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March 18, 2022

Blackboard Ally – an amazing tool when matched with accessibility know-how

Ever wondered what Blackboard Ally is or how to use it? Perhaps you’ve seen an amber or green speedo icon at the top of your D2L unit site?  

In late February, the library hosted a wonderful talk by Inclusive Education expert Dr. Danni McCarthy and Project Lead Ambili Sasidharan on the tool Blackboard Ally. 

If you missed the session, don’t worry, you can watch the recording or delve into the array of training resources to learn more.  

But in a nutshell, Blackboard Ally provides students with alternative formats of resources you upload to unit sites, with a click of a button. It also checks resources against WCAG2.1 accessibility standards and gives teachers instant feedback and step-by-step instructions to improve the accessibility of each resource. 

And it doesn’t just benefit screen reader users… the automatically generated alternate formats can be valuable to so many people in a range of situations: 

By allowing students to choose the type of file that best suits their needs and by giving the content creator insight into how accessible their content is, Blackboard Ally’s functions support Universal Design for Learning (UDL).  

This tool is super useful. But what really makes it shine is when you use it with an understanding of accessibility. So, if you are unfamiliar with accessibility or wish to grow your knowledge in this area visit: 

Posted byElizabeth Delacretaz

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