Blackboard Ally is a tool to help you enhance the usability and accessibility of your course documents for students. Ally evaluates documents that are uploaded to Blackboard Learn and provides an accessibility score for each file. The document’s score is dictated by a meter next to each file icon. Note: Students will never see the meters or accessibility score.
For files that don't comply with accessibility guidelines, Ally leads you through the steps needed to improve the accessibility of the document. For more information on what these meters mean and how to improve your documents, you can view this video tutorial for a brief overview of Blackboard Ally for instructors.
In addition to providing you with insight to your content accessibility, Ally automatically creates alternative versions of your files for the students. This allows them to choose the type of file they want that best suits their needs. Note that the more accessible the files formatted by the instructor are, the more accessible the alternative versions will be. While you're in the process of improving files, students can still access alternative copies.
"Blackboard Ally is a big step forward in Universal Design for Learning. Faculty can help make their online files uploaded to Blackboard Learn accessible to students of all abilities. In addition to presenting an accessibility 'score', Ally gives the instructor information about HOW to make files more accessible. Additionally, students can pick the type of file that best meets their learning style." - Carolyn Dorr, IT Accessibility Coordinator at UNI