Accessibility Statement for School of Clinical Medicine Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

Contents

Using MedEd (Virtual Learning Environment)

MedEd is the School of Clinical Medicine's Virtual Learning Environment and managed and supported by the E-Learning team as part of the Education Division.

We want everyone who uses MedEd to be able to find, read and understand our content. 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 MedEd using just a keyboard.
  • Listen to most of MedEd using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver).

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have any accessibility needs.

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How accessible is MedEd?

We know some parts of MedEd are not fully accessible such as:

  • Video content may have poor-quality or missing captions including live video streams.
  • There are documents (such as PDFs, spreadsheets, Word documents, presentations, etc.) that may not be fully accessible, e.g., to screen reader software or keyboard-only access.
  • You cannot modify the line height or spacing of text.
  • In places, the contrast between colours is not accessible.
  • In some parts of the system, Aria labels and headings are missing.
  • The text will not reflow in a single column when you change the size of the browser window.
  • Some pages of MedEd can only be reached through one path.
  • The archive area of MedEd is not in active use and out of scope for digital accessibility, as is all content that resides in this area.

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What to do if you cannot access parts of MedEd?

If you need course content in an alternative format, such as an accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille, you can do one of the following:

  • For Raven users, create an Alternative Format via the University of Cambridge Disability Resource Centre portal to SensusAccess. It is a free self-service facility to turn inaccessible documents, such as image-only PDF files, JPG pictures and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, plus other content, into more accessible formats. This service is open to the University of Cambridge staff and students only.
  • If you are accessing the system as a non-Raven user, and require further assistance, please contact vle-support@medschl.cam.ac.uk.
  • Email vle-support@medschl.cam.ac.uk or call 01223 760704 Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 17:00.
  • Submit a question or comment in the Help Widget on MedEd pages using the subject option of 'Make an accessibility request'.
  • Visit the E-Learning room on level 4 in the School of Clinical Medicine in person. If you can't view the map on our Clinical School contact us page then call us or email us for directions.

There is an agreed process in place to manage accessibility enquiries. A member of the E-Learning team will contact you and acknowledge your contact and let you know when you can expect a reply.

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Reporting accessibility problems with MedEd

We're always looking to improve the accessibility of MedEd. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we're not meeting accessibility requirements, you can do one of the following:

  • Email vle-support@medschl.cam.ac.uk or call 01223 760704 Monday to Friday 9:00 to 17:00.
  • Submit a question or comment in the Help Widget on MedEd pages using the subject option of 'Make an accessibility request'.
  • Visit the E-Learning room on level 4 in the School of Clinical Medicine in person. If you can't view the map on our Clinical School contact us page then call us or email us for directions.

There is an agreed process in place to manage accessibility enquiries. A member of the E-Learning team will contact you and acknowledge your contact and let you know when you can expect a reply.

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Further support for students with specific needs

If you are a student with specific needs while browsing MedEd, the Student Welfare Team may also be able to assist you with matters related to accessibility and support in your studies. If you would like to contact the Welfare Team, email welfare@medschl.cam.ac.uk or visit the Subdean PA in person to arrange an appointment with the Subdean for Student Welfare. If you can't view the map on our Clinical School contact us page then email vle-support@medschl.cam.ac.uk for directions.

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Technical information about MedEd's accessibility

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

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Non accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons. The WCAG 2.1 success criterion not met by the issue is given for each point.

