Accessibility statement for the RAU Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) and associated services
The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) is committed to making its online services accessible in accordance with Directive (EU) 2016/2102 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 October 2016 on the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies. Further details are provided in the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018.
This accessibility statement applies to Gateway, the RAU online learning system, and associated services. Gateway uses the Moodle open-source learning management system (LMS).
We want as many people as possible to be able to use Gateway. For example, that means you should be able to:
- Change colours, contrast levels and fonts
- Zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
- Navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
- Navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
- Listen to most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)
We have also made the text as simple as possible to understand. AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability. We also have an Assistive Technology page for RAU students.
Accessibility of Gateway
Gateway is partially compliant with the aforementioned directive. We know some parts of this website aren’t fully accessible:
- The slider on the front page does not have ALT tags, this is a theme issue.
- There are minor issues related to the hub pages use of images and links.
- Not all documents (Word, PPTs, PDFs) have been created in a manner that ensures accessibility, for example using ALT tags, styles and appropriate headings.
- Not all hyperlinks are discrete and descriptive.
- Not all images have ALT tags.
- There is some use of visual characteristics to communicate information and some use of images of text.
- The current 404 page provides minimal information.
- Not all video content held on Gateway or on Panopto has a transcript or captions. From September 2020 all pre-recorded content will have Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) captions added as a minimum. ASR offer 70-75% accuracy.
This content is in scope of the directive but is currently not fully accessible. The RAU is committed to improving this situation through redevelopment of current pages and staff training. Correction of archived module pages is identified by the regulations to be out of scope.
The accessibility page on the Moodle website describes the current state of accessibility in Moodle as well as their plans for the future.
What to do if you can’t access parts of Gateway
If you have any feedback about the accessibility of Gateway pages or require documents in alternate formats you can contact us:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. This email will be directed to staff responsible for the accessibility of RAU online services.
- Phone: 01285 889841
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the accessibility regulations. If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).
Recent VLE review
A light-weight internal accessibility audit of Gateway took place in March 2020. Unaddressed findings from the audit have been identified in this statement.
Gateway was externally reviewed by Jisc in May 2018. An accessibility snapshot provided by Julia Taylor, (Jisc Subject Specialist accessibility & inclusion) is available. The RAU have put considerable effort in improving a number of areas including:
- Promoting the assistive technologies available
- Providing more multimedia content on module pages
- Joining up the available support from IT, Library, Learning Support and Disability Support
- Staff training
- Enforcing Gateway Baseline and Gateway Baseline +, this is a minimum Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) standard for a module page used as part of an online course
Gateway is regularly reviewed using the Read&Write screen reader. This tool is available for use by all RAU students.
Online accessibility statements are available for the following services:
- CREST: https://research.guildhe.ac.uk/accessibility/
- EBSCO (providers of the Find it platform): https://www.ebsco.com/technology/accessibility
- Heritage library catalogue: Heritage Online is built along the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) criteria, using xHTML and best accessibility practices to comply with both WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative) and W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) standards, and is tested when required with their validator tools.
- Mahara: https://wiki.mahara.org/wiki/Accessibility
- Panopto: https://www.panopto.com/features/video-cms/accessibility/
- RAU resource Lists (Talis Aspire): https://support.talis.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000695158-Web-Accessibility-Statement
- Turnitin: https://www.turnitin.com/about/accessibility
Preparation of this accessibility statement
This statement was prepared in May 2020.