Teaching & Learning


Improve the accessibility of Moodle content with Blackboard Ally

11 September 2019

UCL has acquired Blackboard Ally - a new technology to help improve the accessibility of content within Moodle, in line with UK legislation.

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Ally runs within Moodle to provide alternative file formats for students and accessibility guidance for staff.

It will be launched prior to the start of term on Wednesday 18 September.

Alternative formats on demand

Ally uses machine algorithms to convert common file types to alternative formats with no extra effort required.

For example, you can upload your lecture slides as a PowerPoint file to Moodle; the tool will then automatically offer students the option to download the file in its original format or a range of alternatives, including audio (mp3), PDF, ePub for eReaders or Braille reader files. 

Alternative formats are essential so all students can access the content they need. 

However, alternative formats will only be as accessible as the original source file. You should therefore always ensure you follow best practice when creating your content.

Helping you identify where improvements can be made

Ally also provides you with an accessibility score and guidance on common files within Moodle including PDF, PowerPoint and Word documents. This includes files already present within Moodle and new files as they are uploaded.

Digital Education's guidance on creating accessible content and Ally combined will help you to identify and improve the accessibility of your teaching resources. The accessibility score and guidance is available only to you, as staff, and cannot be seen by students.

Watch the Blackboard Ally for LMS video and read the UCL staff guide on Blackboard Ally to learn more.

You can direct students towards the UCL student guide on Blackboard Ally for more information.

The Digital Education blog will post any updates.

Contact digi-ed@ucl.ac.uk if you have any questions relating to Ally, or if you would like a demonstration for your department.