Ally for Blackboard

Accessibility Resources

Ally for Blackboard

Blackboard Ally for courses

Blackboard Ally was designed to become a valuable part of your learning ecosystem and focuses on helping you make digital course content more accessible. Learn more Blackboard Ally and accessibility at Blackboard:

Ally for Blackboard is a tool integrated directly into the course interface to provide users with alternative formats of documents uploaded to the system and to help faculty improve the accessibility of their courses by providing feedback about issues present in those documents.

How do I enable access to Ally in my courses?

As of Fall 2023, Ally for Blackboard should be automatically enabled for all courses by default.

What do I have to do once Ally has been enabled in a course?

Once turned on for a course, faculty don’t have to do anything for students to benefit from the alternative formats generated by Ally. An Ally-enabled course will display an icon next to any file eligible for alternative formats.

Faculty will also see indicators that display scores for content items scanned by Ally and have access to the Ally course report. Many will find they can make simple adjustments to improve the content scores, but faculty in need of assistance can reach out to eLearning support for more information about the remediation services available.

Alternative Formats

Ally generates alternative formats of documents uploaded directly into Blackboard so that anyone who needs them can choose the format that works best for them.

Once Ally is enabled in a course, faculty don’t have to do anything to make these alternative formats available Ally generates them for both students and faculty when requested through the interface, directly within the course where the content item appears without altering the original source file.

Accessibility Scores

Ally provides faculty with feedback about uploaded content in the form of indicators which are embedded alongside each content item scored by the system and allow faculty to quickly locate items in the course in need of remediation.

Clicking an indicator opens the Ally feedback panel, which shows the file’s accessibility score that’s calculated based on the severity of the accessibility issues present in the document.

The feedback panel lists those issues along with tips for fixing them, and faculty can even use the feedback panel to replace content that’s been remediated — it’s as simple as dragging and dropping the updated file. Once updated, Ally automatically recalculates the score.

Course Accessibility Report

A course-level report is also available for faculty to see an aggregate score for the content in a course and review a list of individual content-level scores at a glance.

Faculty can access the feedback panel for individual content items directly from the course-level report, making it easy for them to assess issues in one place.

Content and course-level scores are not visible to students — they’re simply there to help faculty identify issues detected by Ally and track their progress as they remedy them.And there’s no expectation that every course achieves a perfect score.