(Inactive) Blackboard Documentation Documentation


This group is no longer active.

Blackboard accessibility resources

The Blackboard Accessibility Interest Group has been working with Blackboard and previously with WebCT since 2004 on improving the accessibility of their products. While for the first 3 years the effort was mainly focused on fixing selected accessibility issues on existing and already in-use products, since 2008 the focus shifted to address accessibility at the newly added features or redesigning existing modules. This shift of focus has been done for the following reasons:

  1. The average time lag between a new product is officially released until it is deployed by higher education is 12-18 month. This would mean that by the time an accessibility issues is fixed in an existing product, the institutions moved to the next release which could be very different from the old ones possibly with different issues.
  2. We strongly believe that the best time to address accessibility issues is when you are designing an application. Any accessibility fixes after it is released would be either wishy-washy or not complete.

So considering the limited resources we have we decided to focus only on future products. Since 2008 Blackboard has been taking accessibility more seriously and has dedicated knowledgeable team to ensure that new features and newly redesigned components are designed with accessibility in mind. BB-Design group, which is a sub-group of Blackboard Accessibility Interest Group meets regularly (currently on weekly basis) to discuss accessibility of future components or modules scheduled for redesign. The group performs also accessibility testing while those components are being developed.
If you are interested to join this group and contribute to the accessibility of Blackboard, visit Blackboard Design home page.

Universal Design and Accessibility for Online Courses

This is a course that has been designed by Blackboard with the help of Blackboard Documentation, a sub-group of Blackboard Accessibility Interest Group.

This course is a self-paced and self-directed course that you can install on your local blackboard server and/or study it online at Blackboard Course Sites.


Screen Reader Tutorials

Blackboard has also developed a tutorial on how to use Blackboard interface with screen reader programs. These tutorials help screen reader users to know in advance what accessibility features are present so they can utilize them.