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Improved accessibility support for Ultra courses in November

Light update also features new icons throughout Ultra system

November 5, 2019 9:52 AM

As a fully redesigned system, Ultra benefits from an intentional focus on accessibility and mobile responsiveness. In addition to extensive checks to meet accessibility standards, Ultra includes support for Ally, an integrated tool that checks course content for accessibility and generates alternative formats for users.

With the November update, both the accessibility meters for faculty and the alternative formats for all users will be as visible as they are in Original courses. Accessibility scores for instructors will be available with attachments in document and tests with, appearing next to the files they are scoring. This makes it easier for instructors to see how their content scores and fix any issues. Students will be able to easily download alternative formats of files and images by selecting the alternative file icon and choosing the desired format.


Screenshot of Ultra course with new Ally indicators


Note: Accessibility scores and alternative format icons are only available with attached files. They will not be available with files and images added through the Ultra content editor. Instructors may also reference the Course Accessibility Report.

Faculty and students may also note a complete redesign of all icons throughout the Ultra system. Most notably, the updated icons are darker and will appear more prominently, particularly in Ultra courses. Additional updates in November include moving the Batch Edit tool into the overflow menu with other bulk course management tools to better align with how it's used and updating the assessment creation buttons to use Save and Cancel rather than Done. The blank Learning Module will also be removed from the Ultra course page to avoid confusion.

Finally, with the November update, Ultra Documents now have a description field that will appear on the Course Content page, which allows instructors to give high-level details about what the Ultra documents contain, reducing unnecessary clicks for students.

The next Blackboard Learn update will be posted to our test site around November 12th and pushed to production around December 5th. Faculty who are interested in test driving new features before they are released to production should open an RT ticket to request early access. 

As always, if you have any questions, please consider the following options:

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