VLE Accessibility Statement

Accessibility statement for Blackboard Learn (learn.canterbury.ac.uk)

This site is run by Canterbury Christ Church University. Blackboard is a centrally supported Virtual Learning Environment that is a commercial product designed and developed in accordance with internationally recognised Web Content Accessibility guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Level AA as well as US section 508 standards. We want as many people as possible to use this site so within the ‘native’ Blackboard interface* you will be able to:

  • Zoom in up to 200% without text spilling off the screen
  • Navigate the site using just a keyboard
  • Listen to most of the site using a screenreader
  • Enable high contrast colours
  • Collapse the course menu to reduce clutter

*because additional content is uploaded to Blackboard the above may only apply to the user interface of Blackboard itself rather than content that has been uploaded to it.

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible is Blackboard?

We know some parts of this website are not accessible.

  • You cannot modify the line height or spacing of text
  • Most older PDF documents aren’t fully accessible to screen reader software

What to do if you can't access parts of Blackboard

The Student Disability services are available to offer support with issues related to accessibility.

If you need information on this website in a different format like PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille you can contact TELaccessibility@canterbury.ac.uk (Ally/Sensus access). We’ll consider your request and get back to you within 10 working days.

Reporting accessibility problems with Blackboard

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of Blackboard. If you find any problems that aren’t listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact TELaccessibility@canterbury.ac.uk.

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).

Contact Us

The TEL team are based on the Canterbury Campus on North Holmes Road. You can contact us by email TELaccessibilty@canterbury.ac.uk.

Technical information about Blackboard's accessibility

Canterbury Christ Church University is committed to making its 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-accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons:

Non-compliance with accessibility regulations

Content in Blackboard is uploaded by academics and the programme team. It is not possible to confirm that all content is fully accessible.  We are undertaking a programme of staff development to ensure staff make their materials compliant. We are also introducing a piece of software called Blackboard Ally which will assist staff in making the content uploaded into Blackboard compliant with WCAG 2.1 guidelines.

Disproportionate burden

Content provided on Blackboard sites for modules which are no longer being used for active teaching, such as those modules taught during academic year 2017/18 or earlier, are considered disproportionate burden, as there is a substantial amount of content which would be accessed by a very small group of users. 
Our implementation of Blackboard Ally will, however, still provide alternative versions of these files for students who require them.

Content that is not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

The accessibility regulations don’t require us to fix documents published before 23rd September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services e.g. content contained in older module Blackboards that you may still have access to.

We don’t plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations so if your tutor is using Blackboard Collaborate there will not be live transcriptions for this.

How we tested Blackboard

Blackboard have undertaken a Voluntary Product Accessibility template which demonstrates that where it supports WCAG 2.1 expectations with some exceptions.

As a result of this work we have not undertaken any testing of the site within CCCU. However, we are exploring resources to allow us to do this in the future.

What we are doing to improve accessibility

The University continues to work closely with Blackboard to monitor accessibility and make improvements as required.

This document will be updated as plans for addressing accessibility issues are rolled out across the institution.


This statement was prepared on 20th September 2019.
It was last updated on 21st January 2021.


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Last edited: 21/01/2021 16:24:00