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UMKC Online is excited to announce the addition of Blackboard Ally, a new accessibility tool, in the Canvas LMS. Blackboard Ally, or Ally for short, easily integrates into your Canvas course.  Ally serves as an automated accessibility checklist that evaluates course materials including Word Documents, PowerPoints, Excel spreadsheets, images, and PDF documents for common accessibility issues. After a scan is completed, Ally provides an accessibility score for each scanned material, indicated by a small gauge (please note that this score is not seen by student users).

Clicking on the gauge will open a detailed report of the issues, including information on what the issues mean and guidance on how to correct them.

In addition to serving instructors, Ally also improves the student experience in Canvas by generating alternative document formats. These alternative formats can be downloaded to the student’s computer.

Alternative accessible formats created by Ally include semantic HTML, audio, ePUB, and electronic braille. Students will now be able to access course materials in a variety of formats to better suit their learning needs.

UMKC Online is still exploring the full functionality of Blackboard Ally in Canvas. If you’d like to explore Blackboard Ally with an Instructional Designer, please drop by our Accessibility Open Labs or email us at online@umkc.edu.