Teachers - Using Ally

In the Teacher view, as you are building your course, Ally scans the files linked within the course and flags them for potential accessibility issues. Note: The Ally score indicators are not visible to students—just to Teachers and course assistants.

Ally Score Gauges

  •   Low (0-33%): Needs help! There are severe accessibility issues.
  •   Medium (34-66%): A little better. The file is somewhat accessible and needs improvement.
  •   High (67-99%): Almost there. The file is accessible but more improvements are possible.
  •   Perfect (100%): Perfect! Ally didn't identify any accessibility issues but further improvements may still be possible.

Click the Ally score indicator that appears next to the file to view your feedback. You can then follow the guidance to correct accessibility issues in your original file. To be clear, Ally does not affect your course files directly or make changes for you: it helps you modify your course materials. Improvements you make to your original files will improve the effectiveness of the alternative formats provided to students.

Blackboard Documentation - Ally for Instructors

UNM Canvas Training Schedule - The Center for Digital Learning offers online and in-person workshops . The Center also has weekly Open Labs where you can receive individualized help.

Some Helpful Things to Know:

  • Scores/reports are only for content that Ally checks within Canvas (specific types of files) and do not include other content types such as tests and audio/video, nor do they include external content (publisher materials, e-books, etc).
  • What content does Ally Check?
    • PDF files
    • Microsoft® Word files
    • Microsoft® PowerPoint® files
    • OpenOffice/LibreOffice files
    • Uploaded HTML files
    • Image files (JPG, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF)
    • WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) content (e.g., content that you add to the content editor in pages, discussions, etc.)
  • The Ally Course Accessibility Report (located on the left course menu) shows an accessibility summary for the course. It can provide some help with prioritization and efficiencies for working through the remediation of multiple items.
  • After adding new content, you must refresh the page to see the Ally score indicator. This can take up to several minutes depending on the size of the file. (Note: The score indicators are not visible to students.)
  • Your Course Files has a column titled " Accessibility" along with an Ally accessibility indicator for some files. Ally ONLY scans and provides accessible versions for files that are student-facing and linked in a Module. If you upload a file to Files, but do not link it in the course (or upload a file and later delete the link), Ally will not scan that file, and will not provide an accessibility score. Thus, it is perfectly normal and expected to have several files in Files without a score indicator. This is especially true for courses with unused content copied over from previous iterations of the course.
  • Ally only scans content uploaded by teachers and course assistants. It does not scan student submissions/uploaded documents.
  • Checking your work: you can use Student View to see how alternative formats appear for students. Both students and teachers can see the accessible versions of files in Modules by clicking the "Alternative formats" icon.
  • Student Help Document - Alternative formats - This is a URL you can post showing students how to access the alternative formats. 
  • The Ally tool continues to be developed and improved. It does not check for ALL possible accessibility issues, but more may be added over time. The Ally Accessibility Checklist contains a current list of the specific checks performed by Ally.

Additional Resources:

If you have any issues using the Ally tool, please reach out to UNM Canvas Support.