To support our commitment to a more inclusive campus, we’ve added a tool called Blackboard Ally to all Canvas courses, which will help improve the accessibility of Canvas course content. After a thorough pilot of Ally for the 2018-2019 academic year, the decision was made to offer Ally for all courses in Canvas beginning in August 2019.
Ally's main features are to:
- Automatically generate alternative accessible document formats (including HTML, ePub, Audio, and electronic braille) to provide students and faculty with the format that best fits their personal needs.
- Analyze all files and images that are uploaded to Canvas course sites, identify potential accessibility issues with the files, and offer guidance to faculty on steps to improve those issues.
Ally automatically generates alternative formats of course files, and makes them available to instructors and students. The alternative formats don’t affect the original file, so no need to worry about any impact to existing files.
Instructors will notice red, orange, light green, and dark green gauges next to course files. These Ally indicators are only visible to instructors in the course, and provide the accessibility level for a file with a quick glance. Clicking the indicator provides detailed feedback about what the accessibility issues are with the file, why they matter, and how to fix them.
Improving the accessibility of course content will not only help ensure students with disabilities can access your materials, it will also improve the learning experience for students who use mobile devices as well as those who want to engage with the material in a different way.
Looking for more information? Here's a collection of resources to get you started with Ally in Canvas.
Introduction to Ally Webinar Recording [video recorded September 2019]
Ally for Canvas Resources Course [created for CWRU users]
Additional Information + Help
Looking for more information about Ally or need help? Please send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you answers!
Want detailed, in-depth training about accessibility best practices? Explore our Digital Accessibility training course, a self-guided exploration in the basics of accessibility.