment, for the submission and marking of assignments, turns submissions into an image-based PDF when providing feedback, which are inaccessible to people using screen readers. This does not meet WCAG 4.1.2.

Navigation

  • Heading tags may be used inconsistently to create emphasis to text, rather than styling them with set styles. This also means that Headings may not always be sequential. This does not meet WCAG criteria 1.3.1, 1.3.2 and 1.3.3.
  • Tool tips and pop up content may not be read out by screen reader software. This means that help functionality and error messages may not always be readable by screen reader software.  This does not meet WCAG Criteria 1.3.1.
  • Some form inputs may be missing form labels so may not be readable to a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG criteria 2.5.3.

Third Party tools and integrations

We use a number of third-party tools and integrations with myUWS. We do not have control over and are not responsible for the accessibility of some of this content, but we make best endeavours to work with the third party to improve its accessibility by reporting issues when we find them. This may include:

  • Turnitin Assignment 2 activity and Turnitin Feedback Studio, for the submission and marking of assignments, turns submissions into an image-based PDF when providing feedback, which are inaccessible to people using screen readers. This does not meet WCAG 4.1.2. Please see Turnitin’s accessibility guidance for more information about how to use their text-only similarity report.
  • UWS uses Microsoft as their productivity applications provider, so much of the content added to myUWS will be in the form of Microsoft documents, spreadsheets and presentations.  Detailed information about Microsoft’s built-in accessibility features can be found on their website.
  • Medial is media library tool used to store and share media content. An overview of medial accessibility features can be found on their website.
  • H5P is a content creation tool used to create learning materials in different content types that can be included in courses on myUWS.  The H5P website provides guidance on the accessibility of H5P  content types.
  • Mahara is an eportfolio tool.  Information about the accessibility of the Mahara platform can be found on their website.
  • EvaSys is a third-party system developed by Electric Paper used for the evaluation of modules. The EvaSys accessibility statement can be found here.
  • Courses may include links to other external site or services which we cannot guarantee the accessibility of.
  • Webex is web-conferencing software used by the University which can be used to host online meetings, events and training sessions.  They provide information about the accessibility of their products which can be seen on the dropdown below.
  • Clickview is a video content resource available to all staff and students. Clickview accessibility features can be seen on the dropdown below.

Webex

Clickview

    • The ClickView Player can be controlled using the keyboard
    • All images and html elements have alt tags and titles to improve the experience with screen readers
    • All ClickView content produced content has captions
    • Options to set subtitles on by default
    • Semantic HTML used where possible in line with a11y best practices
    • All UI changes are run through the Stark suite of integrated accessibility compliance tools 
    • Immersive reader is available on ClickView descriptions
    • Auto-captioning

Disproportionate Burden

This section covers issues that we cannot fix right now as we have assessed the cost involved in fixing these issues would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the law. We are not currently claiming disproportionate burden for any issues.

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

PDFs and other documents

Some learning resources are provided in the form of PDF, Word or PowerPoint files. Older versions of these may not be accessible, for example they may not be structured in a way that is accessible by a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role value).  The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018.

Prerecorded Audio and Video content published before 23rd September 2018

Prerecorded audio and video content is unlikely to be accompanied with a text alternative, captions or audio description. This does not meet the following success criterion:

  • 1.1.1 (non-text content)
  • 1.2.1 (audio-only and video-only - prerecorded)
  • 1.2.2 (captions – prerecorded)
  • 1.2.3 (audio description or media alternative - prerecorded)
  • 1.2.5 (audio description - prerecorded)

We don’t plan to create a text alternative, captions or audio description to prerecorded audio or video content that was published before 23 September 2020 because all prerecorded audio and video content published before 23 September 2020 are exempt from the regulations.

Live video

We do not plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

Archives

We do not plan to fix archived materials in Moodle before 23rd September 2018 unless a specific request is made.  If you require access to alternative formats for materials in Moodle archive from August 2018 or earlier, please contact the module co-ordinator for that module in the first instance.  If this is not possible then please contact educationfutures@uws.ac.uk.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

UWS upgrade the Moodle platform before the start of every academic year. With each upgrade we will continue to assess and redevelop (where possible and practical) existing features, integrations and interfaces based on the WCAG 2.1 success criterion.

We will continue to use recommended and supported, accessible themes from Moodle.  UWS recently upgraded to Moodle version 3.9 in myUWS, which has a number of accessibility improvements after an accessibility audit of the Moodle platform.

To improve the consistency of the accessibility of learning materials within courses on myUWS, the University have introduced UWS Baseline, an adaptation of UCL’s Baseline and Baseline Plus, which amongst other things provides guidance on creating accessible learning materials and resources.  This was supported by optional training for all staff who add content to myUWS. 

In addition, UWS have invested in Blackboard for Ally in Moodle which supports staff to improve the accessibility of resources they upload to myUWS, and provides alternative formats for students.  This should address issues with adding alternative text to images, using meaningful heading structures in courses, improving the labelling of links and creating accessible PDFs and other documents.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 20th September 2020. It was last reviewed on 15th October 2020.

This website was last tested on 20th September. The test was carried out by Education Futures, UWS. This test was partly to ensure Education Futures had responded to previous feedback from an Inclusion Journey’s Report in April 2020, and also a Jisc Accessibility Snapshot in April 2018. We used the WAVE web accessibility evaluation tool to carry out automated testing and used tools within the UserWay widget to carry out limited manual testing. We have listed all the non-accessible content that we are aware of through these testing methods.

We used this approach to deciding on a sample of pages to test:

We followed up on issues raised in the Inclusion Journey report and Accessibility Snapshot and then also tested a representative sample of a user journey in myUWS.

  • An external consultant was appointed by the University to carry out an Inclusion Journey’s report.  They were provided with access to a student-facing course, and a staff-facing course.
  • Jisc requested access to at least two live courses that demonstrated, in our opinion, good practice and also requiring improvement.
  • User journey looked at logging on to myUWS, accessing a user’s profile page, using the Dashboard page and accessing a course and course materials.

You can request either report by contacting EducationFutures@uws.ac.uk.

Last updated: 16/10/2020