Blackboard Ally

A new accessibility support tool called Blackboard Ally has been enabled. The tool rates the accessibility of resources and walks you through the process of making amendments. Higher quality, accessibility focussed documents will mean that students are able to generate more accurate and usable alternative formats without intervention.

Full guidance on digital accessibility and how to use the new functionality is available in the digital accessibility resource in Blackboard Train.

Accessibility scores on learning materials

Learning materials will have coloured meter icons next to them. These meter icons show the accessibility of each resource. The meter icons and scores are purely for staff and cannot be seen by students. They are a guide to help you improve the resource. There are no minimum standards or score expected or mandated. Work towards the most accessible resource you can.

example screenshot of the four meter icons

Course report

A course report is available to academic staff that looks at learning materials at the module level. It highlights the accessibility issues in documents: those with the most serious issues and those that are easiest to fix. This will help you prioritise where to make improvements.

example screenshot showing the A icon with a peice of content

example screenshot of the report for this peice of content

Alternative formats

Alternative formats of resources (e.g. audio files) can be created without intervention from academic staff. This enables students to have prompt access to resources in the format that they want. The more accessible the document, the more accurate and useable these alternative formats will be. The tool does not alter the original and we are recommending that staff promote this facility to all students.

Accessibility data

UWE gained access to a wealth of data from Ally on the accessibility of the learning environment in Blackboard. This will enable the University to better support staff in delivering an accessible digital learning environment.

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