  • Some text and background combinations do not have enough contrast - especially around navigation in the footer (1.4.3). We are working to update our themes and plugins to correct these issues on an ongoing basis and aim to complete this work by then end of 2019.
  • The site does not display correctly when the browser window height is set to 256px (1.4.10). We are working to update our themes and plugins to correct these issues on an ongoing basis and aim to complete this work by the end of 2019.
  • Some of our documents have diagrams that do not meet the colour contrast ratio of at least 3:1. These diagrams may be difficult to see or missed by people with a visual impairment (1.4.11). The accessibility regulations don't require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they're not essential to providing our services. We are working with content providers to create accessible versions of these documents by September 2020.
  • The contact us/set page as home page buttons cannot be navigated using just keyboard (2.1.1). We are working to update our themes and plugins to correct these issues on an ongoing basis and aim to complete this work by then end of 2019.
  • Some pages and documents do not have meaningful links (2.4.4). The accessibility regulations don't require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they're not essential to providing our services. We are working with content providers to create accessible versions of these documents and web content by September 2020.
  • Some buttons include text without the accessible name (label, alternative text, aria-label, etc.) in the visible text (2.5.3). We are working to update our themes and plugins to correct these issues where they are caused by issues with the theme code. For other incidents of this, we are working with content providers to fix and prevent these issues in the future. We hope to complete this work by September 2020.
  • Some pages of MedEd can only be reached through one path (2.4.5). We are currently reviewing the structure and navigation of the site to provide a better user journey.

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Issues with PDFs and other documents

  • Some of our documents have diagrams that do not have a text alternative. The information in these diagrams is not available to people using a screen reader (1.1.1). The accessibility regulations don't require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they're not essential to providing our services. We are working with content providers to create accessible versions of these documents by September 2020.
  • There are some excel documents and embedded tables that contain merged cells that are not accessible to some screen reader software (1.3.1). We are working with content creators to make accessible versions of the documents by September 2020.
  • Many of our older PDFs and Word documents do not meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be structured so they're accessible to a screen reader. This includes documents that have been archived within MedEd. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion (1.3.1). Documents or PDFs published before 23 September 2018 inactive course are especially unlikely to have been fixed for accessibility issues unless they are essential to providing teaching and learning services. These resources will be updated by September 2020.
  • Some of our documents have diagrams that use colour as the only means of conveying information. The information in these diagrams may not be perceived by users with colour deficiencies (1.4.1). The accessibility regulations don't require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they're not essential to providing our services. We are working with content providers to create accessible versions of these documents by September 2020.
  • Some of our older documents included images of text (1.4.5). The accessibility regulations don't require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they're not essential to providing our services. We are working with content providers to create accessible versions of these documents by September 2020.
  • Some of our documents have diagrams that do not meet the colour contrast ratio of at least 3:1. These diagrams may be difficult to see or missed by people with a visual impairment (1.4.11). We are working with content creators to create accessible versions of these documents by September 2020.
  • Older PDFs, PowerPoint presentations and Word documents uploaded into the system do not meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be marked up so they're accessible to a screen reader, may lack headings, or other navigation aids (4.1.2). We are working with content creators to create accessible versions of these documents by September 2020.

Course creators and individuals uploading content to MedEd are responsible for ensuring the documents have been checked for digital accessibility and taken steps to make them as inclusive as possible.

The E-Learning team provides training and technical support to course creators and individuals in the preparation of webpages and documents.

Course and document creators are encouraged to make use of the Clinical Schools training on creating accessible digital content to help access and improve document quality.

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Issues with images, video and audio

  • Some images do not have a text alternative, so the information in them is not available to people using a screen reader. (1.1.1). We are working with content creators to create accessible versions of these documents by September 2020.
  • We do not provide transcripts or captions on any of our videos (1.2.1, 1.2.2, 1.2.3, 1.2.4 and 1.2.5). The regulations do not require us to publish fully accessible video/audio content until new content is created after September 2020 but we will continue to assess possible solutions.

We have introduced training and support opportunities for MedEd content creators and uploaders to gain an understanding of how to add text alternatives to images. When we publish new content, we will endeavour to ensure our use of images meets the digital accessibility standards and wherever possible text alternatives will be added in refit to images within existing documents and pages.

We are working on methods to analyse the quality of the content, where known and feasible. We are scoping options to mark-up documents when they have been accessibility checked, the level of the check and who completed the check. This work is scheduled as part of the school's digital accessibility roadmap.

