With the rapid move to online teaching, ensuring equitable access to our learning environment has never been more important. Recent legislation has brought an accessibility requirement for public sector organisations such as Universities. How can we ensure that our Blackboard environment reflects our institutional brand whilst following accessibility guidelines?
Customising the Blackboard Responsive theme for the Learn Original Experience continues to be a hot topic on the Blackboard Community site. We customise the theme both to improve the user experience, and to brand our environment with our institutional colours.
In this session I will put recent legislative and regulatory changes that relate to accessibility into a global context and explain how they impact University platforms such as Blackboard.
Using examples and developments from my own experience at the University of Southampton, I will provide practical advice and tips on what we should be doing when we customise our Blackboard theme. We all want our Blackboard environments to look great and appear congruent when viewed alongside our other institutional platforms. We also want to ensure changes we make are inclusive to our whole user community.
I will demonstrate how you may check the accessibility of your own custom Blackboard theme and illustrate the application of a number of the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines to Blackboard theme customisation. I will also discuss how the work we do in this area can inform the accessibility statements we are required to create for our Virtual Learning Environment.
University of Southampton