D2L is committed to accessible education because we believe that learning technologies shouldn’t limit learning opportunities. Our design and development process aligns with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, Level AA standards, as well as Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Visit our accessibility compliance page for more detailed information, including our WCAG 2.1 Checklist and Section 508 VPAT.
For us, accessibility is more than a checklist; it is a commitment to empower and support individuals in achieving their learning goals. As such, we are working hard to consistently improve the accessibility of the Brightspace platform. Keep reading to learn about some exciting new features that we’re incorporating to build upon our accessibility story!
You may already know and love our Special Access feature, where you can grant individual students modified submission dates and/or extra time on quizzes or exams. As of February 2021, instead of being activity-based only, Special Access accommodations can be student-based too! This feature is being rolled out specifically for the Quizzes tool first.
Now you can set global accommodations to a student from inside the Classlist tool! In other words, with one click, you can apply extra quiz time to a student, and this accommodation will then always be added to every quiz that he or she takes during that course. Save yourself time as a teacher by no longer having to worry about adding the same student’s accommodation every time you create a new quiz. Your students can also feel more confident that their special needs won’t be overlooked.
Your options are quiz time multipliers (X times the original quiz time) or extra time (X minutes added to the original quiz time). If you ever need to override this global accommodation for a particular quiz, you can still do so the way you previously would have—from the Special Access area of that quiz.
Another new possibility from the Classlist tool is to “always allow right click” for specific students. Previously, choosing to disable right click for your quizzes may have blocked certain functionalities (such as highlighting text) for assistive technology like screen readers. The availability of the right click also allows for text-to-speech so that students can hear the quiz questions read back to them.
On a similar note, we are also happy to be extending the existing ReadSpeaker functionality to both the Assignment and Quiz tools, in order to help users read aloud in more areas of Brightspace. This option will be available to any client already using our ReadSpeaker integration.
The above changes are a first step in many additional accessibility modifications that are coming to the Brightspace platform in order to improve accessibility for each and every one of our users!