Accessibility in Moodle

The Moodle interface is mostly accessible. It is the responsibility of instructors to check the content they create in Moodle or upload to Moodle for accessibility.


Add a description to the uploaded image in the Atto text editor.When you insert an image in the Atto text editor, Moodle will prompt you to add ALT text to the image, where you can describe the image. This description will be read by a screen reader for students with visual impairments.   Complex images and images including in-depth information require longer text explanations in the text around them. If you embed text in an image, you will need to provide that same content elsewhere, either in the ALT text or in a description of the image.

  1. Click on the Insert or Edit image icon in the Atto text editor toolbar. 
  2. Upload the image you want to insert. 
  3. Enter a description of the image and change any other options you’d like.
  4. Click Save image.   

If the image is purely decorative, such as an icon or header image that provides no content, you can click Description Not Necessary.  Screen readers will skip over this image.

If you drag your image into the Atto text editor or directly onto your course page, you will need to edit it to add ALT text.  In the text editor, Moodle leaves the ALT text completely empty.  On the course page, Moodle adds the name of the file to the ALT text.


Add a caption and header information to a table in the Atto text editor.Make sure that you use tables for simple tabular data.  Do not use tables for layout (e.g., to put a picture next to text).  Do not merge cells or nest tables within tables.  A table should have a caption that describes it, as well as a header column, row, or both.

  1. Choose the Create Table icon in the Atto text editor. 
  2. Type the caption and select where you would like the caption to appear (top or bottom). 
  3. Choose whether the table headers are in the columns, the rows, or both columns and rows. 
  4. Make any other changes you want to the table and click Create table.


Headings should be used hierarchically throughout the page.  Moodle uses H1, H2, and H3 headers by default, so you should start with Heading (medium) and then nest the Heading (small) as needed.

To assign heading levels in Moodle, select your heading text and click the Paragraph Styles icon in the Atto text editor.  Choose the appropriate heading level.   


Be sure to use descriptive text for links.  Do not use Click Here or enter the entire URL as the link as that is what the screen reader will read to the student.


Use the Atto equation editor to create accessible equations.

Use the built-in Atto Equation Editor to construct equations in Moodle.  Equations constructed this way are fully accessible.

4 Questions to ask before File Upload 

  1. Am I uploading scanned material into my course? 
    1. All scanned material should be converted into a Portable Document Form (PDF) and tagged within Adobe before being uploaded into a course. This will allow anyone using assistive technology to perceive your resource. 
  2. Am I uploading a video or podcast? 
    1. Videos and podcasts should be properly captioned. Try watching the first 3 minutes of the video with the captions enabled. If captions are not available or incorrect, consider a different resource. Transcripts can accompany a video to improve the perceivability and provide a set of notes for the students. Whenever possible, include the transcript file as well. For example, podcast producers often include the transcript file on the webpage of their sound file. 
  3. Am I uploading a map, diagram, graph, or any other such complex image? 
    1. Complex images require that a long description (150 characters or over) be included with the image. A long description includes details from the image so that learners who cannot perceive the image visually may hear the description audibly. Long descriptions can be placed just below the image and can also be linked onto the document via meaningful hyperlink. 
  4. Am I uploading an activity hosted via a website?
    1. Activities are excellent ways to create interaction with course content. However, they can be a major stumbling block if they and their host site are not developed properly. Try to tab through the site and the activity using the tab key. If you can complete the activity without issue, it is okay to upload. If not, you may want to consider a different activity or have an alternative activity prepared in the event that learners cannot access the site

Checking Accessibility in Moodle

Accessibility features in the Atto toolbar including the accessibility checker and the screen reader helper.

The Atto text editor has two built-in accessibility tools.

The Accessibility Checker

The Accessibility Checker button (the circular accessibility symbol on the expanded toolbar) will automatically check the content for common errors such as:

  • Images with missing or empty alt text
  • Contrast between font and background
  • Long blocks of text without headings
  • Ordered/unordered lists used appropriatly (rather than typing numbers or bullets)
  • Tables – no captions, merged cells, no row/column headers.

You should use the Accessibility Checker once you've created your content in the text editor and then make changes as suggested to ensure that your content is accessible.

The Screen Reader Helper

The Screen Reader Helper button (next to the Accessibility Checker on the toolbar) will summarize the text styles, images, and links that are used in the text box.  

Accommodations in Moodle Assignments and Quizzes

Moodle makes it easy to provide accommodations in assignments and quizzes for students who need them.  You can set an accommodation for a single student or a group of students (be sure to create the group before trying to use the group overrides function).  The User (or Group) Overrides function allows you to:

  • Extend the time limit for a quiz or assignment
  • Change the dates and time a quiz or assignment is available
  • Add more attempts for a quiz
  • Add a password to the quiz
  • Set a time limit for the quiz

You need to set the User Overrides for each assignment and quiz where the accommodation will be needed.

  Select user overrides from the gear icon drop down menu.

  1. From the Course page, click on the Assignment or Quiz you want to add overrides for. 
  2. Click the Gear Icon and choose User overrides from the drop down menu. 
  3. Click Add user override.
  4. Search for the student or choose them from the drop down menu.  
  5. Define the override restrictions as needed:

For assignments:

  • Change Allow Submissions from date and time, Due date and time, and Cut-off date and time as necessary.
  • Click Save (or Save and enter another override if you need to add overrides for additional students).

For quizzes:

  • Add a password for the student if necessary.
  • Change Open the quiz and Close the quiz dates and times.
  • Change the time limit.
  • Change the Attempts allowed.
  • Click Save (or Save and enter another override if you need to add overrides for additional students).


Article ID: 118336
Wed 10/14/20 2:31 PM
Tue 12/5/23 10:49 AM
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