Blackboard Ally Speed Round #1 - Accessibility


As part of this year’s National Gathering, The Learning Counsel included some very valuable Speed Round presentations. These Speed Round presentations are short, succinct, yet important looks at products your school or district needs to know about. In this presentation, Nick Hall, K-12 Solutions Engineer for Blackboard and Rachel Gutierrez, K-12 Account Executive for Blackboard investigate an incredible product for accessibility, Blackboard Ally.

According to Rachel Gutierrez, “If you don't know who Blackboard is, or maybe you know Blackboard from college years using the learning management system, we are a company that not only provides learning management solutions, but we also provide a whole suite of community engagement solutions including a mass notification system website solution. But today, we are looking at accessibility solutions that work in both our learning management system and on our website platform.”

Continuing the discussion, Nick Hall said, “Every solution that we provide is created with accessibility in mind, and Blackboard Ally works with our web community manager content management system, but we also provide it for learning management systems, such as Canvas Schoology, and of course, Blackboard Learn. Blackboard ally provides a simple and elegant solution to addressing the equity of digital content. Your online learning environments, ally provides live scanning of all of your HTML and your uploaded content, and it provides an accessibility score for each piece of the content published. For district leaders and administrators, Ally provides districtwide digital content accessibility reporting that allows for deep insight and understanding into how the institution is performing as a whole and how it's evolving from a content accessibility point of view. And for instructors, Ally provides that same reporting insight, but limited to their courses. And that Ally accessibility report helps track progress and can help highlight problem areas and identify initiatives that can further help improve your accessibility and any new and existing content is checked and checks are made automatically and in real time against our accessibility checklist based on the web content accessibility guidelines, 2.1 AA standards.

“For instructors, Ally not only provides details on what makes a piece of content inaccessible, but also why it's important to make that content accessible and what steps the instructor needs to take to fix it. Instructors can learn by using Ally, what's making their content inaccessible and use that feedback to create more accessible content moving forward, which increases their knowledge base and their accessibility competencies. So, they're constantly getting inline professional development as they use the system. For any end-user, students, parents, whoever is accessing that content, Ally scans any uploaded documents within the digital learning environment and automatically creates alternative formats to make that content more accessible.”

In today’s world of accessibility compliance, you can’t afford to come up lacking. Blackboard Ally is simple, sophisticated and represents the leading edge of accessibility products. Watch the video to learn more. You’ll be so glad you did.


Recent Articles


We are now in something in education that we haven't seen before. We're looking at a true structural shift. And I think that that's going to be the first priority we talk about


I do applaud the concern felt by the young people for their peers but the reality of how lunches are paid for seems to be a mystery for them as well as their parents

Christy S. Martin, Ed. D