Accessibility scores in your module? Welcome to Blackboard Ally

To support our commitment to a more inclusive campus, we’ve introduced a new tool called Ally into your My Dundee modules to help improve the accessibility of your module content. Ally doesn’t change how anything works in your module and doesn’t affect your module files. This new tool has been made available along with the move to the Blackboard Ultra Base Navigation. Read on for more details.

What does this mean for staff?

After Ally is enabled, you’ll notice in your module red, orange, light green, and dark green gauges next to your module files. These are “Ally Indicators” and they let you know the accessibility of the file. The indicators are only visible to instructors in the module, not to students. Simply click the indicator to read detailed feedback about what the accessibility issues are with the file, why they matter, and how to fix them.

Instructor feedback

 

What this means for Students?

Improving the accessibility of module content will not only help ensure students with disabilities can access  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. Ally automatically generates “alternative formats” of your module files and makes them available to you and your students by clicking the dropdown icon next to the file name. The alternative formats don’t affect your original file and allow students to access an HTML version for their phone, an ePub version for their tablet, an MP3 version for audio, and electronic braille for braille readers.

Windows showing list of alternative formats

Further Reading

We hope you will take some first steps in using Ally to improve the accessibility of module content, and start to use the alternative formats. To support this, we’ll be releasing guides over the summer to help staff and students get the most out of this new tool.

If you have questions about this new tool, you can contact us at ctil@dundee.ac.uk. If you experience any technical issues, please report them to help4u@dundee.ac.uk.

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