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Accessibility Improvements

Last Modified
13:24, 21 Aug 2013

The linked resources are available in English only.

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We believe education should be accessible to all users. Our product team is devoted to removing any barriers that may inhibit learning using the Blackboard Learn platform, regardless of age, ability or situation. Our platform is standards conformant and easy to use, which means it works with any assistive technologies that our users prefer.

Blackboard measures and evaluates accessibility levels using two sets of standards: Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act issued from the United States federal government and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) issued by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). A third party conducts audits of our software releases to ensure the accessibility of the products. For Blackboard Learn 9.1's conformance with the accessibility standards under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act using the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template® (VPAT®) tool, see the VPAT for Blackboard Learn Release 9.1. For Blackboard Learn 9.1 SP11 conformance statement for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, Level AA see Learn Accessibility Conformance Statement.

To learn more about Blackboard’s commitment to accessibility, see http://www.blackboard.com/accessibility.

Quick Links

Service Pack 12 introduces an innovation that improves Learn’s navigation experience for all users, but especially sighted keyboard-only users, through page header and landmark aggregation.

The Quick Links tool allows a user to quickly locate any heading or section within any page in the Blackboard Learn application and jump directly to it. This type of navigation efficiency for sighted keyboard only users is not available in any other application anywhere in the industry.

Located in the top left, the Quick Links icon opens a pop-up window that displays the landmark and navigation links on the page. Any available keyboard shortcuts for the page are also displayed.

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To learn more see Quick Links.

Test Availability Exceptions

We provided instructors the ability to provide availability “exceptions” to tests. Instructors may now select different availability rules for different users, or groups of users - for example, certain students with disabilities who might need more time to complete a test.

Test availability exceptions is a set of new settings on the Test Options page, available only after the test is added to a content area. Select one or more groups of students and make a number of exceptions to the already established availability settings. Exceptions can be used to provide an accommodation to a disabled student, or provide accommodations for technology and language differences. Exceptions can be created for:

  • Number of attempts
  • Timer
  • Availability
  • Force completion

Content Editor Math Formulas

WIRIS provides the Math formula editing capabilities of the Content Editor introduced in SP10. In SP10 the WIRIS plugin came in the form of a Java Applet. This meant that math editing was not available to all platforms as Java virtual machine capabilities were required on the target platform. SP12 brings a new WIRIS editor that is based on JavaScript. This removes dependence on Java and as a result enables full math-editing capabilities on platforms that cannot run Java in browsers such as iOS. This extends the functionality of the WIRIS math editor to all platforms capable of running a JavaScript enabled browser.

The move from the non-accessible applet-based editor to a JavaScript-based editor improves accessibility.

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