Release Date: 
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

National Federation of the Blind and Blackboard to Demonstrate New Accessibility Features at CSUN

Blackboard Learn Platform Brings Accessibility Enhancements for the Blind

San Diego, California (March 25, 2010): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation’s leading advocate for equal education for blind students, and Blackboard Inc., will present and demonstrate the new accessibility features of the Blackboard Learn™ platform at the California State University, Northridge, (CSUN) 25th annual International Technology & Persons with Disabilities conference, held in San Diego, CA, March 22–27.  The presentation of Blackboard’s improved and more accessible experience will be held on March 25 at 4:20 p.m. Pacific Time.

Blackboard Learn, an online learning platform, is used by thousands of institutions to provide online education, course materials, discussion boards, assignment submissions, electronic grading, and numerous other components intended to enhance the learning experience or to provide distance education.  Previously, blind students encountered a number of accessibility barriers when using the Blackboard platform with nonvisual screen access technology.  Blackboard Learn, Release 9,  showed great improvement over prior releases, and during the past year, Blackboard has invested further in a range of enhancements to Blackboard Learn that represent significant improvements to the usability of Blackboard for blind users.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “We are pleased to help Blackboard present the accessibility features of the Blackboard Learn platform to the influential audience at CSUN.  These features will ensure that blind students are not at a disadvantage in classes utilizing Blackboard and can access course materials online just as their sighted peers do.  We commend Blackboard for their hard work in this area.”

The accessibility improvements to Blackboard Learn include faster navigation and improved form interaction, allowing blind users to submit assignments, participate in discussion forums, send and receive e-mail, take tests and quizzes, and participate in polls.  Blind instructors can also submit content with the improved accessible forms. 

For more information about the National Federation of the Blind, please visit