Blackboard Ally (Faculty): What are these colored icons appearing in my course? Can I turn them off?
This document provides an overview of Blackboard Ally.
The colored icons you see in your courses are accessibility score indicators from a new feature called Blackboard Ally. These scores show you how to improve the overall accessibility of online course content. They are not visible to students; they only provide guidance to faculty and course builders on formatting choices that enhance student access, regardless of a student's potential disability or situation. The articles linked below describe Ally in more detail and show how you might use it; ITS provides training on the tool, as well. Ultimately, though, it's up to each faculty on how and when they will act upon the guidance. Because the tool functions to support accessibility initiatives on campus, it cannot be removed or turned off.
More about why Blackboard Ally exists:
- The University is required to provide students with accessible content; Blackboard Ally is one tool that can help us meet our legal obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and reach our own campus accessibility goals.
- Blackboard Ally can help us identify and remove potential barriers in student learning. It catches common web accessibility issues that can prevent students from accessing content, such as images missing alternative text and text documents missing headings. Removing learning barriers means increasing the overall quality of our course offerings and improving retention.
- Students cannot see the Blackboard Ally accessibility score indicators in your class, but they can use Ally's student tools to download alternative content formats (for example, they can download an HTML version of a Word document, or an audio version of a PDF). However, the alternative formats only partially address accessibility concerns; the more faculty or course builders can address the accessibility scores and act on the feedback provided by Ally, the easier it will be for all students to access and understand course content – regardless of visual, auditory, cognitive, technological, or other abilities.
- Blackboard Ally (Faculty): Overview
- Blackboard Ally (Faculty): Interpret Accessibility Score
- Blackboard Ally (Student): Download Alternative Content Formats
- Blackboard Ally (Faculty): Add and Modify Headings in a Microsoft Word Document
- Blackboard (Faculty) - Accessibility: Add Headings in Blackboard's Text Editor