Blackboard Learn has a number of built-in accessibility features to help you and your students when using it. It is compliant with accessibility guidelines as detailed in the VLE accessibility statement (awaiting link once statement approved).
To support our commitment to more inclusive teaching and learning and to help make content uploaded to Blackboard more accessible, the Blackboard Ally tool is available in Blackboard modules.
Ally provides guidance to staff on how to make your Blackboard content more accessible by assessing the accessibility of each file attached to your course, identifying any issues and giving advice on how to resolve them. It also creates alternative formats of any content you upload, so students can choose a version of the file that is most appropriate for their device and specific circumstances or requirements, e.g. a PDF or an audio file.
Masters student, Hannah Baxter (Real Estate Planning, 2021/22) finds being able to choose which format to download content helpful: ‘I often download content from Blackboard using the PDF option as it enables me to organise the documents I want to look at in an easy-to-read way’.
This short video gives an overview of the Blackboard Ally tool:
In this short clip, UoR lecturer Pilar Gray Carlos explains how her department has used the Ally tool to help produce more accessible materials for students on Blackboard:
To find out more, please see Getting started with Blackboard Ally.
Please note that to make the most of Ally, it is important to:
- create accessible files before uploading them onto Blackboard, rather than use Ally as a tool to make your files accessible (for more advice, see Creating accessible teaching materials)
- take into account the feedback provided for creating future content.
Staff development opportunity – Inclusive Design: Accessible Learning Materials
The TEL team run a staff development session for academic and admin staff aimed at giving you the skills to create accessible content in your Blackboard course. It will introduce you to the Blackboard ALLY tool that can help you review and make your Blackboard course materials more accessible, and show you the automatically generated alternative formats for students. Booking information and dates.