Information Services

Accessibility Statement

Accessibility statement for Anthology Learn's use at the University.

This is the Learn service accessibility statement in line with Public Sector Body (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Learn is a centrally supported Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) at the University of Edinburgh.  It is based on the commercial software application product Learn, provided by Anthology.

We want as many staff and students as possible to be able to use this service. You should be able to:

  • Use browser settings can be used to adjust font size to 200% (although most of the site should allow font size to be adjusted to 400% without issue).
  • Navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • Listen to most of the website using a screen reader
  • Use browser settings to change font and background colours to allow high contrast.

The service is primarily used to share content between staff and students which means documents and other content can be uploaded which isn’t accessible.  This means it is important for us to ensure that helpful guidance and training is available to users who create content to minimise the risk of this.

We are currently in an interim period where we are partially using Learn Original and partially upgraded to Learn Ultra. Full roll out of Learn Ultra will start for academic year 2023/24 but courses created pre May 2023 will remain in Learn Original.

Anthology provide detailed information about the Learn software application and its accessibility along with a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) on their website.

We have completed our own accessibility checking of the software application, and also on our own customisations, and a sample of the content uploaded to the application. 


Customising the website

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

AbilityNet - My computer my way

With a few simple steps you can customise the appearance of the application to make it easier to read and navigate.

Additional information on how to customise our website appearance

If you are a member of University staff or a student, you can use the free SensusAccess accessible document conversion service:

Information on SensusAccess

Courses from the 23/24 academic year will also have Ally available within them, allowing users to download alternative formats of file and helping course instructors check the accessibility of the content they upload to Learn.

Information on Ally

How accessible this service is

This statement refers to core Learn functionality. Other software that is integrated with Learn (such as Turnitin) will have separate accessibility statements.

We know that some parts of the Learn application are not fully accessible, such as:

  • In a small number of areas in Learn, increasing magnification of text beyond 200% gives some layout issues. There is use of italics, continuous capitals and sans-serif fonts in some parts of the application
  • In some parts of the application, keyboard navigation is not logical and clear.
  • The system uses small animations and movements which cannot be stopped or paused by the end user
  • The application uses pop-up windows in some areas.
  • Some parts of the applications don’t use tool tips
  • Colour contrasts may not always meet recommended WCAG guidance
  • An Accessibility Statement cannot be added directly to the main navigation or the footer in the system and currently sits on our ‘Help and Support’ webpages.

The service is used to share content between staff and students which means that staff (and sometimes students) can inadvertently make changes to the system which make it less accessible.  They may also upload documents and other content which isn’t accessible such as media without captions or images without alternative text. 

Feedback and contact information

If you need information or content on this service in a different format, like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille, please contact the IS Helpline:

We will acknowledge your request immediately, and respond within 5 working days.


Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact us via:

We will acknowledge your request immediately, and respond within 5 working days.

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

If you need to speak to us about Learn accessibility please email, call or visit us:

Contacting us by phone using British Sign Language

British Sign Language Scotland runs a service for British Sign Language users and all of Scotland’s public bodies using video relay. This enables sign language users to contact public bodies and vice versa. The service operates from 8am to 12 midnight, 7 days a week. 


Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (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 service’s accessibility

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

This application is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed in the product VPAT and the list below.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Anthology Learn Application

Anthology provide detailed information about the Learn application and its accessibility including a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template. You can see this detailed accessibility information on the Anthology website.


We are currently in an interim period where we are partially using Learn Original and partially upgraded to Learn Ultra. Full roll out of Learn Ultra will start for academic year 2023/24 but courses created pre May 2023 will remain in Learn Original.

From our own local testing, we found the following issues where the Learn application fails to meet the following WCAG 2.1 AA Success Criteria:

Many of these issues have been raised with the supplier (where appropriate) and we will regularly check in on the progress of fixing the issues.  Where the issues are content related, we are providing training for staff on how to create accessible teaching materials and providing tools to make this easier. Only the content related issues are within our control, alternative text for images and captions for video/audio content.  We are working with staff across the University to provide training on creating accessible teaching content.

Disproportionate Burden

We are not currently claiming that any accessibility problems would be a disproportionate burden to fix. 

Content that is not within the scope of the Regulations

At this time, we are not claiming that anything is outwith the scope of the regulations.


What we are doing to improve accessibility 

We will continue to work with the supplier to address the accessibility issues highlighted and deliver a solution or suitable workaround. 

We have developed training and guidance courses for staff which covers building courses that are accessible to all students and universal design and we are continuing to work through our documentation and guidance to make it more accessible (including media subtitling guidance for staff).  We have also completed an accessibility audit on content in the VLE in the past year which will allow us to focus our staff development on the areas most needed. 

The University now has a site license for SensusAccess which allows all staff and students to create accessible versions of content.  will be rolling out Learn Ultra Course View to all new courses in summer 2023 and will provide an updated Accessibility Statement at that point.  We have recently made Anthology Ally available across the platform, which is a helpful accessibility tool integrated into Learn, providing guidance for staff creating and uploading content and allowing students to download alternative versions.  We also have a new captioning service (for recordings) which will be rolling out during the summer months, providing human corrected captions for prioritised media.

We will continue to monitor system accessibility and will carry out further accessibility testing as these issues are resolved. Due to the complex nature of the information displayed it may not be possible to resolve all accessibility issues. If this is the case, we will ensure reasonable adjustments are in place to make sure no user is disadvantaged. We plan to have resolved the majority of accessibility issues by September 2024 at the latest.


Preparation of this Accessibility Statement

This statement was originally prepared on 3rd March 2020. It was last reviewed in May 2023. The website was last tested in October 2022.  The testing was carried out by staff at the University of Edinburgh.

Testing was conducted using using Mozilla Firefox (91.7.1esr), Microsoft Edge (99.0.1150.55), Google Chrome (99.0.4844.84), browsers for comparative purposes.

Recent world-wide usage levels survey for different screen readers and browsers shows that Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge are increasing in popularity and Google Chrome is now the favoured browser for screen readers:

WebAIM: Screen Reader User Survey

The aforementioned three browsers have been used in certain questions for reasons of breadth and variety.

We tested for:

  • Spell check functionality;
  • Scaling using different resolutions and reflow;
  • Options to customise the interface (magnification, font, background colour, etc);
  • Keyboard navigation and keyboard traps;
  • Data validation;
  • Warning of links opening in a new tab or window;
  • Information conveyed in colour or sound only;
  • Flashing, moving or scrolling text;
  • Operability if JavaScript is disabled;
  • Use with screen reading software (for example, JAWS);
  • Assistive software (TextHelp Read and Write, Windows Magnifier, ZoomText, Dragon NaturallySpeaking, TalkBack and VoiceOver);
  • Tooltips and text alternatives for any non-text content;
  • Time limits;
  • Compatibility with mobile accessibility functionality (Android and iOS).