In 2018, the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) marked its 150th anniversary by conducting extensive research into the social exclusion of blind people and their portrayal in the media. A summary of results from their website is attached below. The RNIB found that the greatest barrier facing the blind in the twenty-first century was
the lack of knowledge and understanding of sight loss and outdated attitudes of the people around them.
These outdated attitudes and the media depictions that reinforce them do far more than cause annoyance to blind people. They actively hinder the blind from using their talents, studying, gaining qualifications, and earning a living. Employers often have inaccurate ideas about the range and type of tasks blind people will be able to perform in the workplace. Meanwhile, universities, colleges, and other educational institutions are poorly informed about what they need to do to make their courses accessible to blind people and about the methods blind people can use to study. Both these factors lead to social and professional exclusion.
Moodle is a learning management system (LMS) which has been an integral part of many United Kingdom universities for over a decade and is increasingly used in workplaces. Moodle's accessibility guidelines state that the system is designed "to be fully accessible and usable for all users regardless of ability." Nonetheless, research conducted at the University Carlos III de Madrid (linked below) indicates that blind and visually impaired people face various significant issues when attempting to use Moodle. These include, crucially, the inability of those using screen readers to access the majority of Moodle's functions.
This research was conducted in 2011, but there is no indication that Moodle has significantly changed the way in which blind people can access the system since that time. Difficulties in using Moodle, therefore, add to the problems the visually impaired continue to face both in education and at work. Those who develop and maintain Moodle as a system are either misinformed about the way in which visually impaired people work or have not made it a priority to allow them equal access.