Thursday 16th May 2019 marked the eighth Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion.
In recognition of GAAD 2019, the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) team welcomed the Blackboard Ally Road Tour for a day of knowledge sharing. Members of the University were recorded discussing accessibility issues for broadcast at the 2019 European T&L Blackboard Conference.
Watch highlights from students and staff participating in the event:
Summary of the day
- 30 UoR staff participated in a talk and an interactive workshop, exploring Universal Design for Learning. See #inclusiveRDG for coverage.
- Round table discussions highlighted how the university is responding to challenges and opportunities presented by inclusive teaching practices.
- UoR students and academic staff shared their individual experiences using assistive learning technologies and exploring digital accessibility in STEM subjects.
For more information or ideas on developing inclusive teaching and learning approaches, visit the CQSD Engaging Everyone webpages or browse the T&L Exchange for case studies.
Colleagues are invited to book a short Blackboard Ally consultation with a member of the TEL team. These 1 2 1 meetings provide an opportunity to discuss the online accessibility of your Blackboard teaching resources and receive support to make adjustments. Schedule your check-up via email: IT@reading.ac.uk
We’ve received a number of reports from users who have received phishing emails from an account claiming to be “Blackboard”. Some have had a notification of a Voicemail message attached.
If you do receive a message like this, please delete it immediately and do not click on any links.
We have reported these messages to the University’s spam filter so there shouldn’t be more of them coming into university inboxes.
What does a genuine email from Blackboard look like?
- Blackboard Learn does not have a Voicemail function.
- Any genuine emails from Blackboard will come from
- The Blackboard notification emails will have the Blackboard Logo
If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is currently a known issue with Blackboard Learn where users using small screens, ones set to a low resolution or users on mobile devices will not be able to navigate Blackboard Learn as the top level tabs will not render properly.
We are aware of the issue and are looking into this. If you need to use Blackboard on a mobile device, please download the “Blackboard” or the “Blackboard Instructor” app from the AppStore, Google Play or the Microsoft Store.
If you have any questions, please email us at email@example.com .
Technology as a Springboard to Inclusive Practice
Technology, Accessibility and the University of Reading
The effective use of technology can play a key role in reducing the barriers to student participation and success. Knowing how and in what ways current technologies can make learning accessible can act as a springboard to inclusive practice that can benefit all students.
Within the context of the Curriculum Framework, and the Teaching and Learning Strategy, this one-day event aims to raise awareness about accessibility and inclusivity in T&L and to provide practical advice and ideas on how technology can enhance teaching and make it more inclusive.
Programme and Booking Speakers
The event brings together expert external speakers in the field of accessibility and inclusion, alongside internal University specialists who are addressing the issue of inclusive practice at the University. The interactive sessions are designed to stimulate discussion and provide advice, and ideas on how available technologies can help you to make the leap to inclusive teaching, ranging from Blackboard to Microsoft Office 365 and beyond. During the expert panel session, you can have your questions answered, while the TEL team and other University Support Services will be available during the day to get you started.
- Shapeshifting and invisibility – alternative approaches to inclusive practice,
Alistair McNaught, JISC
- Practical adjustments to make teaching more inclusive,
Annabel Avery, DAS, University of Reading
- Panel Discussion,
Experts from the University of Reading, JISC, Microsoft, Blackboard
- Microsoft built-in Accessibility Tools,
Hector Minto, Microsoft
- Accessibility and Beyond: Let’s play with ALLY,
Gillian Fielding Blackboard and TEL team
This fun workshop/competition will introduce you to the Blackboard ALLY tool which automatically creates alternative formats of your Blackboard course content to benefit all students and assists you in creating accessible documents in a step-by-step approach.
Symposium Programme and Booking Symposium Speakers
The TEL Team