News & Events

Global Accessibility Awareness Day at Blackboard

Event Details
Online webinars
16 May 2019

A day to think, talk and learn about inclusive education and digital access

Global Accessibility Awareness Day started in 2012 with the purpose of getting everyone thinking, sharing best practices and learning about digital access and people with different disabilities.

On Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Blackboard hosted a “follow-the-sun” series of webinars about accessibility in education at all levels and all across the globe.


Session 1
2:00 pm AEST

From Awareness to Action – Disability Inclusion in Higher Education
Speaker: Matt Brett, Director, Academic Governance and Standards, Deakin University

The full participation of students with disabilities in higher education has been a policy objective of Australian higher education since the release of A Fair Chance For All in 1990. Some 30 years later students with disabilities have moved from the margins to the mainstream. This has been achieved by systemic efforts to remove barriers to participation. The long arc of history has bent towards inclusion, but full participation remains a work in progress. This webinar explored the proposition that we must move beyond awareness and move to integrate disability inclusion as a key property of higher and tertiary education systems. Exemplars of this approach were discussed.

11:00 am ET

Atlantic Cape Community College: Journey to a More Inclusive Campus
Speakers: Chad Bullock, Senior Manager, Center for Accessibility, Atlantic Cape Community College; Michelle Perkins, Director, Instructional Technology, Atlantic Cape Community College; Mike Barnes, Director, Center for Accessibility, Atlantic Cape Community College

Faced with a three-year mandate to make their campus fully accessible, Atlantic Cape needed an immediate plan of action and an overhaul of many of their processes for supporting students with disabilities. In this session the team described their journey from 2015 to today and discussed how they embraced the decree as a “good thing” that provided them with a blueprint and motivation to take actionable steps to improving the quality of the education experience for all their students, not just those with disabilities.

Session 3
1:00 pm ET

How The University of Toledo is Developing a Digital Accessibility Culture
Speaker: Melissa M. Gleckler, M.L.S. Educational Technologist, Adjunct Instructor, Department of Communication, Vice-chair, UT Professional Staff Council, The University of Toledo

The University of Toledo is focused on developing the digital accessibility of their online program and all digital materials used in in-person classes. In this session they discussed the challenges they have identified in this process and how the team has tackled those challenges. They also described their launch of Blackboard Ally as a part of the focus on a more accessible program overall.

Session 4
5:00pm CT

Tips and Tricks of Inexpensive Accessibility Testing
Speaker: Elizabeth Simister, Product Accessibility Manager, Blackboard Inc.

This session covered some inexpensive ways to test the accessibility of your website and applications. Methods included an overview of how to use automated testing tools, color contrast analyzers, keyboard testing, and the built in accessibility features of an operating system.

More information about the event is available on the Global Accessibility Awareness Day website.

Posted 30 April 2019