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Making course content accessible can be a daunting process. Blackboard Ally, a new tool now available in Canvas, makes the process much easier.


Many faculty are not aware of what they should be doing to make their courses more accessible, or how to do it. Ally solves both of these problems by scanning all uploaded files in a Canvas course, such as images, PDF’s, Word and PowerPoint presentations, determines how accessible they are, then produces a report. If a file could be more accessible, Ally will give the instructor specific feedback on how to make the file more accessible.

For students, Ally automatically provides alternate formats to view course content. For example, a PDF file or Word document could be made available as:

  • An MP3 audio file.
  • An ePub, HTML, or more accessible PDF file.
  • An electronic braille file.

Benefits for Faculty

  1. Blackboard Ally will automatically run your course materials through an accessibility checker eliminating the need to use multiple checkers and tools. 
  2. Blackboard Ally will generate accessible alternatives to your original document including audio, ePub, electronic braille, tagged PDF, and HTML for viewing on mobile devices.
  3. Alternative formats generated by Ally supports the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and allows students to choose the type of file that best suits their needs.
  4. Blackboard Ally will also provide feedback on the accessibility of your course and guidance on how to fix any identified accessibility issues.
  5. Blackboard Ally allows you to respond to student needs for accessible versions of content without additional development time for creating that content.

Blackboard Ally Overview for Instructors


Related Self Help Guides


Blackboard Resource: Blackboard Ally Help for Instructors



More Help

For questions about Canvas, contact CIT via our online service desk or email canvas@geneseo.edu. Weekdays between 8am-4pm, you can also contact us via our real-time chat portal.

For tips, tricks, and updates on learning technologies at Geneseo, visit our Educational Technology ChatTo explore Canvas Guides (created by Instructure), visit https://community.canvaslms.com/community/answers/guides/canvas-guide