it comes to teaching and learning, everyone has their own style and approach to
gathering, presenting and consuming information. Having the ability to
personalize the environment in which you are working to fit your own needs and
style can help simplify the experience and allow you to find what you are
looking for and complete your task much faster.
work coming out of the IMS
Access for All group is about allowing a user to define personal
preferences for how they need to interact with a system, and ensuring the
content available to them has the right meta-data to accommodate these
preferences. Imagine a world in which students are presented with content in
the manner best suited to their needs at any given time. While there is some
argument about the value of user and accessibility preferences (see Jared
Smith's recent article titled: Web
Accessibility Preferences Are For Sissies?) there is definitely a balance
that needs to be maintained to ensure the best experience for all users.
A few weeks ago I kicked off our series on the Bb Blog about Accessibility
. Today I want to talk to you in more detail about heading structures and why they matter to users with disabilities and more specifically, to screen reader users.
Hi, my name is JoAnna Hunt and I work in Blackboard’s User Experience department. User Experience is just what it sounds like, making sure the experience of using our product is easy and fun for all users; and that includes those with disabilities. The best part of my job is working with clients to understand exactly how they are using Bb Learn and what they are trying to accomplish, and then figuring out how to translate that into the best experience for everyone. Over the past two years I have had a special focus on Accessibility. It's given me the opportunity to work with and learn from accessibility experts and support staff at client institutions and other partner organizations; attend conferences focused on accessibility; talk to every day users in focus groups and design sessions; and participate in industry discussions around emerging standards – such as the IMS Access For All Standards
. But most importantly, I have been able to use this knowledge, experience and feedback to help move product accessibility initiatives forward and improve the overall Blackboard Learn experience for everyone.