Support is truly only an email away, and I felt as if I was sitting in the classroom.
— Kathy, 2014 Professional Student of the Year, NH

Technical Assistance

Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired is now using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra for its popular Seminars@Hadley. This platform may require Adobe Flash to be installed when used with legacy browsers, but in most cases does not need any additional plug-ins. For the best Blackboard Collaborate experience with your screen reader use Firefox and Jaws on a Windows system. On a Mac use Safari and VoiceOver. If not using a screen reader, we recommend using Chrome or Firefox browsers on Windows and Mac.

Blackboard Collaborate includes the following:

Keyboard navigation

Global keyboard shortcuts have been established for common actions within Blackboard Collaborate. Additional keyboard shortcuts include the following:

Navigating the Collaborate panel with screen readers

Using the "button" or link quick keys (B in JAWS or VO + Command + L in VoiceOver) look for the button labeled "Open Collaborate Panel".

Note: If the link quick key in VoiceOver doesn't identify this action, try VO + Command + G to go to the next graphic, or VO + Right Arrow to read the next item until you find it. VoiceOver doesn't have a great method for specifically finding BUTTON controls.

Activating this button opens a 'tab list' which works as follows:

Chat history keyboard controls

Use the keyboard controls at the top of the Chat panel to move between messages. The keyboard controls are only available after messages have been posted in Chat and are only available with keyboard navigation.

Screen Reader Users Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How do you turn off the screen reader announcements for chat messages and participants entering the room?


  1. Navigate to and select the "Open Collaborate Panel" button.
  2. Navigate to "My Settings" tab and select it.
  3. Shift + Tab until you reach the "Notifications Settings" tab.
  4. Press enter to expand the Notifications Settings.
  5. Arrow up and down the different notifications. They will be labeled with the heading followed by check boxes to select or deselect visual and audio notifications. Uncheck all notifications.

Question: How can I access the room using a mobile devices?


You need to download and install the Bb Student iOS App or Bb Student Android App. Upon logging in to the seminar from a mobile device, there will be a button labeled, "Join session with Bb Student" and a link labeled, "Don't have Bb Student". Select the "Join session with Bb Student" button to launch the Seminar using the app.

Question: How do I use the chat to interact with the presenter?


To ask a question or make a comment during the presentation, do this via text chat. Select the button labeled "Open Collaborate Panel". You should be placed in the chat text field. Type your question or comment and press enter. Once the chat panel is opened, it will remain open, even if you have sent one or more messages. If you have switched to a different tab in the Collaborate Panel, simply open the "Chat" tab again.

Question: How do I access the chat history?


When the "Collaborate Panel" is open and you are on the "Chat" tab, you can access chat history by pressing Shift + Tab. Screen reader users access chat history messages one at a time using Next/Previous Chat Message buttons.

Question: How to access the slides or content shared by the presenters?


Use region navigation hotkey for your screen reader to navigate to the "Shared Content Region." Then use arrow up/down keys to read the shared content.

For more details, please visit the Online Help Portal for Blackboard.

For additional support, please visit the Troubleshooting by Blackboard.

If you need further technical assistance, please contact Hadley Helpdesk at or by calling 847-784-6690.

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