Accessibility Statement for Learning Edge (Blackboard)
This accessibility statement applies to https://learningedge.edgehill.ac.uk.
This website is run by Edge Hill University. Blackboard is a centrally supported Virtual Learning Environment that is a commercial product designed and developed, by Blackboard, in accordance with internationally recognised Web Content Accessibility guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Level AA as well as US section 508 standards.
We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means you should be able to:
- enable high contrast colours
- zoom in up to 200% without the text spilling off the screen
- navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
- navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
- listen to most of the website using a screen reader
AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.
How accessible this website is
We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible:
- You cannot modify the line height or spacing of text.
- Most older PDF documents are not fully accessible.
Feedback and contact information
If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, html, ePub, audio or braille please firstly use the Ally tool which is incorporated within Blackboard itself.
Alternatively, please contact your course or module tutor to request the content you require in an alternative format.
If this does not provide you with the relevant alternative format for the content you require please contact us.
We’ll review your request, let you know who is dealing with it and give you a timescale by which you can expect a reply.
Reporting accessibility problems with this website
We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, please contact us.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’).
If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).
Technical information about Blackboard’s accessibility
Edge Hill University is committed to making Blackboard accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.
Blackboard is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances and exemptions listed below.
The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.
Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations
This section will cover aspects of the VLE that need to be fixed with regard to the accessibility regulations. The issues listed refer to both the platform itself and the content that resides within the platform.
The Blackboard platform is a proprietary Virtual Learning Environment and as such we have very limited control over aspects of accessibility specific to the platform itself. Blackboard have an accessibility commitment within their company and have provided a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) report for the platform and they provide further information on accessibility options for the platform.
We have highlighted below some known accessibility issues within Blackboard and content within the platform. We plan to fix or provide alternatives for any issues in conjunction with enhancements and fixes provided by Blackboard.
Images without a description or with redundant text alternative
Some images have an inadequate text alternative, and some decorative images have redundant text alternatives (WCAG 1.1.1).
Headings, data tables and lists within incorrect semantics
Some headings have not been identified, some data tables are not structured correctly, and some lists do not use HTML list markup (WCAG 1.3.1).
Data tables with incorrect reading sequence
Some data tables are not marked up as tables, making it impossible to programmatically determine the structure and column and row headers (WCAG 1.3.2).
Missing keyboard access functionality
Some buttons and links are not reachable or operable using the keyboard. Time pickers are not reachable or operable using the keyboard. Some tooltips are not exposed using the keyboard-alone (WCAG 2.1.1).
Missing skip link
Grade assignment skip link does not work (WCAG 2.4.1).
Inadequate link purpose descriptions
Some link phrases do not adequately describe the target (WCAG 2.4.4).
Some instances of text that has insufficient contrast between foreground and background colours (WCAG 1.4.3)
Some instances of non-text that has insufficient contrast between the foreground and background colours, or adjacent colours (WCAG 1.4.11)
Some documents contain text with low contrast between the text and its background. This can cause the text to be difficult to read, especially for those with low vision, poor eyesight or colour blindness.
Some images do not have a description or alternative text. People with screen readers or other assistive devices rely on this description to understand the image’s contents and purpose. Having a clear description for an image can help everyone better understand the content of the image and how it relates to the context. Some images, such as purely decorative images, do not require alt text.
Heading structures and styles
Some documents don’t contain any marked-up headings. Headings are important as they provide structure to a document, especially those that consist of many pages. When headers are properly and consistently used, the document becomes much easier to understand and navigate for all users, and provides additional benefits such as the ability to automatically generate a Table of Contents.
Some documents contain tables that don’t have or properly specify a header structure. People with screen readers or other assistive devices rely on a semantically meaningful and correct heading structure to help them navigate the table and understand the meaning of every cell, but it can be beneficial to everyone to have a clear structure in the table.
Some PDF documents are not tagged. PDF tags are hidden labels that clarify the structure of the document and define what’s a heading, paragraph, table, list, etc
This section will include information on any aspects of this website where we are claiming a disproportionate burden.
Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations
PDFs and other documents
Some of our PDFs and Word documents are not essential to providing our services and were published before 23rd September 2018. You can use the Ally tool within Blackboard to download these in a range of alternative formats.
Third party content
Blackboard contains content that was created by third parties and as such we have no direct control over the accessibility of this content. Where possible we will endeavour to work with third parties to improve accessibility of relevant content.
We do not plan to add captions to live video streams however we provide the Caption.Ed solution for you to use which will provide live captions when streaming either live or pre-recorded content through the Google Chrome browser with the Caption.Ed plug in enabled.
What we’re doing to improve accessibility
At Edge Hill University we are continually striving to improve accessibility in terms of our digital systems, skills and knowledge. We have developed an extensive staff development programme along with supporting materials, including guides and videos, around accessibility and the creation of accessible content.
We have deployed the Ally tool within the Blackboard platform and have been working continuously since then with colleagues to improve the accessibility of the content within the platform.
Preparation of this accessibility statement
This statement was prepared on 16th September 2020. It was last reviewed on 16th September 2020. This website was last tested on 15th September 2020. The test was carried out by Edge Hill University.