Creating More Inclusive Instructional Content to Reach all Students with Blackboard Ally

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We are finding more students with hidden disabilities who might not request accommodations enrolled in college classes (Bohanon, 2017), as well as more non-traditional students. An instructor can create a more inclusive learning environment by often making small changes to their documents and offering instructional content in a variety of formats (Blackboard Blog, 2018; CAST, 2018). This format choice can have great impact on student learning—for students with and without disabilities.

In Spring 2018, a large southeastern public research university made a decision to invest in Blackboard Ally to assist faculty in providing accessible content. The Division of Information Technology (DoIT) reached out to pedagogy, disability and technology support units to discuss if Ally was the right tool and, if so, to help develop the support infrastructure needed to roll out Ally. DoIT and the Center for Teaching Excellence served as project leads. During this session, we will describe the collaborative processes we went through to obtain faculty and administrator buy-in, share lessons learned, as well as provide a status update.


Speakers: Lydia Frass | University of South Carolina Center for Teaching Excellence | Michael Kelly | University of South Carolina | Charles West | University of South Carolina | Susan Quinn | University of South Carolina | Augie Grant | University of South Carolina