Blackboard Ally

Blackboard Ally Primary Logo

What is Blackboard Ally?

Blackboard Ally is designed to help institutions gain greater insight into the accessibility of their digital course content; to provide guidance to teachers about how to improve the quality of their content for everyone; and to provide students of all abilities with immediate access to content in formats that may be more suited to their specific needs.

example of red indicator next to file name

Improving Accessibility

How it works?

The Instructor Experience

Select an icon that appears to the left of a file. A panel opens to reveal the accessibility score and provides a description of any issues with the file. Follow step by step instructions on how to fix the file.

The Blackboard Ally tutorials will provide enough information to improve the accessibility of current documents and apply these same techniques when creating future documents so they are accessible from the start. Thus, providing a great way to learn about accessibility issues and how to remediate them.

The indicator is color-coded and uses a visual pointer to indicate the accessibility score.

Clicking on or selecting the accessibility indicator, will pop-up a series of steps designed to lead the instructor through the process of retrofitting the document to improve the accessibility.

example of a red marker score, 7 percent, and explanation of why the red marker appears: This PDF is untagged

Once the steps are complete, the final version can be uploaded to Blackboard to replace the original document giving students a more usable, accessible document. The new, revised document would then display a green indicator representing a high accessibility score.

Blackboard does not discard the original version of the document. It is retained within the Blackboard system and can be retrieved if necessary.

The Student Experience

Students are offered a small button to the right of each document when they hover the mouse over the document name. This button produces a drop-down menu option called Accessible Versions. For keyboard users, the button will appear when the keyboard focus moves to the button when tabbing past the document name.

Accessible versions drop down menu option

Activating this button will produce a list of Accessible Versions of the source document as shown in the example below.

Accessible version drop down menu options in detail including tagged PDF, HTML, ePub, Electronic braille, and audio.

The accessible versions available will depend on the original document. The student may select the format that best meets their needs and select the Download button to obtain a copy of the original document in the newly selected format.

For additional information:

Blackboard Ally Website

For additional support:

Blackboard Learn Tutorials