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Blackboard is invested in the usability and accessibility of all our products and services. In keeping with our strong tradition of leadership around accessibility, our products are generally designed and developed with internationally recognized Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), as well as Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, in mind.  

Doesn't seem familiar? Go to Accessibility for Blackboard Original.


Accessibility standard

Blackboard strives to meet the globally recognized WCAG 2.1 Level AA success criteria and conducts regular third-party accessibility testing of its products to assess conformance with industry standards. 

Conformance for Learn Ultra Experience is documented in the Accessibility Conformance Report (ACR).

Watch a video about 'Accessibility Overview in Blackboard Learn'

The following narrated video provides a visual and auditory representation of some of the information included on this page. For a detailed description of what is portrayed in the video, open the video on YouTube, navigate to More actions, and select Open transcript.

Video and transcript on Youtube: Accessibility Overview in Blackboard Learn


Semantic structure and navigation 

Pages in Learn Ultra follow a standard visual layout to ensure familiarity as users navigate through the platform.  The application structured logically by headings and landmarks. This gives users the ability to quickly understand the structure of any page in the application and easily move to the appropriate section of the page or content item. 

Structure by headings 

A single H1 identifies the current page. In Blackboard Learn, the course name — such as "Biology 101" — is always the H1.

H2 headings are used to delineate major sections of a page. For example, the course page has three H2 headings: one for the Course Faculty, one for the Details & Actions menu, and one for the Course Content. 

Structure by landmarks 

Learn Ultra has defined sections on each page using HTML and ARIA landmarks that allow users of assistive technologies to navigate the page more efficiently. With landmarks, users can quickly understand the structure of any page in the application, and easily move to the appropriate section of the page. 

Landmarks in Learn Ultra include: 

  • banner 
  • complementary 
  • content info 
  • form 
  • main 
  • navigation 
  • search 
  • section 
Blackboard Ultra structure by landmarks

Keyboard navigation 

Blackboard Learn's product team works continuously to implement operable features using the industry standard keyboard interactions. We consider the requirements for each component, enabling users to perceive and operate the functionality correctly. 

Keyboard navigation patterns differ between browsers (Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Safari, Chrome), but the interactions within any particular browser are common and consistent.  

Skip to main content 

Across the platform, Ultra includes a skip link as a mechanism to bypass blocks of content that are repeated on multiple pages — such as the header or course navigation — allowing users to jump directly to the main content area. This feature enables keyboard-only and screen reader users to avoid repeated content and to navigate faster through the page.  

Users can tab until the "Skip to main content" link receives the keyboard focus or get a links list with the screen reader and select it from the list. 

Ultra skip navigation link

Focus order 

Users can navigate the application sequentially using the keyboard. Interactive elements receive focus in the order content is visually arranged, preserving meaning and operability. 

Drag and drop functionalities  

Ultra provides drag-and-drop functionality to reorder items on the course content outline and to upload an image from the user’s device. This functionality is perceivable and operable using the keyboard or screen readers. 

On the Course Content page, you can use your keyboard to: 

  • Move an item to a new position in the course outline. 
  • Move an item into an expanded folder or learning module. 
  • Move a folder into another expanded folder or learning module.  

Keyboard shortcuts 

  • Tab to an item's reorder button 
  • Press Enter to activate move mode. 
  • Use the up and down arrows keys to choose a location. 
  • Use the right and left arrows keys to expand or collapse a folder or learning module.  
  • Press Enter to drop the item in the new location. 
Navigating with keyboard shortcuts

Content editor 

The content editor in Learn Ultra provides accessible controls identified with labels, as well as keyboard shortcuts for formatting content created in it. The editor properly cleans up unnecessary HTML code that may be included when content is copied from Microsoft Office documents. This clean HTML ensures that screen reader users can fully consume any content created or copied into the editor. 

Keyboard shortcuts 

  • To use your keyboard to jump to the content editor toolbar, press ALT + F10. On a Mac, press Fn + ALT + F10.  
  • Use the right and left arrow keys to move through options.
  • Use the Down arrow or spacebar to open a submenu.
  • Press the Enter key to select an option. 
  • Press the ESC key to close the submenu.
Keyboard shortcuts for Ultra content editor
Keyboard shortcuts activated in Ultra content editor

Visual presentation and multimedia content 

  • The visual presentation of text, graphic elements, and user interface components and states offer appropriate color contrast. 
  • Users are able to define alternative text for images uploaded through the course content, course banner, or content editor. 
  • Buttons in the Ultra interface have an accessible name or label allowing assistive technology users to perceive the purpose of the element. 

Assistive technology compatibility 

For the best experience with screen readers, we recommend these combinations: 

Screen reader specifications
Screen readerOperating SystemBrowser
JAWS Windows Google Chrome 
NVDA Windows Firefox / Google Chrome 
VOICEOVER MAC OS Firefox / Google Chrome 

Basic Keyboard Shortcuts JAWS, NVDA and VOICEOVER provides commands for navigating web pages according to the type of the screen reader.


Feedback 

We welcome your feedback on the accessibility of our products and encourage you to contact us with any questions or concerns at [email protected]. Please note that this email address is solely used to respond to questions about the use of assistive technologies with Anthology's products.