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.

  • 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.

How to use Ally

  1. Go into a Blackboard module and find a document.  Next to the document, there should be a speedometer which indicates the document accessibility: green for great, amber for average and red for poor accessibility.
  2. Click on the speedometer to go into the accessibility report. This gives you the accessibility score, lists any accessibility issues and shows you how to fix them.

For more information on common accessibility issues, you can check out our Accessibility Tips.


  • 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.


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.

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