A laptop showing the Moodle logo.

June 24, 2024, by Laura Nicholson

Ensuring Inclusivity in Moodle: The Importance of Testing Accessibility

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As I mentioned at the start of this month, our June blog focus is all things accessibility-related, due to our free-to-attend upcoming Digital Accessibility Conference. Well, it has come around fast, and it’s now just a few days to go before the 2024 Digital Accessibility Conference: Transforming the Culture! With almost 50 sessions to choose from in our conference programme, we are certain to have something to inspire and engage everyone. Although the conference is this Wednesday, June 26th, it is not too late to register; just complete the DigAcc24 registration form.

Now onto our final accessibility-related post for this month, which will focus on Moodle and strategies to employ that will support accessibility.

Why test Moodle’s accessibility?

Moodle links the lecturer and student to enable easy sharing of content and learning activities. So, ensuring Moodle modules are accessible to all users is crucial. In this post, we will explore the significance of testing and evaluating Moodle accessibility and discuss tools such as the Brickfield Accessibility Toolkit, which can be used to help identify potential issues.

Although the Moodle LMS is WCAG 2.1 AA compliant, meaning it meets the respective accessibility criteria (Moodle, 2024), it can very quickly become inaccessible through the addition of poor labelling hindering navigation and ill-designed resources. By ensuring your module supports the POUR principles, you will create an inclusive learning environment that fosters inclusivity and learning opportunities for all learners. That said, accessible Moodle modules will benefit everyone, not just those with disabilities. Clear navigation, well-structured content, and accessible multimedia with captions will enhance the learning experience for everyone, which can then lead to improved engagement and academic outcomes.

Potential accessibility issues in Moodle

There are four guiding principles of accessibility upon which WCAG has been built. These four principles are known by the acronym POUR, which stands for perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust (Inclusion and Accessibility Labs, 2022).a hole has been knocked out of a wall to create a passage through. Following the POUR principles will help ensure the various elements in a Moodle module are accessible for all users, as each focuses on a different way to make content accessible.

To make content on Moodle perceivable would require the use of simple and easy-to-read text, using images with alt text, and multimedia that can be viewed in a range of environments through the inclusion of captions and a ranscript. Operable means adopting clear navigation headings and labels that are intuitive to the reader and should allow users to find and access content easily. Additionally, interactive elements such as quizzes and assignments should be designed to be operable for users with various disabilities, with additional time to complete if required.

To meet the requirement of making content understandable, it would require a logical and organised approach to the overall design of the module page. Following the UoN Moodle everywhere policy will help with this, but being mindful of providing clear headings and module instructions will help students understand the materials being provided and their overall purpose. Finally, the robust principle requires you to ensure the content presented can be used by a range of assistive technologies while also ensuring compatibility with different browsers and devices.

Ignoring any of the above principles will lead to an inaccessible and non-inclusive Moodle course.

Ways to identify accessibility issues in Moodle

There are several tools available to check for accessibility issues in Moodle; here are three key ways you can take a step forward to improve the accessibility of your contents.

Viewing accessibility guidelines

Take a look at accessibility guidelines such as WCAG and documentation from Moodle.org, as this can provide you with comprehensive guidance on making Moodle courses accessible to all students.

Using screen readers and assistive technologies

Testing Moodle courses with screen readers like NVDA (for Windows) or VoiceOver (for macOS/iOS) can provide insights into how users with disabilities interact with course content and navigate Moodle. NVDA is free to download and can be a really insightful way to learn how non-sighted students navigate around your course. Furthermore, it is not just non-sighted students who could use this technology; individuals with arthritis or migraines also benefit from using this technology, so it is good practice to try and be as familiar with assistive technologies such as these as you can.

Running the Brickfield Accessibility Toolkit

The Brickfield Accessibility Toolkit is a comprehensive set of resources designed specifically to help module creators design accessible content in Moodle. It provides guidance on various accessibility topics, including using the correct heading structure, checking colour contrast, and ensuring tables are labelled correctly. For further guidance, we have an earlier blog post on the Brickfield Accessibility Toolkit, and for UoN staff, you can view our help guides on the NAPS SharePoint.


Testing and evaluating your Moodle module for accessibility issues is essential for creating an inclusive learning environment where every student can thrive. By identifying and addressing accessibility issues in Moodle courses and content, instructors not only comply with legal requirements but also demonstrate a commitment to accessibility and inclusivity in education. The Brickfield Accessibility Toolkit is a great starting point for checking the overall course design, although it does not check the accessibility of added resources such as PowerPoints and Word documents, so these will need to be looked at separately.


Inclusion and Accessibility Labs. (2022) Understanding the POUR principles of accessibility. Available from: https://ialabs.ie/understanding-the-pour-principles-of-accessibility/ (Last accessed: 03/06/2024)

Moodle. (2024) How does Moodle support accessible learning? Available from: https://moodle.com/functionality-with-moodle/moodle-accessibility/ (Last accessed: 03/06/2024)

Posted in AccessibilityLearning technologyMoodleNottingham Accessibility Practices