Re: JAWS With Blackboard

James Homuth

It should be pointed out that the professor has almost no control over how
accessible Blackboard, the software, actually is. If the professor's
material isn't accessible, there are solutions to that--not least of which
is hounding the professor until that changes (I've done this). The
software itself, however, is entirely useable regardless who's teaching
the course you're using it for. I could tell you horror stories of profs
going out of their way to not make their material accessible even though
it was posted to Blackboard, but that's not altogether Blackboard's
fault--even if, from a user perspective, there's very little difference.

On Wed, December 30, 2015 1:46 pm, Mcginnis, Barbara wrote:
I have found that whether JAWS works well or not depends on the individual
inputting the information. I had one professor that designed his
Blackboard so that all pictures/symbols were identified and it worked more
like Moodle than Blackboard. I had another professor that did nothing to
make the site accessible. I don't use JAWS but I always like to see if a
site will work with JAWS and since I took six or eight classes using JAWS
and Blackboard, I got a good chance to see what works. I should says that
the professor that designed the accessible Blackboard taught classes for
occupational therapist, special education teachers, etc.

From: James Homuth <>
Sent: Wednesday, December 30, 2015 12:49 AM
Subject: Re: JAWS With Blackboard

Interesting. I haven't seen that on this end and I've had to edit things
rather extensively. What JAWS version and web browser?

On Tue, Dec 29, 2015 at 07:47 pm, Kevin Hourigan wrote:


I found Blackboard manageable,but I would not say there were no issues.
The thing I had the most problem with was editing; there was not a
character response, and when I felt I made a typo error, I had to exit,
and start all over again, that said, it improved my typing skills, haahaa.

Happy New Year.


From: Brian Vogel []
Sent: December-17-15 9:25 AM
Subject: Re: JAWS With Blackboard


I was working with a client attending an institution that used
Blackboard and there were no accessibility issues, per se, with
Blackboard and JAWS 16.

I do have to say, though, that I don't think that anyone who
relies on JAWS should have to go in to using Blackboard, no pun
intended, blind. The system is wildly complex and the options
within it that various instructors use can vary quite widely.

I pressured the institution in question to set up either a mock
Blackboard system where individuals could practice using that
or a couple of mock courses in their live Blackboard system
that new students who are using any form of accessibility
software for blindness or low-vision could be "enrolled in" so
that they could practice navigating through blackboard before
they had to do so in the context of taking a real course.

My feeling was that learning Blackboard with JAWS was quite
akin to a full course in itself. The client I was seeing at
the time was a very capable student but there was no way she
was going to be able to deal with learning Blackboard and the
actual course material at the same time.



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