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Accessibility Features for Visual, Hearing, Mobility Impairments and Learning Disabilities

Using Blackboard Learn with a visual impairment

The following list includes the top five things to know about using Blackboard with a visual impairment:

  1. Blackboard Learn is developed against the W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelinesto ensure its compatibility with the latest versions of assistive technology including screen readers such as JAWS and VoiceOver.
  2. Pages in Blackboard Learn follow a common structure to ensure familiarity as you navigate through the system. A combination of headings and ARIA landmarks are used to define the structure of the page. Features such as the global navigation menu and Quick Links can help with faster, more efficient navigation. All keyboard navigation follows commonly used web navigation models.
  3. The Quick Links feature goes beyond traditional skip links, allowing you to jump directly to any heading or ARIA landmark on the current page. You can open Quick Links with a keyboard shortcut (Shift+Alt+L) from anywhere in a page so that it’s always easy to move around.
  4. Alt tags are used to identify all images used within Blackboard Learn. When instructors are building course content, they are prompted to add alt text to images they upload, as well to ensure visual information is available to all users.
  5. If you have defined high contrast settings on your computer, you can enable high contrast styles on the login page of Blackboard Learn. Doing so will inform the system to respect your operating system selections to ensure the best visual experience based on your personal needs.

Using Blackboard Learn with a hearing impairment

While the Blackboard Learn product does not auto-caption media files, it does provide full support for captions in all media types that you can upload or view within your course content.

Using Blackboard Learn with a mobility impairment

The following list includes the top five things to know about using Blackboard with a mobility impairment:

  1. Keyboard navigation throughout the Blackboard Learn system follows common web navigation models to ensure consistency and familiarity with other web-based experiences.
  2. Quick links will aggregate up a list of all the headings and landmarks on the page. This allows you to quickly find and navigate to elements in the middle of the page. You can open Quick Links with a keyboard shortcut (Shift+Alt+L) from anywhere in the page so that it’s always easy to move around.
  3. Keyboard shortcuts are available for a variety of tools in Blackboard Learn to increase efficiency for keyboard users. Keyboard shortcuts are specific to the current page or tool in use. Discover them by opening the Quick Links tool (Shift+Alt+L).
  4. Located on every page where you can reorder items using drag-and-drop function, the keyboard accessible reordering tool displays the items on the page as a list. You can use keyboard commands to reorder the items.

Using Blackboard Learn with a learning disability

The following list includes the top five things to know about using Blackboard with a learning disability:

  1. When you are in a course, you can collapse the course menu to reduce the clutter on the page and help you focus on the task at hand. Bring the menu back at any time by holding your mouse on the left of the screen and selecting the bar that appears. This control is also accessible with a keyboard.
  2. Menu options, buttons, and controls that are not always needed only appear when the items they relate to receive focus from either the mouse or keyboard. This helps reduce the visual noise on the page and ensures access to the menus as soon as you need them.
  3. Activity counters within the global navigation menu and My Blackboard tools can alert you to new items or information requiring your attention. As you review these items, the counters are cleared so that you are always aware of what is new or has changed since you last accessed the system.
  4. If your system is enabled, you can set up individual notifications for new content, due dates, discussion posts, and other items within Blackboard Learn to alert you to information even when you are not logged into the system. These notifications are sent to you by email, shown in My Blackboard updates, or the Notifications Dashboard. If Blackboard Connect is installed, you can receive alerts by text message.
  5. The Blackboard Learn system allows instructors to set up accommodations for tests based on individual needs. If you require more time, more attempts, different display options, or an alternative testing location, contact your instructor.

Support Contacts

UM System eLearning
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UMKC Technology Support Center
☎ 816.235.2000
Technology Support Center