University of Arkansas CURRENTS

Blackboard Collaborate JAWS Support

*Blackboard provides support for JAWS 13 and 14. We are currently testing with other screen readers. Additional information will be posted.

If you run into problems accessing Blackboard Collaborate, please do not hesitate to contact us at or (501) 623-7700.

Get Ready for a Blackboard Collaborate Session

To use JAWS to navigate through the Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing interface, prepare by doing the following:

  1. Start JAWS before you log in to the session.
  2. Verify that the Java Access Bridge is working.
  3. Configure JAWS to read all access keys so the mnemonic keys are spoken aloud; otherwise, you won’t be able to identify them. This setting is found under the basic settings of JAWS.
  4. Enter the room early (before the session starts) so you can configure your Blackboard Collaborate interface to suit your particular needs.

Note: The version of Java that comes bundled with the Blackboard Collaborate Launcher does not support the Java Access Bridge. You must install Java 7, update 6 or later because it sets up the necessary configurations in the Windows Control Panel for enabling the Java Access Bridge.

Make sure the Java Access Bridge is enabled
  1. Press Windows logo key+u to access the Ease of Access Center.
  2. Select Use the computer without a display.
  3. In the section Other programs installed, select the checkbox Enable Java Access Bridge (you may have to scroll down).

Note: After enabling Java Access Bridge, you must restart your assistive technology software.

Make sure the following components must have the same bit version
  • Operating System
  • Java
  • JAWS

In addition, the Java Access Bridge must be enabled.

Here is a guide to the process (if JAWS does not read Blackboard Collaborate right away):

  • Check the bit version of your OS. (The following instructions from the Freedom Scientific site describe how to do this.)
    1. Press WINDOWS Key+E to open Windows Explorer
    2. If you are using Windows 7, you should be focused on the OS (C:) drive and can press SPACEBAR to select it, and then ENTER to display the contents on the root of the C drive. If you are in Windows 8, you will have to first press RIGHT ARROW to navigate to the OS (C:) drive, and then proceed to press SPACEBAR and ENTER to open the root of C.
    3. Press the letter P until you reach the "Program Files" folder, and then press P once more. If you are in 32-bit Windows, there will not be a second folder called "Program Files (x86)" following the one you landed on. If there is a "Program Files (x86)", you are using a 64-bit version of Windows.
    4. Please select the appropriate version of JAWS depending on your system.
  • Make sure the version of JAWS you have is consistent with your OS.
  • Install the appropriate version of Java (You may have to uninstall other versions to make sure the correct one is running.

Java 32-bit:
Java 64-bit:

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University of Arkansas CURRENTS
121 Cedar St
Hot Springs, AR 71901
Telephone: 501.623.7700
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