Center for eLearning

Blackboard Ally

What is Ally?  |  Accessibility Score Indicators  |  Common Accessibility Issues  |  Getting Started   |  Information For Your Students  |  Additional Accessibility Resources

Ally for Blackboard

Accessible course content makes it easier for everyone to read and access your materials and can help improve overall quality and usability. There are many low-effort adjustments you can make to start creating more accessible content.

Blackboard Ally automatically runs course materials through an accessibility checklist that looks for common accessibility issues. The solution generates a range of more accessible alternatives for the instructor's original content including Semantic HTML, audio, ePub and electronic Braille. It provides educators with guidance for improving the accessibility of their course materials, while also supplying comprehensive reporting on the current state of content accessibility at both the course and institutional level.

Accessibility Score Indicators in Blackboard

Ally measures the accessibility of each file attached to your course and shows you at-a-glance how it scores. Scores range from Low to Perfect. The higher the score the fewer the issues.

  • Ally High ScoreHigh: File is accessible but could be improved.
  • Ally Low ScoreLow: File is not accessible and needs immediate attention
  • Ally Medium ScoreMedium: File is somewhat accessible and could use improvement.
  • Ally Perfect ScorePerfect: File is accessible. No improvement needed. For files with Low to High scores, Ally shows you the issues and gives a step-by-step guide on how to fix them.

Find a file and select the Accessibility score. Follow the steps in front of you to go step-by-step. Select All issues to see every issue in the file and decide what issues to fix first.

Common Accessibility Fixes

Font Size

Use a font size of at least 12px


Color Contrast Between Text and Background

Ensure that there is sufficient contrast between text and background.

Proper Heading Styles

Ensure that proper heading styles are used.

Logical Heading Structure

Ensure that a logical heading structure is used.

Images Have Alternative Description

Ensure that images have an alternative description that
can convey the full meaning of the image.

Tables Used for Tabular Data

Ensure that tables are used for tabular data only.

Tables Have Column Headings

Ensure that all tables have column headings.

All Lists Use Built-in Functionality

Ensure that all lists use built-in list functionality.   

Links Have Text That Describes Target

Ensure that all links have text that describes the target.

Built-in PowerPoint Slide Templates

Ensure that built-in PowerPoint slide templates are used.

Don't Scan PDFs

Don’t use scanned PDFs.


All PDFs Are Tagged

Ensure that all PDFs are tagged.


Getting Started Documents

The following documents will help you become familiar with Ally, its mission, key features and successfully get started.