Last year, BbWorld 2015 brought together education stakeholders, faculty, and learners to kick start a conversation around creating fully inclusive educational experiences. Since then we’ve seen deeper partnerships form with—and between—client institutions. We rolled out the first phase of our Inclusive Classroom Framework. And we released the first of Blackboard’s fully accessible learning platforms, Blackboard Collaborate with the Ultra experience.

This year, at BbWorld 2016, we’re continuing the conversation. We will deliver two full days of programming, targeted at strengthening the community of practice that’s emerging around accessibility in education. A team of client partners and accessibility leaders are collaborating to build a program focused on the following key areas:

  • Getting back to basics, including where to start with accessibility
  • Spreading the word and getting buy-in on campus
  • Building accessible course content
  • Raising expectations around accessibility both on and off campus

The partners include:

  • University of Texas
  • Marshall University
  • University of Tennessee
  • University of Alabama
  • Kentucky Community and Technical College System
  • University of Hartford
  • UNC Wilmington
  • El Paso Community College
  • Open SUNY
  • Community College of Baltimore County
  • California State University System

Here is a sneak peek at some of our top sessions this year:

Accessibility Course Design Checklist and Best Practice Techniques for Distance Learning

According to the Blackboard Accessibility policy, “Blackboard is fully committed to delivering product experiences that conform to the highest levels of global accessibility standards.” As a faculty member developing course content in Blackboard, it is imperative to take the necessary steps to ensure that all students, regardless of their limitations, have access to available content in order to enhance their learning experience and increase their success and academic achievement. This presentation will demonstrate how to build accessible content in your course and provide a course design rubric that can be used when building a new course or when evaluating an existing course.


Tim Bumar, LMS Administrator, Community College of Baltimore County

Luz Elena Cadena, Distance Learning Support Services, El Paso Community College

Andres Lopez, Program Assistant, El Paso Community College

Stephen Simcoe, Community College of Baltimore County, LMS Administrator

ADA Compliance – It’s easier than you think!       

The use of streaming video, mobile media, and other forms of digital content (such as audio, podcasts, and lectures) is in demand by faculty to engage learners for more effective hybrid and fully online courses. But how can instructors leverage these tools and still follow the guidelines of the American Disabilities Act? By using the right resources, compliance can be easy to achieve! The Office of e-Learning at UNC Wilmington makes available strategies from instructional designers and technical support specialists that will guide you along your way to an enhanced, engaging, and accessible course environment.


Katherine Deese, Instructional Designer, Office of eLearning, UNC Wilmington

Patsy Gonzalez, Director, Office of eLearning, UNC-Wilmington

Lisa Theriault, Technician, Office of eLearning UNC-Wilmington

Spreading inclusion on campus

Many people are interested in making learning more accessible, but they can’t go it alone and struggle with getting others on campus involved. This session will review the practical elements of Dr. Jonas Berger’s theories on why ideas spread and how the ideas on his book, “Contagious: Why Things Catch On” to launch a viral campaign to spread inclusion.

Speaker: Andy Jacobson, Blackboard Inc


In addition to this, a pre-conference workshop centered on Blackboard’s Inclusive Classroom Framework will provide attendees with an opportunity to assess the inclusiveness of their own courses. They can also learn methods for thinking inclusively about their pedagogy, their content, and the tools and technology they are using in their classrooms.

It’s shaping up to be a very exciting conference. Register for BbWorld 2016 now and reserve your spot in the pre-conference accessibility workshop. If you’re interested in participating in the broader accessibility conversation, sign up for the accessibility community and join in.

Join us at BbWorld 2017. Registration is open.


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