Blackboard Ally for Accessibility

Blackboard Ally logo

New for September 2019

Blackboard Ally aims to improve the accessibility of the learning resources that you upload to your Blackboard courses. It does this in two ways:

  1. Ally automatically converts documents into other formats so that students can choose the one that meets their needs. For example if you upload a Word document, it is now also available as PDF, HTML, ePub, electronic braille and audio MP3. Note that this is useful for all students, such as those studying on mobile devices.
  2. It checks documents as you upload them and flags any accessibility issues, such as images without alternative text. Ally will alert you to the problem and show you how it can be fixed, encouraging you to edit and re-upload the file.  In this way, Ally aims to guide you towards considering accessibility as a normal aspect of your work.

Quick start guide

The quickest way to get going with Ally. This guide covers an overview of all the tools and features.

Detailed Guidance

What are Accessibility scores?

Ally checks accessibility for your new and existing course content. To measure accessibility, Ally assigns your content an accessibility score. Each score is composed of both a numerical number and a coloured gauge that reflects the number.

Viewing a files Accessibility Score

After you upload content to your course, Ally produces an accessibility score for each file. In areas where you access files, either in content areas or in the content collection, the accessibility icon is located to the right or left of the file. Select the icon to view information and improve file accessibility.

Improve Content Accessibility

Once you have located the accessibility score for a piece of content, you can begin to explore accessibility issues and improve the content to raise the score. Accessible content is important for all audiences, and Ally gives you the tools to understand common issues and improve your content.

Alternative Formats

Alternative formats provide greater opportunity for everyone to access the information they need in the way they need or want it. This is the feature that you should promote most to your students, in order for them to make the best use of Ally.