Ally for Students

What is Ally?

Ally is a tool in Blackboard to help instructors make their content more accessible. Your class is full of diverse students with unique learning abilities, needs and devices. Course content created with this in mind can benefit not only students with disclosed disabilities such as visual impairments and dyslexia, but improve the learning experience for all of students.

Ally logo

Ally for All Courses in Blackboard July 1, 2022

Concordia supports course content accessibility with Ally, a tool inside Blackboard. Ally automatically creates alternative formats of documents (such as an audio file of a document) and informs instructors how to improve course content to make it more accessible. This tool benefits not only students with documented accessibility needs receiving accommodations through the ARC, but benefits all students. CELT and Blackboard Support are planning to activate Ally for all courses July 1, 2022.

Resources for Students

How to Get Help

For help with using Ally contact the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) at celtsupport@cuw.edu or call 262-243-2358 or 1-888-377-7447 (select option 2). You may also contact blackboardsupport@cuw.edu  or call the IT Help Desk at 262-243-4357.

One Small Change Can Make a Big Impact: Universal Design Benefits All Students

Session presented by Laura Traynor (Pharmacy) and Susan Gallanis (CELT) on Thursday June 4, 2020.

The presenters will introduce the concept and principles behind Universal Design and how making small changes can positively impact all students in a course. A new Blackboard tool that enhances Universal Design, Ally, will be introduced. Ally assists faculty in developing a course that benefits all types of learners.

Link to session recording

2020 06 04 UDL and Ally Seminar Power Point

Ally Toolkit

Additional resources to assist faculty in creating Blackboard course content that follows principles of Universal Design.

Word formatting basics (video)

Headings in Word (video)

Lists in Word (video)

This is an open resource that contains MANY resources for how you can make your content more accessible: OER_Accessibility_Checklist

Microsoft Word has a built in Accessibility Checker. Learn more about the MS Word Accessibility Checker.

This document is from a January 2020 Course Design for Student Success that incorporates many of the features addressed above, but in a printable format with screenshots: Course Design for Student Success – Ally 01202020 (2)

Universal Design for Learning in Higher Education (comprehensive website): http://udloncampus.cast.org/home

Link to session recording and PPT of a session regarding UDL and Ally held at Concordia University Wisconsin on June 4, 2020: link to materials