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Making course content accessible

Introducing Blackboard Ally

Blackboard Ally is a revolutionary product that focuses on making digital course content more accessible. Using inclusivity, sustainability, and automation as its key pillars, Blackboard Ally helps you understand and tackle accessibility in a way that benefits all students.

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The institution-wide impact of accessibility

As the accessibility of digital course content is becoming an increasingly important topic world-wide, institutions must address long-standing and often overbearing challenges.

Vast amounts of course content

Vast amounts of course content

Large amounts of course content make it difficult for an institution to understand where they stand with accessibility issues today

Lack of awareness and understanding

Lack of awareness and understanding

Instructors struggle with a lack of awareness and understanding behind the impact of accessibility and how to create more accessible content

Learners can fall behind

Learners can fall behind

Learners can be blocked or delayed in their courses due to the time involved in gaining access to alternative formats

Blackboard Ally focuses on making course content more accessible

By integrating seamlessly into systems that instructors and learners are already using, such as the Learning Management System, Blackboard Ally helps bring accessibility into existing workflows. As part of Blackboard’s commitment to accessibility, Ally is being made available to all Learning Management Systems to help benefit as many students as possible.

By recognizing the overlap between accessibility and the quality and usability of course materials, Blackboard Ally strives towards higher quality and more usable course content that can benefit all students, making a truly inclusive impact on access across the entire institution.

Key Features

Learn the way you want

Blackboard Ally will automatically run all course materials through an accessibility checklist that checks for common accessibility issues. Using advanced Machine Learning algorithms, Ally will also generate a range of more accessible alternatives for the instructor’s original and will make these available to all students in the course. These alternative accessible formats include Semantic HTML, audio, ePub, and electronic braille.

Instructor Feedback

Blackboard Ally provides the instructor with feedback about the accessibility of their course materials and guidance on how to fix identified accessibility issues. This aims to increase awareness and understanding of accessibility with instructors and generate a change in behavior over time.

Institutional Reporting

Blackboard Ally provides an institution-wide course content accessibility report that allows for deep insight and understanding into how the institution is performing and evolving from a course content accessibility point of view. This report helps track progress and can help highlight problem areas and identify initiatives that can further help improve accessibility at the institution.

Blackboard Ally Team

Accessibility is not optional

The background and vision behind Blackboard Ally. Nicolaas Matthijs explains how everyone at the institution not only plays a part in better digital accessibility, but can widely benefit from it.

Introducing Ally Webinar

Introducing Ally Webinar

Nicolaas Matthijs addresses the Ally User Group with a webinar highlighting shared problems, Ally’s functionality and a demonstration of the integration capabilities. Essential viewing for getting started with Blackboard Ally.

Next Steps