Join a Collaborate session with assistive technologies

Join a Session

  1. Open the session link from the meeting coordinator. 
  2. Verify that that the Blackboard Collaborate page is open. The name of the meeting is in a heading that starts with the word Joining.

    If you are on a laptop that can be used as a tablet, you'll be asked how you want to join the session. Spacebar or select Join from a browser button to continue. 

  3. Go to the Type your name to join the session as a guest field and enter your name.
  4. Press Enter key or use the Join Session button to join the meeting
  5. Verify that the meeting page is available. The name of the page matches the name of the meeting on the Blackboard Collaborate page.

Navigate Session Menu with Assistive Technologies

Session menu

  1. On the main page, go to the Open Session Menu button.
  2. Spacebar or select Open Session Menu button to open the Session Menu dialog.
  3. Go the Session Menu dialog, the following features become available:
    • Heading with the name of the Collaborate meeting
    • List containing:
      • Start recording button (moderator role only) button that generates a Session being recorded or Recording has stopped alert
      • Use your phone for audio button that toggles to display a text description with the session phone number and PIN After you have selected to use your phone you won't be able to return to using the computer’s audio controls. This is a bug all users are experiencing.
      • Report an issue button that opens Report an Issue on the My Settings tab in the Collaborate panel
      • Tell me about Collaborate pop up button that opens a menu with Introduction to Collaborate and Learn about private chat options
      • Blackboard Collaborate Help link that opens the Collaborate Ultra Help for your role in a new browser tab
      • Privacy Policy link that opens the Blackboard Privacy Statement in a new browser tab
      • Leave Session button in the footer that opens a dialog for providing feedback or allows you to continue to leave the session

Tell me about Collaborate – Introduction to Collaborate

  1. From the Tell me about Collaborate pop-up, go to the Introduction to Collaborate button.
  2. Spacebar or select Introduction to Collaborate button to open first of three dialog windows.
    1. Dialog 1 text: From the Session menu you can record a session, use your phone for audio, find help, and leave the session. You can also access this tutorial later.
    2. Dialog 2 text: Find chat, attendees, sharing options and settings in the Collaborate panel.
    3. Dialog 3 text: Turn on your audio and video, set your status or raise your hand using the Control panel.
  3. Go to and Spacebar or select Next button to open the next dialog window.
  4. Go to and Spacebar or select Previous button to go to the previous dialog window.
  5. Go to and Spacebar or select Close button to close the Session Menu panel.
  6. In the last dialog window, go to the Start audio and video setup button to setup your audio and video.

    Each browser has a different process for accessing the microphone and video on your computer.

Tell me about Collaborate – Learn about private chat

  1. From the Tell me about Collaborate pop-up, go to the Learn about private chat button.
  2. Spacebar or select Learn about private chat button to open first of four dialog windows.
    1. Dialog 1 text: Start messaging other attendees by accessing chat in the Collaborate panel.
    2. Dialog 2 text: Use the "Everyone" channel to send messages to all attendees in the session.
    3. Dialog 3 text: Find someone to chat with using the search field on the chat panel.
    4. Dialog 4 text: You can create a private chat with an individual attendee by accessing the attendee controls menu.
  3. Go to and Spacebar or select Next button to open the next dialog window.
  4. Go to and Spacebar or select Previous button to go to the previous dialog window.
  5. Go to and Spacebar or select Close button to close the Session Menu panel.

Leave Session

  1. Spacebar or select Leave Session button in the Session Menu dialog to open the Leave Session dialog.
  2. When the Leave Session dialog opens, focus is placed in the Oops, take me Back! button. Spacebar or select Oops, take me Back! button goes back to the main page of the Collaborate meeting.
  3. Navigate the page. There is a heading to a survey that asks How was the audio and video during your session?
  4. To skip the survey, go to the Skip link.
  5. To respond to the survey, select one of the following radio buttons with the arrow keys or select Poor, Fair, Good, Very Good, or Excellent.
    • Poor, Fair, or Good opens a list of additional questions under the heading What types of issues did you have?
    • Very Good or Excellent automatically enables the Submit and Exit button. Spacebar or select Submit and Exit button triggers a du-dunk sound alert and the heading “You’ve left the session and can close your browser window.” to display, notifying that you have successfully left the session

Leave Session – What types of issues did you have?

