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How do I access accessibility feedback on Moodle?

If you have editing permission on a Moodle course (as a Module leader or co-teacher), you have more options to view accessibility scores and reports using Accessible Formats Ally. There are ‘gauges’ icons that appear next to resources that link to feedback resources and a full report available in the Contextual navigation of a course. These will help you to make any changes necessary to meet the accessibility regulations (a legal requirement).

For more information or individual support, please contact: digitalservices@brookes.ac.uk.

How do I use ‘gauges’ icons?


These icons, in the shape of a fuel gauge, show you at a glance whether a file or other resource is accessible. These gauges also appear next to any images you include on the course. An accessible resource will have a green ‘full’ gauge and a resource that needs more work will be either orange or red and show as less ‘full’.

Blackboard, the provider of Alternative Formats Ally, has further guidance on accessibility scores, an except is included below.

Low Gauge reading in red.

Low (0-33%): Needs help! There are severe accessibility issues.

Medium gauge reading in gold

Medium (34-66%): A little better. The file is somewhat accessibile and needs improvement.

High gauge reading in green.

High (67-99%): Almost there. The file is accessibile but more improvements are possible.

Perfect score gauge reading in green.

Perfect (100%): Perfect! Ally didn’t identify any accessibility issues but further improvements may still be possible.

What happens when I click on the ‘gauges’ icons?

Clicking on this icon will open a side panel that includes feedback which explains the score, gives guidance on how to increase your score, and if possible will allow you to apply a fix directly from the panel.

These two panels will show the accessibility gauge, an explanation of the score, a copy of the original document to follow along with, links to suggestions for how to apply a fix, and a space to edit it directly on the Ally Panel.
Figure 1. When you click on an Ally ‘gauge’ Accessibility Feedback can be viewed and some fixes can be applied.


Pro Tip: If there are multiple errors in a single file then you will see ‘All Issues’ in the top box next to the full score. Clicking on the words ‘All Issues’ will pull up an ordered list of the issues in the file for you to view individually.

What kind of ‘fixes’ and suggestions are included with the feedback?

Alternative Formats Ally will identify and offer feedback on a number of key common errors. The Feedback Panel includes a preview of the document (if possible) and highlights any errors, such as highlighting images that are missing alternative text.

Sample Instructor Feedback Panel showing several images highlighted within the preview. A 27% accessibility score and and All Issues button in the top right hand box and a description of the errors including the words 'This document contains images that are missing a description' There are two buttons beneath labelled 'What this means' and 'How to add descriptions'. There is an upload space below.
Figure 3. Instructor Feedback Panel

The following fixes are some of the most common you’ll see in the feedback panel:

  • Images without alternative text (i.e. a description of the image).
  • Scanned PDFs that cannot be read by a screen reader.
  • Text that has insufficient contrast (i.e. does not meet minimum requirements for accessible colour contrast. You can check the contrast using the WebAIM contrast checker).
  • Tables that do not have header rows.

Pro Tip

While some of these fixes can be applied directly from the Feedback Panel (such as adding alternative text to image files uploaded to Moodle), some fixes need to be applied directly to the file. For example, in order to apply a fix to a PowerPoint presentation, you must first download the presentation and apply accessibility fixes in PowerPoint before the new file can be uploaded using the Feedback Panel.

Updated on July 28, 2023

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