Blackboard (All Users) - Accessibility/Ally: What is Ally?
Blackboard Ally is a tool that helps improve the overall accessibility of online course material. Your class is full of diverse students with unique learning abilities, needs, and devices. Course content created with inclusion in mind can benefit not only your students with disclosed disabilities such as visual impairments and dyslexia, but improve the learning experience for all your students. Ally’s Alternative Formats and help make your course more inclusive for all!
Addressing accessibility issues with your course content can improve the quality of the Alternative Formats for your students. To help you address those issues, Ally provides accessibility feedback within your course workflow. Log-in to your course site, and you will find the Accessibility Indicators (pictured below) next to files (Word Docs, PowerPoints, PDFs, Images). If you have no course files yet, upload one, and an indicator will appear next to the file name after a few minutes. Select the indicator to view the Instructor Feedback. Follow along step-by-step to address the issues identified.
For additional information, please watch the overview video and visit the Ally for LMS Help for Instructors site. You may also view the Student Experience Video (:45 s) or visit the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Overview to learn more about the WCAG Standards and how they were developed.
This video provides an overview of how Ally works and why making files accessible is beneficial for all students. This video illustrates how to download alternative formats and how to interpret an accessibility score.
Looking for course content that fits your learning needs, your busy schedule, and your multiple devices? Alternative Formats transform your course files into different formats to help you learn better. Next to your course files, click the "A" icon and select “alternative formats” to see your options. The file may take a few minutes to download. Remember, the quality of the alternative formats can depend on the original, so check the original file if something doesn’t look right.
Find a Higher Quality Alternative
The readability of your course materials can affect your comprehension and study practices. If you notice the original course file is a scanned PDF that you can’t highlight, copy-paste, or keyword search, try the OCRed PDF for an editable, easier to read document. Or if the font of the original is hard to read, try the ePub format to customize the font and contrast.
Enhance your Understanding
Did you know when you engage different senses- like reading a text and listening to a text- that you activate different parts of the brain, which can enhance your understanding? Try reading the Tagged PDF first and then listening to the Audio MP3 for review. Or, if you are struggling to understand the text, you might try listening and reading at the same time.
Improve your Time Management
With your busy schedule, maximizing your time on task and study opportunities can help you reach your learning goals. If you’re reading on your mobile, try the HTML format for a file that’s responsive to your screen size so that you can read faster and with less distractions. Or listen to the Audio MP3 when you’re on the go for extra time reviewing your materials.
Become a Better Learner
Think about the best format for your learning context and objective, and include multiple formats in your study process. Keep a journal of the formats you use leading up to an exam or paper to discover how you learn best. For more information on the alternative formats, check out: https://tinyurl.com/AltFormatsStudents
- Blackboard (Faculty) - Accessibility/Ally: Interpret Accessibility Score
- Blackboard (Faculty) - Accessibility/Ally: Run the Course Accessibility Report
- Blackboard (All Users) - Accessibility/Ally: Download Alternative Content Formats
- Blackboard (Faculty) - Accessibility/Ally: Add and Modify Headings in a Microsoft Word Document
- Blackboard (Faculty) - Accessibility/Ally: Add Headings in Blackboard's Text Editor
- Blackboard (Faculty) - Accessibility/Ally: File Accessibility