- Blackboard Ally
- Automatic Closed Captions / Subtitles
- Improve accessibility of your course content in Blackboard
- Plan your accessibility actions in Blackboard
- Colour and contrast: everyone should be able to read your text
- Add rich descriptions to images to improve comprehension
- Describe what users will expect when they click a link
- Accessible Maths
Visit the Blackboard Ally website for more information and guidance.
Automatic Closed Captions / Subtitles
Visit the Automatic Closed Captions / Subtitles website for more information and guidance.
Improve accessibility of your course content in Blackboard
It is important to make sure all content uploaded to the web, including your course content in Blackboard, is fully accessible by following the training and guidance provided by the Web Accessibility team. There is also a summary of web accessibility tips.
Then when you create or view your course content in Blackboard you can follow the feedback and guidance provided by Blackboard Ally on how to further increase the accessibility of your content. It does this by automatically scanning course content, measuring its accessibility, and providing accessibility scores and feedback on how to improve the accessibility of the content.
Green is your goal!
Plan your accessibility actions in Blackboard
The Accessibility Report provides an overall summary and rating of all your course content in a Blackboard site. The Accessibility Report can be a useful tool to start engaging with Ally and improving the accessibility of your content.
The Accessibility Report provides an easy way to see the course content in your site which have been flagged with an issue, and to start fixing those issues direct from the Report.
The Accessibility Report also provides some guidance with prioritisation, as it shows options such as “Content that’s easiest to fix” and “Content with most severe issues”.
Find out how the site Accessibility Report can help plan your accessibility actions in Blackboard.
Colour and contrast: everyone should be able to read your text
It is important that the text in your course content be seen and is legible.
Blackboard Ally’s contrast checks verify if there is enough contrast between the text colour and its background colour. Text with poor contrast can be difficult to read for everyone, but especially for students with visual impairments such as colour blindness.
Watch the Web Accessibility Design Principles video on colour and contrast.
Find out how Blackboard Ally can help fix text contrast issues in your course content.
Add rich descriptions to images to improve comprehension
Images can help communicate complex ideas to students. For students with visual impairments, image descriptions that explain the content of an image are crucial for their learning. For all students, text descriptions can provide deeper context to aid their comprehension.
Image descriptions are commonly known as “alternative text” or simply “alt text”. This is because they provide a text based, descriptive alternative to the image.
Blackboard Ally checks for image descriptions anywhere there is an image. This includes image files and files (such as documents and presentations) that include images.
If an image is only for visual effects and does not contain information relevant to the learning content, the image can be marked as decorative. This helps assure students of the purpose of those files.
Watch the Web Accessibility Design Principles video on the (use of) images.
Describe what users will expect when they click a link
It is important to make your links descriptive. The purpose of descriptive links is to provide users with the proper context of what to expect when they click the link or where clicking the link will take them.
When external links are added in Blackboard, instructors are required to give both a name and the URL for the link. Internal links in Blackboard also require a name. The name should be the descriptive link, and once the link has been created, is what the user sees and clicks on.
“Click here” or “see more” are not descriptive links and must be avoided. They can create confusion for users when read out by a screen reader. For instance, instead of ‘Click here to read more about web accessibility guidelines’ be more descriptive like this, ‘Learn more about web accessibility guidelines’.
Similarly, web addresses and URLs are not informative and must not be used. A screen reader reads each letter individually.
Blackboard Ally will check whether the link has a descriptive name and whether it can be distinguished from surrounding text without solely relying on colour.
Watch the Web Accessibility Design Principles video.
Making maths accessible is still a significant challenge, but there are things that can be done to improve materials. Read the dedicated page on Accessible Maths for specific guidance and suggestions.