In late 2016, Blackboard acquired Fronteer, a UK-based educational products and services company whose flagship Ally software helps institutions and instructors make course content more accessible.
Currently available for various learning management systems including Blackboard, Canvas, and Moodle/Moodlerooms, Blackboard Ally can be implemented in a few courses or across an entire learning management system. When deployed, Ally provides students with alternative versions of course materials, as the software automatically checks for accessibility issues and generates supplemental material for viewing or download. Currently alternative file formats include semantic HTML, tagged PDF, audio, e-pub and electronic braille downloads.
In addition to being able to view or download alternative formats, educators receive guidance for improving accessibility of their course materials, with issues identified and solutions provided. The accessibility standards are consistent with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA standards.
Finally, institutions and designated leaders can gain access to an Institutional Report that shows progress in increasing accessibility over time and terms. As organizations recognize the close connection between accessibility and the quality and usability of course content, the benefits of improvements in accessibility can be brought to all learners.
You are invited to join the Ally User Group. Click here to join.