  1. After selecting the Poor, Fair, or Good radio button, go to the heading What types of issues did you have?
  2. Go to either the heading I had audio problems or the heading I had video problems.
  3. Under the I had audio problems, go to the list and use Spacebar or select select one or all of the following checkboxes:
    • I couldn’t hear others
    • Others couldn’t hear me
  4. Under the I had a video problems, go to the list and use Spacebar or select to select one or all of the following checkboxes:
    • I couldn’t see others
    • Others couldn’t see me
  5. If you had neither audio nor video issues, go to the text I had a different problem.
    • Spacebar or select I had a different problem button to enable the Describe your issue (max 1000 characters). edit field.
    • Go to and enter your issue in the Describe your issue edit field.
  6. After you have completed the survey, go to the Submit and Exit button Spacebar or select Submit and Exit button to leave the session.
  7. A du-dunk sound alert and the heading “Thanks for helping us make Blackboard Collaborate even better!” with secondary text message “You’ve left the session and can close your browser window.” are used to notify you have successfully left the session.

Leave Session – Skip Survey

  1. To bypass the survey, go to and Enter or select Skip link to logout.
  2. A du-dunk sound alert and the heading “You’ve left the session and can close your browser window.” are used to notify you have successfully left the session.

My Status and Setting with Assistive Technologies


My Status and Settings

  1. On the main page, go to the My Status and Settings pop-up button. The pop-up button is two Tab stops after the Open Session Menu and Open Collaborate buttons.
  2. Spacebar or select My Status and Settings button to open the status and settings region.
  3. To open the My Settings panel, go to and Spacebar or select My Settings (your name) button. The My Settings panel opens when this button is activated.
  4. To verify your network/Internet connection, go to the Connection Status tooltip.
    1. Status values have a value of excellent, good, fair, or poor
    2. Your experience have a value of excellent, good, fair, or poor
    3. Bitrate may have values for up and down
  5. Go to the Away button to set status as Away.
  6. Go to the Leave Session button to leave the session.
  7. Go to the Feedback section to select a Feedback button. Feedback buttons include Happy, Surprised, Faster, Agree, Sad, Confused, Slower, and Disagree.
  8. To close the region, press the Esc key or use similar voice command

Audio, Video, and Raise Hand controls

The audio, video, and raise hand controls are located on the main page of Collaborate and follow the My Status and Settings pop-up button in the navigation order.

Basics of turning Share Audio on and off

  1. On a PC use Alt+M, on a Mac use Option+M.
  2. Spacebar on Share Audio button.
  3. Select Share Audio button.
  4. Active Share Audio buttons are a solid color that moves as you are speaking and rendered as selected, toggle button.
  5. Inactive Share Audio buttons are outlined with a slash and rendered as toggle button.

Basics of turning Share Video on and off

  1. On a PC use Alt+C, on a Mac use Option+C.
  2. Spacebar on Share Video button.
  3. Select Share Video button.
  4. Active Share Video buttons are a solid color and rendered as selected, toggle button. Your video are in the bottom left corner of the page.
  5. Inactive Share Video buttons are outlined with a slash and rendered as toggle button.

Basics of Raising and Lowering your hand

  1. On a PC use Alt+H, on a Mac use Option+H.
  2. Spacebar on Raise Hand button.
  3. Select Raise Hand button.
  4. Raised hand buttons are a solid color with a number and rendered as selected, toggle button. When the hand is raised an audible cue is generated.
  5. Inactive Share Audio buttons are outlined with a slash and rendered as toggle button.

Switch Mode Toggle Button

  1. On the main page, go to the Switch to follow the speaker mode toggle button.
  2. Spacebar or select to Switch to follow the speaker mode toggle button. Attendee icons shift from showing multiple equal sized boxes to one large box and 2 to 4 smaller boxes below the large box.
  3. Go to the Switch to group mode toggle button.
  4. Spacebar or select to Switch to group mode toggle button. Attendee icons return to show equally sized boxes, with a maximum of 3 on top and 2 below.

Navigate Collaborate Panel Basics


Collaborate Panel

  1. On the main page, go to the Open Collaborate Panel button. The button is one Tab stop after the Open Session Menu button.
  2. Spacebar or select Open Collaborate Panel button to open the Collaborate panel. The Collaborate panel has the following four-tab panels:
    • Chat
    • Attendees
    • Share Content
    • My Settings
  3. Use Left and Right Arrow keys or select the tab name to go between the tabs. If using JAWS in Chrome to navigate panel content:
    1. Use Insert + F6 to open the Headings dialog.
    2. Select the heading of the panel you are in.
    3. Tab to get to each of the buttons and links in the panel, with the exception of using the Down arrow in the Attendees panel to go between the different attendee types, then using Tab to get to buttons.