Collaborate Web Conferencing
Quick Start Guide - Information For Users With Disabilities


What is Collaborate?
Collaborate is a desktop web conferencing tool that can be used to communicate with colleagues or deliver/receive course content, both synchronously and asynchronously. It is built specifically for live, multi-media, many-to-many collaboration. Whether there are two students, or two hundred, Collaborate enables communication and learning. SFA's Office of Instructional Technology (OIT) is happy to provide this tool at no charge to the SFA community.

Users with Visual Impairments:
The information below is intended to serve as a "screen reader friendly" area to help you get started. For complete
information regarding full functionality, please visit Blackboard Collaborate's Accessibility Guide.

Important Note:
The Activity Window is the key feature in Collaborate to assist your screen reader. This can be activated at any time during
a Collaborate session by pressing the Alt+W+A keys to activate the drop down navigation menu, and then in a separate action, hold down the "Control" key while also pressing the "Slash" key (Ctrl + /). Once the Activity Window is activated, actions may be monitrored and commands issued by using the Command Input Field. This entire feature is discussed in great detail beginning on page 39 of the Accessibility Guide.

What You Will Need:

Before Your Scheduled Class Session:

  • To ensure successful participation, especially if this is your first time using Collaborate:
    • You may be prompted to download the Collaborate software, which may take from 2-10 minutes depending upon your Internet connection speed.
    • Review Collaborate Support.
    • Configure your computer system from the support page by launching the "v11 Configuration Room" (test session)
      listed on that same page, under Step 2. You may need to turn off your web browser's pop-up blocker so the download
      is not restricted.
    • Once in the session, please activate the Activity Window by pressing the Alt+W+A keys to activate the drop down navigation menu, then hold down the "Control" key and press the "Slash" key (Ctrl + /).
    • Next, make sure your screen reader is on and follow the instructions as described in the Blackboard Collaborate Accessibility Guide.
    • Once you have finished successfully setting up your computer and exploring, please exit the test session. To find your actual class session link, please go to the Collaborate area in Desire2Learn (D2L). If your instructor or moderator does not use D2L, then they will notify you with the link for the appropriate session.

Users Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing:
Please visit page 55 (Chapter 5) of Blackboard's Accessibility Guide for more information.

Users With Mobility Challenges:
Please visit page 25 (Chapter 3) of Blackboard's Accessibility Guide for more information.

Users With Learning Disabilities:
Please visit Blackboard's Assistive Technology Page for more information.

For comprehensive setup and complete accessibility documentation regarding all disabilities, please visit the
Blackboard Accessibility Guide (PDF)
, Collaborate Assistive Technology Site or Collaborate's Accessibility Imperative.

For general accessibility information or assistance, please contact SFA's Office of Disability Services (ODS) at (936) 468-3004.

If you have technical problems setting up Collaborate, please contact SFA's Office of Instructional Technology (OIT) at
(936) 468-7649 (during regular business hours), or the toll-free technical assistance number at anytime (open 24 hours a day, seven days a week) at 1-866-388-8674.