Ally, a feature in Blackboard, is a tool to help you enhance the usability and accessibility of your course documents. Ally evaluates documents that are uploaded to Blackboard and provides an accessibility score for each file. For files that don’t comply with accessibility guidelines, Ally leads you through the steps needed to improve the accessibility of the document.
Files uploaded to your course will show an accessibility score, represented as colored gauges. These accessibility score icons appear right next to your file.
0-33% (red icon): The file is not accessible and needs immediate attention.
34-66% (orange icon): The file is somewhat accessible.
67-99% (light green icon): The file is accessible but could be improved.
100% (green icon): The file has perfect accessibility. No action needed.
Improving file accessibility
When you select a file’s score, a panel opens to show the numerical score value along with information on the file accessibility.
- Accessibility Score: The file’s accessibility color and numerical score based on severity of accessibility issue.
- Description: The description of the accessibility issue affecting the file.
- Additional information: Detailed information about how the issue affects accessibility and why it is important to correct.
- Instructions to improve: Step-by-step instructions for your preferred software that show you how to improve file accessibility.
- Direct file upload: A drag-and-drop area to upload original or fixed files.
Ally provides instructions to improve file accessibility within the instructor feedback panels. Ally produces feedback for both images and text. Image feedback often single-step, and involves adding a description for clarity.
Text feedback will often include multiple step instructions for your preferred software, such as Microsoft Word or LibreOffice. Common issues include untagged PDFs or contrast issues.
Ally might prompt you to add additional information or to upload resources to make the file more user friendly. Depending on the issue, there could be several steps you need to take to make sure your file is accessible.
After you make your file more accessible, the accessibility score updates next to the file in the course. If you are unable to make your file more accessible, the file will remain with a low accessibility score. If you have multiple issues within your file, Ally will alert you of the next issue to fix.