London (UK), May 2017 - Blackboard Inc., a leading education-technology company for teaching, learning, and student engagement, has announced general availability of Blackboard Ally, its accessibility solution that helps make course content more accessible for all learners.
Blackboard Ally integrates with an institution’s existing learning-management system (LMS) and automatically runs course materials through an accessibility checklist that looks for common accessibility issues. The solution generates a range of more accessible alternatives for the instructor’s original content, including semantic HTML, audio, ePub, and electronic Braille. It provides educators with guidance for improving accessibility of their course materials, while also supplying reporting on the current state of content accessibility at both the course and institutional level. Over thirty institutions are already using the solution to help make content more accessible for their students.
"We recognize that providing access to accessible content can be a significant challenge for both instructors and institutions," said Nicolaas Matthijs, Product Manager of Blackboard Ally. "The goal with Blackboard Ally is to increase awareness of course-content accessibility and provide support for teaching students of all learning styles and abilities."
As a part of Blackboard’s commitment to accessibility, it will make Blackboard Ally available in all major LMS platforms. The solution is currently available in the latest release of Blackboard Learn with the Original experience, as well as Canvas. It will also be available in the MoodleRooms 3.2 release later this year, as well as additional platforms in the future.
In addition, to mark the sixth Global Accessibility Awareness Day, 18 May 2017, Blackboard hosted a series of free global webinars covering trending topics on digital access in education presented by its accessibility experts and leading academics.