To support Harper’s commitment to a more inclusive campus, we’ve introduced a new tool called Ally to help improve the accessibility and usability of course content in Blackboard. Ally works by scanning the content an instructor uploads to Blackboard, and then performs a series of steps to help make the content more accessible.

The main functions of Ally include:

  • Generating alternative formats of content so students can choose to download the format that meets their needs
  • Providing feedback and leading the instructor through the steps needed to improve the accessibility of content

To date, 29 faculty have signed on to try Ally in their courses as part of the Ally pilot. Twelve of those faculty have completed the criteria to achieve “Ally Advocate” status and have earned a badge which recognizes the ability to leverage the Blackboard Ally tool to improve the accessibility, quality, and usability of course content for all students. Instructors who use the Ally tool have shared their positive feedback on its ease of use and the knowledge they have gained about course accessibility. See the infographic below (or view the PDF version) for more insight on the positive impact the use of Ally has made in the short time it’s been implemented at Harper.

If you are interested in Ally for the Spring 2021 semester, the next Ally introduction workshop will be on Thursday January 28, 2020 at 2 p.m. More information and the link to register for the workshop can be found here.

Blackboard Ally Pilot