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Accessibility Improvements

Last Modified
16:49, 15 Aug 2013

Blackboard is committed to ensuring that the platform is usable and accessible. The code and user interface design techniques are continually audited to ensure that the application is usable by everyone, to the greatest extent possible, regardless of age, ability, or situation.

Quick Links

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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.

Image illustrating associated text

To learn more see Quick Links.

Test Availability Exceptions

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 accomodation to a disabled student, or provide accomodations for technology and language differences. Exceptions can be created for:

  • Number of attempts
  • Timer
  • Availability
  • Force completion

To learn more see Using the Test and Survey Canvas, and Test and Survey Options.

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, enabling full math-editing capabilities on platforms that cannot run java in browsers including iOS. The functionality of the WIRIS math editor is not extended 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.

To learn more see Using the Content Editor.

Accessibility Standards

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. (These resources are available in English only.)

Interactive Tools

We have improved the usability of all of our interactive tools (discussion boards, wikis, blogs and journals). Service Pack 12 introduces usability improvements for everyone, especially those customers that use assistive
technology. The new experience of reading a thread is simple to consume with screen reader technology.
We also removed clutter on the page, so screen reader and keyboard-only users have less to sift through as they navigate the interface.

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