Blackboard Accessibility Interest Group

Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services (CITES) and Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES)

University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign

All Teleconferences

Teleconference Details

Date: 2007-01-08

Time: 1:30 PM CST


  1. Organizational stuff
  2. Summary of reported problems at
  3. Revised evaluation form by Philip at
    Note that the above form cannot be used in the current format at this time for evaluation; I am putting it up there so you can see the revised questions along with the improved select box choices.
  4. Stratigic planning for 2007
  5. Identifying second contact person at WebCT when Robert cannot come to the meetings
  6. Letter to WebCT regarding improving the level of collaboration

As of now, I haven't heard from Robert back, so I don't know if he will be able to join us today or not. I have removed the agenda items related to him but I will keep them as pending agenda items and make sure that they are carried over to the next one.


Minutes from WebCT Teleconference on January 8th, 2007


Don Amos

Saroj Primlani

Kostas Yfantis

Phil Kragnes

Jon Gunderson

Hadi Bargi Rangin

Lisa Theodore


Rober Dumas

David Schwarte


HR: Asking about availability of the January 22nd, people on the call seem to be able to come.

DA: Yes

SP: I will try

PK: Yes

KY: Yes

JG: Yes

HR: I want more flexibility in scheduling, right now we are meeting the 1st and the 3rd Mondays


HR: Can anyone take notes next time

KY: I will take note next time

SR: The 5th and 19th of February are meeting times in February

SR: I cannot commit, we are implementing a new policy on campus and I am getting a lot of requests for training

HR: The people taking minutes are highly variable, can we come up with a common template, especially for action items

HR: You will be seeing changes in the website to provide more overview information. We want to have better information on the status of issues and action items.

HR: Any other comments or other organizational changes?

SR: Do still need to meet bimonthly meetin?

HR: I am worried about making it random

SR: Right now this is not a priority for me, maybe once a month

PK: You have been sending out agenda, individuals can make a decision whether they want to participate or not

SJ: The burden is all on Haai

HR: This is part of my job, I want to make progress

HR: Right now RD is very busy and it is not a priority to meet with us

PK: I guess they are reorganizing

SP: They may have deemphasized accessibility since they have done some thing, they are getting a lot of free help, that enhances their product

PK: Should we take the letter SP developed and have our CIOs send to WebCT/Blackboard

SP: We need to come to some understanding of our relationship with them, what is there priority in working with us

SP: Right now they are taking us for granted, they have done a lot and they can talk about it

SP: We don't really know what they are doing with us

HR: RD is promised more changes

PK: It seems they could set up a server for accessibility testing

SP: It seems to be more of a marketing server to demonstrate features

SP: this was a great learning process, but we need more commitment from WebCT

HR: He said he was going to get a by weekly update, but it doesn't seem to happen

SP: I put in the letter what I think

PK: I can clean it up

JG: I will talk to Lanny Arvan about accessibility

JG: Are biggest weapon is the public nature of our information

SJ: This might help

ACTION: PK will edit letter

ACTION: JG I will Lanny Arvan about strategies

SJ: We need a letter of understanding between WebCT/Blackboard and our group

JK: I went through 3-4 design work on grade book and then they switched to AJAX technologies

SJ: Let us work on the ..

Accessibility Issues

HR: RD reported he could not come today, he has apparently not seen the issues list, but would like to go through them at some time.

HR: Details of accessibility reporting and fixing...

Revised form by Phil

HR: Questions are similar, but editorial

PK: The responses were yes/no, so I added a scalled response:

Fully accessible

Needs work

Not accessible


JG: Response in FAE description

PK: Should we have less choices and more in the comments, the FAE coding is more detailed

HR: He is suggested is a more FAE like

PK: Will people doing the evaluations understand the gradations

JG: What I hear you saying is that do people may have trouble finding all the problems and

PK: Yes

SJ: If we provide them that level of details, or that we should be providing them, ofr how to communicate bugs

PK: What level of details do they need, program managers versus programmers

SJ: I have worked with developers to update their templates to include labels for form controls

HR: My experience is that the more specific information they can find it easier

JG: We are trying to change the way they are doing things, so code does not get out

HR: Comment information in the report is very important for providing feedback to RD

HR: At the end of the form there is an area for list general accessibility policies

PK: We are telling them what wrong, not how to detect them and test for them

HR: We started doing that, but then they merged with Blackboard

PK: They were told, but we are not cure how much we changed

JG: This all comes back to not having a contract with them

HR: We talked about a letter, we can ask them for a second person to participate

PK: We all have very busy scheduled, maybe the first meeting of the month is just the working group members, and RD would come to the second meeting

HR: We have a lot of issues

SP: We need to specify an alternative member when RD can not attend

SP: We need to have mutually agreeable process

SP: What is the most effective way

SP: The letter on thew web initially moved them

JG: They may not be that interested since they are working

Action Item Summary

HR: Summary of Action Items

  1. Letter to WebCT (PK and JG)

  2. Coordinate with RD on teleconference and issues (HR)

  3. Update issues list (HR)

  4. Update php to include PK commenting system (HR and JG)

  5. I will contacting people who have done reports to check to see if those are the issues (HR)

Strategic Planning

HR: What our priorities?

JG: Improving their QA process and implementation of author/instructor accessibility testing tools

PK: A contractual or agreement, a QA manual of techniques

SJ: JRG tools and techniques are pretty good, we automatically do these things in our programmers

SJ: We are not just a bug reporting system

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Discussion List