Time: 2:30 PM EDT; 1:30 PM CDT; 12:30 PM MDT; 11:30 AM PDT
- Update on BB World/collaboration with Blackboard 2007 (Please see the e-mail I sent on July 29th with the subject line "BB World 2007 Conference and update on collaboration ". I have appended the relevant section of that report here for your convenience. To see the full report go to the "Discussion List Archive" section at: http://listserv.uiuc.edu/archives/blackboard-access-l.html)
- Report on last week's Workshop in Universal Design and Best Practices for BB development team
- Creating smaller but more specialized sub-groups:
- What's next?
- Use of a Wiki to allow everyone for feedback
- Status of already provided accessibility feedback/problems
- Helpful documents related to accessibility and accessibility support for BB products.
BB World 2007 Conference and update on collaboration
In a constructive meeting and discussion with Stephanie Cupp, User Experience Manager at Blackboard, 3 product managers including Kristin Allen, with whom we worked on GradeBook PDP Project, William Murray, User Interface Manager, Andy Jacobson, the Technical Communication Manager, Ella Herz, QA Manager (I meet with her at a different time and place), and two of my colleagues from Educational technology departments, we agreed on the followings:
- Involvement at the Idea stage: Our Idea sub-group acts and works with Blackboard as an advisory group at very early stage to discuss the new ideas and features that Blackboard is willing to incorporate in their products. The goal is to help Blackboard to evolve to apply Universal Design. This way will we can make sure that the accessibility of the intended technologies to be used is going to be accessible. The relationship between Idea sub-group will be informal and Blackboard is not obligated to consult with Idea sub-group for all projects.
- Involvement in the final phase of PDP projects: Apparently, our involvement in the PDP process is very distracting for the PDP managers because their focus are to get feedback about the introduced features and functions in the new release and potentially additional features and not how to implement those features. The Idea sub-group will be meeting with PDP managers after they finalize all features and functions and before it goes into implementation phase to make sure that the last changes during the PDP process are still accessible.
- Testing and evaluation during the implementation phase: Our Testing group will be testing and evaluating the accessibility of the new development and work with relevant groups at Blackboard to address identified accessibility issues. Blackboard will setup a server for our group and it will be updated frequently to reflect the recent modifications and bug fixes so we can verify the fixes before it goes into production.
- Working with Technical Communication team: Our Documentation sub-group will work with the Technical Communication team at Blackboard to improve the contents and layout of accessibility related materials. Providing Inline instruction incorporated in the application is another factor in improving the usability/accessibility of the product. I am not sure what sub-group should be in charge of this task. Documentation sub-group?
- Working with QA: We have been talking about importance of testing for accessibility at the QA process for long time because they can really catch a lot of accessibility problems before the product goes to the market. Our QA sub-group will be working with the QA department to help and educate them how to test for accessibility.
- Working with Support team: I was not able to meet Jason Minkoff at the BB World 2007 conference, however based on our previous agreement, we need to work with them and educate them about the basics of Assistive Technology hardware/software and the potential accessibility problems related to each disability group. The goal is to incorporate information about accessibility in the support documentations, a typical technical support understand the basics about the accessibility and can route the accessibility related problem to the right person(s) in Blackboard if he/she can not resolve it by himself/herself.
Blackboard/WebCT Accessibility Teleconference Minutes 08/20/2007
By: Jane Fridrich
- Date: Wednesday September 5, 2007
- Time: 2:30 PM EDT; 1:30 PM CDT; 12:30 PM MDT; 11:30 AM PDT
- Phone: 217 265-8030
- Hadi Rangin
- Jon Gunderson
- Lisa Fiedor
- Saroj Primlani
- Valerie Haven
- Cindy Poore-Pariseau
- Don Amos
- Kevin Price
- Laurie Harrison
- Phil Kragnes
- Terry Thompson
- Will Murray
- Ella Herz
- Jane Fridrich
- Stephanie Cupp
BB World 2007 update
-first face to face meeting with Backboard people and Hadi -raised potential of Hadi coming for a visit -Birds of A Feather session an opportunity to get like-minded people together to discuss accessibility -good paper related UID to accessibility of Blackboard and content testing -had casual conversation about layers of development for BB and how our group could interact -clarified that accessibility group would be acting in aan advisory capacity and BB under no obligation to take advice -based on the different stages of development for BB subgroups suggested -Great Centre Accessibility project is similar -everyone is welcome to participate in Great centre -current members are Terry, Hadi, John and Phil -non-disclosure agreement required -Suggested that Stephanie Cupp may be able to provide some clarity around involvement in new product vs existing product involvement -BB group indicated that future development would definitely be a good place to collaborate but unsure about existing versions
workshop with Hadi
-many 'A-Ha' moments -differences in using a keyboard for interaction useful -useful for exposure of development and Q/A to equipment such as Jaws and Braille keyboard -best practices were helpful -speed of screen reader was surprising -information in workshop will help organize the development -BB:there is a challenge in testing the whole system -group members indicated they would provide support so that testing entire system would be less cumbersome and more accurate -discussion over types of items that are easily testable and replicable- eg. how many properly labelled form controls -How do we come up with good rules?
- Idea sub-group:
-advising on new functions, models
-possibly improving and evolving existing features
-how to implement decided by BB
-to minimize interference with development process for development managers testing will be done after customer feedback received
-Dara Miller possibly main BB contact here, Stephanie involved
-Hadi, Valerie Haven, Lisa Theodore, Jon Gunderson( ?), Phil Kragne, Saroj Primlani, Terry Thompson
- Testing sub-group:
-looking for ideas. best practices
-a goal for BB is not to introduce new bugs
-Jon Gunderson (?), Hadi, Phil Kragne, Valerie Haven, Don Amoson, Laurie Harrison, Terry Thompson
- Q/A sub-group:
-need active repeatable tests
-may need to educate engineers more on accessibility
-Saroj Primlani, Hadi, Phil Kragnes
- Documentation sub-group:
-working with technical communication group
-need to work out code validation so it will pick up attributes
-BB: concern that all pages may not be covered by crawler or bot method to search for instances of compliance
-Kevin Price, David Money, Cindy Porparizeau, Lisa Theodore, Jane Fridrich
-HR:can focus on testing, Q/A, and documentation now -Idea group will get going later in fall -Hadi will set up groups, assign members who did not volunteer -Hadi will set up and chair first session for each group to get them going -meet once per month and report and progress to general meeting -BB may be able to supply metrics to group for tracking of issues -Wednesday September 5th next meeting
- Hadi will set up groups, assign members who did not volunteer or responded yet
- Please contact Hadi Rangin (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested to work to be included in any of the collaboration groups.