Blackboard Unveils Accessibility Tool

Blackboard Ally

Blackboard Ally's accessibility scan

Blackboard is releasing an accessibility tool that it plans to make available for all major learning management systems. Blackboard Ally integrates with the LMS and automatically checks course materials for common accessibility issues.

The tool then generates various accessible formats for the instructional content, including Semantic HTML, audio, ePub and electronic Braille, and offers guidance for improving accessibility of the original materials. Data analytics report on overall content accessibility at the course and institutional levels.

"We recognize that providing access to accessible content can be a significant challenge for both instructors and institutions," said Nicolaas Matthijs, product manager of Blackboard Ally, in a statement. "The goal with Blackboard Ally is to increase awareness of course content accessibility and provide support for teaching students of all learning styles and abilities."

Blackboard Ally is already in use at more than 30 institutions across the country, according to the company. It is currently available in the latest release of Blackboard Learn (Original experience) and the Canvas LMS. It will also be part of the MoodleRooms 3.2 release later this year, with additional platforms planned in the future.

For more information, go to the Blackboard site.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].