Blackboard Collaborate Ultra - Accessibility & Usability Information

This document summarizes the accessibility and usability barriers identified while testing the Blackboard Collaborate Ultra web conferencing tool, as well as potential workarounds while using the tool, and information regarding how to get assistance.

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is an online web conferencing tool used for campus meetings and instruction. While there are accessibility and usability barriers found in testing, they are nominal and we encourage the use of this tool in either meetings or academic instruction. 

Review the accessibility and usability barriers found in testing and see information on how to get assistance or report further barriers. 

How to get help

Screen Reader and keyboard navigation barriers

Audio and video previews at the start of a session

When entering a web conferencing session, the camera setup dialogue box can be difficult to reach via keyboard navigation while using a screen reader. Additionally, the camera preview doesn’t have an accessible label, but reads “unable to play media.” 

Additionally, the audio preview may be somewhat confusing because it asks the user if they see the “audio bar” which pulsates if their audio is working. However, there is a status message users with visual disabilities can use that says “you sound great” if the user’s audio is working.

My settings button in the action bar

Under the “My settings button” in the action bar at the bottom of the web conferencing window, a screen reader will read “My settings button” instead of the profile information for settings allowing the user to know if they are set as a participant or a moderator.

Main menu state and label

The main menu doesn’t have an accessible label and when the main menu button is opened, it reads as “expanded” but when closed the state doesn’t change to state doesn’t read as “collapsed” or “closed”. 

Avoid using virtual backgrounds 

Avoid using virtual backgrounds during a web conferencing event as the effects are visually less accessible to users. Virtual backgrounds can also cause increased CPU workload for the user running the background, which can disrupt their participation in the meeting.