What is Ally?

What is it for?

Blackboard Ally is a tool that helps ensure digital teaching material is accessible to all students. Once a resource is uploaded to Blackboard, it automatically generates several alternative formats to allow students to select which is most compatible with their learning needs. These include: HTML for easier access on mobile phones; tagged PDF for use with assistive technology like screen readers and even MP3 for revising on the go. In addition, Ally also provides personalised feedback for staff on their resource; highlighting any accessibility issues and explaining how to amend them.


Auditory learning. Revising on the go!

Tagged PDF

For screen reader technology


Reading as an ebook on mobile device


Easier access on mobile phones

Electronic Braille

For the visually impaired
This short video by Blackboard Ally explains what the software offers and why it’s so important

Getting started?

Ally measures the accessibility of each file attached to your course and shows you at-a-glance how it scores. Scores range from Low to Perfect. The higher the score the fewer the issues.

  •  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.

For files with Low to High scores, Ally shows you the issues and gives a step-by-step guide on how to fix them.

Find a file and select the Accessibility score. Follow the steps in front of you to go step-by-step. Select All issues to see every issue in the file and decide what issues to fix first.


Where to get help

Check out the My Dundee guides for lots of advice, and if you have any technical problems contact

Custom guides

You can find guides that are specific for the University of Dundee right here on this site. Have a look at the contents menu on this page or use the search.

Blackboard guides

Created by students Emma Tennant, Emily Turnbull and illustrations by Daisy Hutton