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Third-Party content

Our site includes third-party content and functionality.

Depending on our relationship with the third-party, we cannot always guarantee its accessibility.

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Third-party platforms

We often create or use content which is hosted on third-party platforms. This includes:

  • Student evaluations left on Google forms or through event feedback using Slido.
  • Videos that we post on YouTube or Vimeo.
  • ePortfolio forms created using My progress.
  • Resources stored on other Clinical School web solutions, such as OneDrive and Sharepoint.
  • eLearning Resources using third-party eAuthoring packages such as Articulate Storyline or Xerte.

We are responsible for ensuring the content we supply meets accessibility requirements; however, we are not responsible for the accessibility of the platform itself.

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How we tested MedEd

The School of Clinical Medicine E-Learning team, as part of the Education Division, conducted an in-house assessment of MedEd instance in June 2018. The work assessed MedEd against WCAG 2.1 checkpoints (criteria) for A-AA standard. We:

  • Ran a bespoke MedEd report to calculate the number of documents uploaded onto MedEd before or after 23rd September 2018.
  • Completed user testing on a sample of MedEd webpages and documents and noted any accessibility issues.
  • Tested MedEd on a sample of devices and viewed it through sample test browsers.

The instance tested is MedEd home page (Moodle version 3.6.3)

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What we're doing to improve accessibility

We have identified, scheduled and implemented a series of improvements, for example, we have:

  1. Created a bespoke MedEd report to calculate the number of documents uploaded onto MedEd before and after 23rd September 2018.
  2. Developed and completed Clinical School wide presentations for MedEd content creators on requirements, milestones and how the school is going to meet the WCAG criteria.
  3. Distributed an in-scope document list by the uploader to the content creators and worked with individuals to make these documents accessible, delete or archive the documents.
  4. Recruited targeted staff to:
    • Coordinate the Clinical Schools approach to meeting the WCAG criteria.
    • Address the gaps in service found in the initial digital accessibility assessment.
    • Built a sustainable, Long-Term plan and schedule works for MedEd to meet the WCAG criteria.
  5. Provided periodic presentations to uploaders and course creators on how to create accessible documents and webpages.
  6. Ran regular digital accessibility drop-in sessions and training sessions for users of MedEd to support these individuals to change in retrospect, exciting documents and pages identified to be as inclusive as possible with the resources available.
  7. Introduced one-to-one digital accessibility support meetings and training sessions for course creators and MedEd uploaders.
  8. Created a Digital Accessibly Project definition and defined action plan for phase one of the project (before September 2018 deadline) and scoped phase two (after September 23rd, 2019).
  9. Looked into the cost and service implications of procuring a services such as Blackboard Ally.
  10. Consulted internally within the Clinical School and within other areas of the University on Moodle wide scheduled developments and changes that might impact MedEd in terms of digital accessibility.
  11. Updated various parts of our theme and plugin code to fix several accessibility issues.
  12. Future developments towards improving accessibility include: Working with all third-party providers to improve accessibility on their platforms where possible.
  13. Evaluation of embedding SensusAccess into MedEd, which can supply alternative formats directly.
  14. Creating methods within MedEd that would require uploaders to verify that the content they are uploading has been checked for Accessibility.
  15. Working with course content creators to ensure continued understanding and improvements towards the inclusivity of all documents.
  16. Work with course content creators to work through older content that still exists in active MedEd courses.
  17. Ongoing review and update of theme and plugin code to assess, fix or mitigate accessibility issues.

Additionally, we are:

  • Evaluating embedding SensusAccess into Moodle, which can supply alternative formats.

A log of unresolved issues is maintained and periodically reviewed by the E-Learning team.

At regular intervals, we monitor improvements to core code, the CSS theme, and third-party plugins released by developers and Moodle.org, such as during minor points and major system upgrades.

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Statement preparation date

This statement was prepared on 19th September 2019. It was last updated on 24th September 2019

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