Mahara accessibility statement

This accessibility statement applies to the Mahara e-portfolio tool which is a 3rd party vendor product which is utilised within the University of Glasgow.

Using this website

The Mahara Service is run by the University of Glasgow, but has been developed by a 3rd part software vendor. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, the website has:

  • Keyboard-accessible controls and elements
    • People who use only the keyboard can now access the dropdown menus in the main navigation.
    • Mahara have also worked on the keyboard accessibility of the controls for creating pages.
  • Descriptive alt text for images: Mahara have provided alt text for images such as those used in pages for viewing content.
  • Properly labelled graphical links and controls
    • Graphical links such as the one for editing the user's profile picture now have alt text. This lets screen reader users know the purpose of the graphical links.
    • Buttons and checkboxes are now labelled. This is especially helpful in complex forms.
  • Use of focus management: In certain pages, focus is moved to the next logical section after the user has activated a specific button or link. This enables users of assistive technology to quickly determine their location in the page and their next step.
  • Text descriptions for screen reader users: The tabs such as the ones in the Profile page now have a textual indicator informing screen reader users about the currently selected tab.

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible this website is

Mahara has a good level of accessibility when it comes to viewing and creating content. Most of the administration pages include the accessibility improvements mentioned above, however, as this is the most complex part of Mahara, there are still some pages that may have issues. Mahara are continuing to work on the administration functions in relation to accessibility and aims to address these issues in future versions.

For further information on specific issues which are under investigation by the vendor, please refer to

If you experience any problems using the administration features, or other features, please report these using the guidance provided in the section ‘Reporting accessibility problems with this website’ below and this can be shared with the vendor to help further improve the service.

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille:

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in 5 days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

If you find any problems that aren’t listed on this page or think we’re not meeting the requirements of the accessibility regulations, contact:

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in 5 days.

Enforcement procedure

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).

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

The University of Glasgow is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Compliance status

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

Non-accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Mahara has advised they have tested the software against all three WCAG 2.1 levels.  However, it is recognised that there are some features/functionality which require further work, in particular around the more complex administration pages. The University will continue to work closely with Mahara to help improve accessibility for this service.

Issues with images, video and audio 

Live video streams which you may access via links in Moodle don’t have captions.  This does not meet WCAG 1.2.4. We don’t plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations. 

Pre-recorded video will have autogenerated transcripts but much of this will remain uncorrected, This Does not meet  WCAG 1.2.2. The University of Glasgow is working to improve this situation and is actively exploring technologies and processes to meet the requirements

Some images may not have alt text. This does not meet WCAG 1.1.1. We will take steps to make sure lecturers are aware of the requirement for images to have alternative text. This does not apply where images are purely decorative and do not add anything to the content of the page.

British Sign Language

BSL users can contact us via contactSCOTLAND-BSL, the online British Sign Language interpreting video relay service.

Find out more about BSL assistance: contactSCOTLAND

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

There may be older user-generated PDF and Word documents that have been published as resources onto Mahara by content owners and may not meet accessibility standards - for example, they may not be structured so they are accessible to a screen reader.  The accessibility regulations don’t require fix’s PDF or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services. For resources that are being shared post 23 September 2020, ongoing advice and guidance will be provided to content owners to ensure any materials shared meet the accessibility regulations.

There may be pre-recorded audio and video content created by content owners and published before 23 September 2020 which may not be accompanied with a text alternative, captions, audio description or sign language interpretation. The accessibility regulations don’t require fix’s to such content. It will be the decision of content owners to decide if older content should be re-created with text alternative, captions, audio description, or sign language interpretation to content pre-dating 23 September 2020.  For resources that are being shared post 23 September 2020, ongoing advice and guidance will be provided to content owners to ensure any materials shared meet the accessibility regulations.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are continually working to improve accessibility and will be liaising with Mahara to ensure future versions are fully compliant with the Digital Accessibility Regulations 2018. If you have any feedback in relation to accessibility of this service, please use the contact details provided above in the section titled 'Feedback and Contact Information'.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 15th September 2020. It was last updated on 31st August 2021.

This website was last tested by the vendor as part of their release cycle and relevant to the current version of Mahara utilised within the University of Glasgow (19.04). Mahara have advised they have tested the software against all three WCAG 2.1 levels.

Only testing of the core product is conducted by the vendor. It remains the responsibility of users of the service to ensure the content they upload (i.e. the user-generated content) is accessible.