Blackboard / Blackboard Ally

What is Blackboard Ally?

Blackboard Ally is a tool that complements the main Blackboard VLE. With Blackboard Ally, students can download learning material in various formats such as Braille, HTML and audio. This can be a great help to students with accessibility requirements and others who would benefit from having the material presented in different ways – such as commuting students or busy student parents who may like to listen to articles or lectures on audio, for example. Ally does the conversion work automatically. All that is needed are the learning materials – in Word, PowerPoint or PDF – to be accessible. Blackboard Ally also shows staff how accessible their material is and what they can do to improve.

Benefits for Staff

  • Ally creates accessible formats effortlessly, allowing you to easily cater to your different students’ learning and accessibility needs.
  • Ally helps you make your document accessible from the beginning, helping you save time in the long run.
  • Creating accessible documents means that your teaching will be more inclusive.
  • You will be complying with Trinity’s Accessible Information Policy.

Benefits for Students

  • Ally allows students to download course material in different formats to suit their learning and accessibility needs.
  • Students facing a long commute can download a lecture in audio version to listen to during the trip.
  • Students with limited access to technology can download an article in EPUB to read on their phone or tablet
  • Students who require a screen reader can download the material in HTML and avoid having to approach their lecturer for other formats.

Blackboard and Ally Training for Staff

Why Do this Training?

These quick, bite-sized sessions will teach you all you need to know in order to make your documents easy to use for all students, regardless of their learning backgrounds, preferences or abilities. You will come away with tips and tools that are quick and easy to implement. You’ll also be complying with Trinity’s Accessible Information Policy and doing your part to make Trinity a more inclusive learning environment.

Want to learn more about Ally and the impact that it can have on your teaching? Disability Services, in conjunction with the Trinity Inclusive Curriculum Project, will be running workshops on Blackboard Ally and document accessibility.

Trinity-INC Explains: Blackboard Ally for Academic Staff

Ross Coleman, Graduate Intern with Trinity-INC and the TCD Disability Services, gives a brief overview of Blackboard Ally for academic staff.

Trinity-INC Explains: Blackboard Ally for Students

Trinity-INC Graduate Intern Ross Coleman shows students how to access Blackboard Ally along with examples of the different file formats that are available for download.

Making your Blackboard Module Clearer for Students - Undergraduate Studies Committee

The Trinity Inclusive Curriculum Project's Student Partner Liaison Officer, Seán Adderley, discusses 'Making you Blackboard Module Clearer for Students' for the Undergraduate Studies Committee. Trinity-INC Skills Session: Creating Accessible Content in a Blackboard Module

A Student Perspective on Blackboard Ally: Reece Sheridan

Trinity INC Student Partner Reece Sheridan shares his experience of Blackboard Ally and how it helped him balance his studies with his other responsibilities as a carer.