By Elyse Zucker, Juan Soto-Franco, Wilfredo Rodriguez, Raymond Perez, and Carlos Guevara
Blackboard ALLY is a tool designed to be fully integrated into Blackboard courses, which improves course quality by making content more accessible and usable, thereby, promoting Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles and enhancing students’ learning and instructors’ teaching. ALLY achieves this goal in three ways:
1. ALLY checks and scores course content and offers directions for fixing accessibility issues before materials are made available to students.
2. ALLY uses machine learning algorithms which provide alternative formats of course content for students such as semantic HMTL, audio, braille, and it even offers translation to many languages.
3. ALLY offers a means to evaluate the institution’s accessibility status and analyzes course content into an institutional-wide report. This process provides insight and fodder for determining how to further increase accessibility and equitable access.
If you are interested in participating in the pilot program and enabling Ally in your courses, contact EdTechSupport@hostos.cuny.edu.