What is Blackboard Ally?

Blackboard Ally (or simply just ‘Ally’) is a tool which allows you to download alternative formats for common documents to make learning resources more accessible. Files uploaded to Blackboard are automatically given an Ally icon (looks like an ‘A’ with an arrow next to it) to the right of the file name, clicking on this opens the option to download the following different formats:

  • Tagged PDF – structured PDF for improved use with assistive technology
  • HTML – for viewing in the browser and on mobile devices
  • ePub – for reading as an e-book on an iPad and other e-book readers
  • Electronic Braille – BRF version for consumption on electronic braille displays
  • Audio – MP3 version for listening
  • BeeLine Reader – making reading on screen easier and faster with colour gradients

On Blackboard courses where you are an Instructor, you will also see an indicator to the left of the file name which shows how accessible the document is, and clicking on this makes suggestions for how to improve the document for all users. Students do not see these indicators in their view.

screen image showing how the Ally tool displays to instructors against content uploaded to Blackboard