Blackboard Ally

Bb Ally workshops are now posted on our Events page.

UVM’s Commitment to Accessibility

Diversity and inclusion are deeply held values at UVM and we are committed to making all learning environments accessible to every student. In support of this goal, a new tool—Ally—is now available on Blackboard. You do not need to turn it on—it appears automatically..

What is Ally?

Ally is a tool that enhances usability and accessibility of course documents. Ally evaluates documents that are uploaded to Blackboard and, in a few moments, provides an accessibility score for each file. For files that don’t comply with accessibility guidelines, Ally provides information to faculty to improve its accessibility. To determine a rating, Ally uses Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, an international accessibility standard that is frequently referenced in new legislation and legal requirements.

What Do Faculty See?

Once a file is uploaded, instructors will see a graphic symbol (a “gauge”) adjacent to the file. This gauge icon indicates the degree to which the file meets ADA guidelines. The gauge icon can be clicked to receive information about the issue and how the file can be fixed to be more accessible. Students do not see the Ally gauges on your files.

For detailed information, view » this brief video .

What Do Students See?

For students, Ally can produce several alternative formats of the original file (ex: electronic braille, audio, tagged PDF) so that students can use the version best suited to their needs. They simply need to open the drop-down menu next to the file and choose the “Alternative Formats” option.

For detailed information, view » this brief video .