Ally for Online Courses
Ally is a software tool that helps make online course content more accessible in three ways:
- Providing documents in alternative formats to students. Ally allows students to download any attached documents in a course in several alternative formats. Ally for Students – Alternative Formats.
For example, if a Word document is attached in a course, students can click the Ally icon to view and download alternative formats:
- Providing feedback to instructors on the accessibility of their course content. In the instructor view, Ally displays an accessibility indicator icon to course items (documents, images, videos). The instructor can see at a glance which items are less accessible. By clicking on the icon, the instructor gets more information about what was flagged and can access step-by-step instructions for making the item more accessible. Ally for Instructors.
Ally indicator icons appear next to attached items:
After clicking the icon, the instructor sees more information about that particular document's score and how to improve accessibility, if needed:
- Providing reports that show accessibility trends over time. In addition to providing access to global reports for accessibility trends for the entire university, individual instructors will be able to access course-level reports to get an overview of the accessibility score for their course. This can help identify specific content to fix. Ally for Instructors – Course Accessibility Report.
Additional Resources and Support
More suggestions for making online course content usable for everyone are found in the Content Accessibility webpage provided by the KU ADA Resource Center for Equity and Accessibility.
The Center for Online and Distance Learning Instructional Designers provide accessibility support for online courses, including review of course sites and modules. They partner with instructors to use the Quality Matters course review process which includes accessibility.
As part of KU Information Technology, the Educational Technologists support the use of Ally in Canvas and Blackboard, including questions about alternative formats, reports, etc.
Student Access Center staff partner with instructors to ensure that individualized student accommodations are met, and provide subject matter expertise on accessibility.
KU Libraries staff partner with instructors to find accessible versions of content and ensure accessibility of internally-created library resources.