ALLY – a new tool in your Brightspace course to aid accessibility

What is Ally? 

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Ally is a new accessibility tool in Brightspace that can help assist you and your students. Ally allows students to access course content documents in alternative formats. It can be used by instructors to evaluate the accessibility of their course documents and provides resources to improve document accessibility if needed.  

What Students Experience 

Ally icon to download alt formats

Students will see a new icon to the right of their course content pages allowing them to open the document in alternative formats.  

Alternative formats for content pages 

The accessibility of the alternative formats depends on the accessibility of the source page.

  • Scanned PDF can be converted into text format 
  • Word & PowerPoint can be converted into tagged PDF 
  • PDFs, Word & PowerPoint can be converted into HTML 
  • PDFs, Word, PowerPoint & HTML can be converted into E-book readers (ePub) 
  • PDFs, Word, PowerPoint & HTML can be converted into Audio (text-to-speech) 
  • PDFs, Word, PowerPoint & HTML can be converted into electronic braille 
  • PDFs, Word, PowerPoint & HTML can be converted into BeeLine reader  

What Faculty Experience 

Accessibility evaluation grade

In addition to the alternative format icon, faculty will see an Accessibility Score icon next to Course Content pages. 

  • Low: File is not accessible and needs immediate attention. 
  • Medium: File is somewhat accessible and could use improvement. 
  • High: File is accessible but could be improved. 
  • Perfect: File is accessible. No improvement needed. 

Clicking on the Accessibility Score icon will open a page that indicates the accessibility issues for that document. You will also find guides with instructions to address these issues.  

Resources

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TBR Webinar on Blackboard Ally