The Practical “Bluffer’s Guide” to Blackboard Theme Accessibility

Watch the presentation

Moderator's introduction 0:00
Matt's introduction 1:10
An exercise in colour 1:22
My Blackboard theme story 2:23
Agenda 4:04
Supporting website 4:32
About me 4:46
Getting started with theme customisation 5:57
Using my shared theme 8:58
COVID-19 and Digital Inclusion 11:18
Relevance to you and your students 11:51
Introducing WCAG 12:38
Colour and Contrast 16:22
Complexity 22:09
Course menus 23:30
Focus and Focus Indicators 26:20
Conclusion 29:16
Questions and Answers 31:35
-Q1: What led to your interest in accessibility? 32:04
-Q2: Is your practice replicated elsewhere at the University of Southampton? 33:32
-Q3: Can students change their theme? What about Ultra base navigation? 35:20
-Q4: If you could recommend one resource to those looking to get started in web accessibility, what would it be? 38:13
Final thoughts 39:31

About me


Relevant to: Blackboard Learn Original Experience. Self/Managed Hosted or SaaS deployment.
With the rapid move to online teaching in the current climate of COVID-19, ensuring equitable access to our learning environment has never been more important.

When we customise the Blackboard theme (original experience) to align it with our institutional colours, we must consider accessibility. Based on my own experience at the University of Southampton (in the UK) I will share practical lessons and recommendations, of how to ensure your theme customisation complies with web content accessibility guidelines.

I do recommend that you watch my earlier presentation "The Bluffer's Guide to Customising the Blackboard Responsive Theme" before attending: Doing so will help you to get the most out of this first "Bluffer's Guide" delivered at Bb World.

View the slides on SlideShare

Presentation Files

Video Clips used during the presentation

Files and related posts

JS Hack

Links from the presentation

If I had to pick one resource

During the presentation, Louise asked if I could pick one resource for someone wanting to start in accessibility what would I choose? My pick was 10 Days of a11y by Lindsey Kopacz.

News items


Blackboard Community


About Colour Blindness

Colour Contrast

Example of enforcing a colour scheme based on Blackboard Course IDs using JSHack

University of Southampton resources

Recommended Links for personal development