Blackboard Ally                                                 Blackboard ally logo - Tech4Good Awards

The Ally plugin for myCourses/Moodle automatically checks accessibility of course materials using WCAG 2.1 AA (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) standards and provides instant feedback that can be viewed in the course. This tool also provides step-by-step instructions to improve accessibility of materials and alternative formats that students can download (this can be disabled for individual items). The Ally tool adds a link to a full accessibility report in the Course Tools area, and this report displays the course's overall accessibility score, a summary of the course content, and issues that can be instantly fixed.

Instructors do not have to turn on this tool, and the course accessibility report will be imported with a course if it is copied or moved in myCourses. Currently, Ally checks files in the following formats:

  • PDF
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • OpenOffice/LibreOffice
  • Uploaded HTML files
  • Images (JPG, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF)
  • WYSIWYG/VTBE (Atto editor) content (results only available in the Course Accessibility Report area)
  • embedded YouTube videos (will check for captions; automated captions not considered accessible)

Ally performs an immediate check when a file is uploaded to the course. Results appear next to the uploaded item and in the accessibility report within 15–90 seconds. Icons appear next to the uploaded items that indicate the results of the accessibility check. Users see different Ally icons depending on their role in the course, and only instructors can access the accessibility report in Course Tools.

Faculty Getting Started

Ally is available to LSUE faculty through Moodle/myCourses.  For instructions and tips on Ally for faculty, please visit the MyCourses Training course within Moodle/myCourses.  If you would like access to this training course, please contact OIT.

For more help with using Ally, see the Ally provided page - Ally Help for Instructors.

For additional information on Panopto, please contact OIT.

Students Getting Started

For PDF, Word, OpenOffice, HTML or PowerPoint files, Ally produces several alternative formats of the original file such as electronic braille, audio, or tagged PDF. Students may download a file version best suited to their needs by opening the drop-down menu next to the file and choosing the "Alternative Formats" option.

For information on using Ally as a student, see the Ally provided page - Ally Help for Students.