Time: 1:30 PM CDT
Hello Everyone, I have been waiting for Terry to confirm the call-in number for next teleconference to send this reminder but as of now I haven't heard from him back. Terry, could you please send the phone number for the next teleconference? If because of any reason the time spot we are looking for is not available, I can get a local number here. Please let me know. Next teleconference info: Date: Tuesday August 15 2006 Time; 1:30 PM CDT (Chicago time) Phone: TBA Agenda: 1. Finalizing the list of common modules 2. Identifying the versions most members are running 3. Finding volunteers to perform accessibility testing based on the evaluation form 4. Discuss the accessibility evaluation form and its questions It would be great if you could confirm if you are intending to participate in the next teleconference. You don't need to send it to the list you can send it to email@example.com We would like also to find out what version of Blackboard everyone is using. It is possible that not every member can join us next Tuesday to talk about it so if you could send a quick note and let us know about the BB version you are running, it would be great. Such information will help us to focus on the accessibility problems of the most commonly used version of BB while at the same time we can provide BB with our accessibility feedback for the upcoming releases. Thanks, Hadi Hello Everyone, I would like to remind everyone for our todays teleconference and wanted to ask to look into the 3 evaluation report pages below before the teleconference if possible: Test Manager->Add Assessment: http://cita.disability.uiuc.edu/collaborate/blackboard/forms/testmanager_addassessment.htm Course Tools->Calendar (view mode): http://cita.disability.uiuc.edu/collaborate/blackboard/forms/calendar_view.htm [selected course]->Tools http://cita.disability.uiuc.edu/collaborate/blackboard/forms/tools.htm Date: Tuesday August 15 2006 Time; 1:30 PM CDT (Chicago time) Phone: 800 503-2899; Access code: 2256060 Agenda: 1. Finalizing the list of common modules 2. Identifying the versions most members are running 3. Finding volunteers to perform accessibility testing based on the evaluation form 4. Discuss the accessibility evaluation form and its questions Talk to you later. Hadi
Blackboard Teleconference Meeting Minutes, August 15, 2006 Present: Hadi Bargi Rangin (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) Jon Gunderson (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) Terry Thompson (AccessIT, University of Washington) Laurie Harrison (University of Toronto) Will Murray, Blackboard I. Updates from Will on getting group participants access to a common Blackboard interface for testing a. Will can set us up with "Blackboard Connections" accounts b. Blackboard Connections is the same system used internally for product testing c. We would have access to a fully-functional, non-customized installation of the Learning Learning System d. Can possibly get access to multiple versions (6.3, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2) - he'll look into this e. Focus will be on the latest version (7.1), since that's the version receiving most of the development effort f. Work with older versions is a lesser priority, but will allow us to identify "hot fixes" for particularly problematic issues g. Each user will have their own account, rather than setting up one catch-all account for us all to share h. Interested participants will need to provide their name and email to Will - additional information about setting up our accounts is forthcoming i. Will also said he would cast a wider net within Bb, and would forward information about our group to Bb support groups, ASP group, etc. so other clients who contact Bb about accessibility can learn about and possibly get involved with our group) II. Blackboard's Other Accessibility Contacts a. Terry asked how our accessibility assessments compares with that provided by other groups b. Will described previous consultation from Tech Access - focused on compliance with standards - Bb is more interested now in looking at the end-user experience (beyond standards compliance) c. Jon asked about WebAIM and TLT Group, both of which are referenced (along with other groups) on Bb's Accessibility Projects page: http://www.blackboard.com/company/accessprojects.htm Will, being new to Bb, hasn't specifically had involvement yet with either of these groups III. Blackboard and W3C a. Jon recommended that Bb get involved with the W3C, particularly with an interest in accessibility b. Jon particularly noted the work of the WAI Protocols and Formats Working Group (PFWG): http://www.w3.org/WAI/PF/ c. The PFWG is having a meeting in Boston on Sep 17-18 focusing specifically on dynamic accessible web content Jon will send Will additional information about this meeting. IV. Feedback on Checklist Forms a. Terry described his perspective that there are two primary questions that we're interested in: 1. Is the Bb interface accessible? 2. Does Bb support development of accessible course content? b. Jon stressed the need for the latter. - Currently it's easier to create inaccessible content than to create accessible content. - Authoring tools need to create accessible content by default, and to provide an audit and/or automatic enforcement of accessibility objectives. - MFS&W ( http://www.msfw.com/ ) has done some exemplary work in this area - Accessible Web Publishing Wizard (http://cita.uiuc.edu/software/office/ ) is also a good model c. Terry expressed that some items on the checklist forms seem to be more course/instructor-dependent, rather than related to Bb's interface. How to separate the two? d. Laurie cited differences in course content in WebCT (typically HTML) vs. Bb, where the framework lends itself to authors uploading content in proprietary formats, such as Word Docs, Powerpoint, PDF, etc. The issues surrounding accessible course content therefore become more complex. e. Hadi reiterated his request for more feedback on the checklist, and on the assessments that he has submitted using these checklists so far. f. Laurie will try the checklist in an evaluation situation, and will be better able at that point to provide this feedback. V. Categorization for Assessments a. Hadi has posted a revised categorization system: http://cita.disability.uiuc.edu/collaborate/blackboard/forms/categories.htm b. Unless there are objections to these categories, we now need to divide the categories up among those who have expressed interest. c. Terry provided results of the informal survey regarding willingness and ability to participate: 5 said "yes", 6 said "no", 1 set "maybe" d. Terry will contact those who responded "yes" and "maybe" about their preferred categories e. Laurie asked Will whether Bb has any data on which Bb tools are used most frequently. She pointed out that institutions often track their utilization of IT resources internally. - Will doesn't think Bb tracks anything at this level. Doing so would be complicated since most institutions maintain their own installation. Most of the information Bb has is anecdotal. VI. Blackboard's patent a. In the context of Bb's recent law suit of Desire2Learn over patent infringement, Jon asked Will whether we should be concerned that Bb would incorporate our accessibility ideas, then attempt to patent them. As an example, he cited other companies' attempts to patent "easy access" software features that were originally developed by the Trace Center. b. Will, speaking as a Bb employee, said he didn't feel that Bb had any such intention, and that doing so would be counterproductive. He also said that there are many misconceptions being propagated on the Internet about Bb's patent and the Desire2Learn law suit. Blackboard has a web page devoted to clarifying these misconceptions, and will forward the URL to the group. c. Jon expressed a desire to receive some commitment from higher officials within Bb that they share Will's perspective.