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Accessibility statement for Blackboard

This website, Blackboard, is run by Sheffield Hallam University. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means you should be able to

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts

  • zoom in up to 300% 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 (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)

Blackboard, Inc. publishes information about the accessibility features of its interface.

We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand.

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’s interface are not fully accessible.

  • You cannot modify the line height or spacing of text.

Inside of Blackboard, there are thousands of sites looked after by thousands of staff members who have responsibility for uploading content to those sites. Some content may be uploaded to specific sites which is not fully accessible.

  • Many older content files such as PDFs are not fully accessible to screen reader software.

  • Images may not have alternative text describing them.

  • Videos created before 23 September 2020 may not have captions.

How to report accessibility issues with this platform

If you find content that you are unable to access on a specific Blackboard site, we recommend you contact the module or course leader in the first instance. They will have direct access to the original content and be able to provide any alternative formats.

How to contact the University about accessibility issues

Please contact us at creativedigital@shu.ac.uk if you need further assistance with accessibility issues – for instance, if you

  • need information in a different format, such as accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille

  • encounter any problems not outlined on this page

  • think we are not meeting accessibility requirements

The University also licenses Sensus Access, a service which can automatically improve the accessibility of files. We recommend staff and students use this to quickly create more accessible files.

Enforcement procedure

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 this website’s accessibility

Sheffield Hallam University is committed to making this website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

All content uploaded by the staff members to specific sites may not comply with WCAG 2.1 AA success criteria yet. This could include:

We are planning a cultural change programme to raise awareness of these issues and improve compliance among staff with the content they upload.

Blackboard sites may include 3rd party content, links and integrations. We cannot guarantee the accessibility of all 3rd party content. Where we license integrations with 3rd parties we will discuss accessibility requirements with suppliers to ensure they are compliant.

Content that is outside the scope of accessibility regulations

  • Content such as PDFs and Office documents uploaded to Blackboard sites prior to 22 September 2019 are currently outside of the scope of these regulations. We will endeavour to make these files accessible where possible.

  • Multimedia files created before 23 September 2020 do not require captions under the regulations.

  • Live video streams do not require captions under the regulations.


The regulation requires that Blackboard site content is accessible by 23 September 2020.

How we tested this website

Blackboard Inc. has provided a Voluntary Product Accessibility Report from testing completed on 5 September 2018 about how the interface meets the WCAG 2.0 AA standard. Blackboard, Inc. also say they perform regular audits of their interface using an unnamed third party supplier.

The University is also currently scoping its approach to testing websites to identify accessibility issues. This site will be tested in the future in line with that agreed approach.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are working with staff members to raise awareness around good accessibility practice.  We also work closely with our supplier, Blackboard, Inc. about how to improve accessibility in the main interface.

This statement was prepared on 26 September 2019. It was last updated on 26 September 2019.

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