PDFs have been used in a variety of ways in higher education: from a medium to share articles and book chapters, to a format for saving document files which can be opened on various platforms. However, when we think about the accessibility needs of students, PDFs become more problematic. For scanning a book or article, creating a PDF is still a useful means for sharing the materials, but we still need to follow procedures to make the scan accessible.
For those who are writing course materials in Word or Pages, or some other word processing software, and saving the file as a PDF, there is a more accessible way to share that same information within Blackboard. Create the file as you normally would. (If in Word, run the accessibility checker.) In Blackboard, under the “build content” tab select “blank page”. Enter a title for the page where it says “blank page”. Then copy the material from your word processing software and paste it in the content area, scroll to the bottom and select submit. That content is now much more accessible than in a PDF, and quicker to open regardless of platform.