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Re: Accessible SCORM Compliant E-Learning Software

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From: Rangin, Hadi Bargi
Date: Dec 14, 2010 9:57AM


Hi Deborah,

To be fair to Blackboard, I need to mention that they have been trying hard to become more accessible in the past 2-3 years. It is more accessible than you probably have seen it last time especially in the 9.1 version. They have realized the fact that the best time to address accessibility is at the design stage and they continue to collaborate with blackboard accessibility group for selected new modules or modules to be redesigned. I wished that they could do it for all modules but our resources are limited.

I would like to use this opportunity to invite anyone who is interested in improving the accessibility of Blackboard to join the blackboard Accessibility Collaboration Group and help us in this effort. Please visit http://collaborate.athenpro.org/group/bb or drop an e-mail to me if you are interested to join the group.

At the upcoming CSUN conference one of my colleague at Indiana University and I will be comparing 4 LMS including Moodle, Sakai, Desire2Learn, and Blackboard. It is very difficult to simply say which one is accessible because some of them are significantly more complex than others and clearly a more complex system can be exposed to more accessibility issues.
There are definitely accessibility issues that need to be addressed with Blackboard LMS but again, it is getting better after each release.

Thanks,
Hadi



-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of <EMAIL REMOVED>
Sent: Thursday, December 09, 2010 10:47 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Accessible SCORM Compliant E-Learning Software

Sam asked:

"I am looking for a SCORM compliant e-learning software and authoring tool that is accessible. Ideally, both the authoring tools and the courses they produce should be accessible. "

And Michael Langum responded:

"Don't forget that an accessible course is only half the issue.
You (or you client) will also need to ensure that your Learning Management System (LMS) is also accessible."

I will also add, the classes are only accessible as the course designers make them. No matter how much accessibility is built into the learning management system, if the professor/course designer puts up videos without captions, flash without accessibility, and images without alternative text. Training your faculty/course designers is a huge part of making sure your classes are accessible.

(Also, kudos for making sure that both the authoring tools and the courses be accessible -- many course designers have accessibility needs as well! As do the LMS administrators, so make sure that the administration tools are also accessible.)

In any case, I've been very impressed with both Moodle and Sakai, fairly unimpressed with Blackboard, and exceedingly unimpressed with Angel. The latter two obfuscate what they mean by accessibility and what their accessibility efforts are. Moodle and Sakai, on the other hand, both take accessibility very seriously and are very open about what they mean by accessibility and what their efforts are:

http://docs.moodle.org/en/Moodle_Accessibility_Specification
http://confluence.sakaiproject.org/display/2ACC/Sakai's+Current+Accessibility

My favorite part of the Moodle accessibility specification is at
<http://docs.moodle.org/en/Moodle_Accessibility_Specification#Rationale_for_Moodle_accessibility>;:
the legal, moral, and market argument for taking accessibility seriously.

-Deborah