Anthology Ally (formerly Blackboard Ally)
In Fall 2019, the University of Houston-Downtown launched Blackboard's latest product, Anthology Ally. According to Texas code (TAC 1.10.206.C, section 206.70) and system policy (SAM 01.D.13) regarding accessibility of electronic documents and website materials, all “new or changed web pages” must be in compliance.
We have consulted several recent Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Resolutions and Settlements with institutions of higher education regarding accessibility compliance issues. In these settlements, it is clear that the electronic access requirements extend to online, Blackboard, and Canvas learning environments. This accessibility is expected regardless of other ADA requests, which may still be used for other accessibility needs. Blackboard Ally will assist the university in moving towards compliance.
|Need Help with Ally? Contact the Provost Office Ally Hotline (firstname.lastname@example.org or 713-221-8003) if you have questions about or concerns related to pedagogical implications, discipline-specific issues, or specific challenges you are having in making your instructional materials accessible.|
What is Ally?
How does Ally Work?
Ally automatically scans your original content and performs a series of steps to make them more accessible.
- Generates alternative formats for students to download
- Provides accessibility scores
- Gives instructor feedback on how to improve your accessibility score
Accessibility scores are determined by the severity of issues in each file. A low score indicates the file has severe or multiple accessibility issues; a high score means there are minor or no accessibility issues.
Each score is composed of both a number (percentage) and a colored gauge that reflects the number. Scores range from Low to Perfect. The higher the score, the fewer the issues. For files with Low to High scores, Ally shows you the issues and gives a step-by-step guide on how to fix them.
Why are we using Ally?
Ally helps to build a more inclusive learning environment and improve the student experience by helping them take clear control of course content with usability, accessibility and quality in mind.
Ally’s accessibility checklist is based on WCAG 2.0 AA (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). This is an international accessibility standard, and most of the legislation and legal requirements worldwide aligns with this standard.
The University of Houston System, along with the United States Access Board, are fully committed to adhering and complying to policies mentioned in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and WCAG 2.0 AA recommendations.
Revised Section 508 standards incorporated Level AA success criteria
and conformance requirements to both web and non-web electronic content.
How Can I Get Started?
- Register for Training
- Ally Instructor Resources
- Ally Student Resources
- Ally FAQs
- UHD Accessibility Crash Course (LinkedIn Learning)
Accessible Content Micro-Learning Documents
- Add Alternative descriptions to image files
- Remove potentially harmful content
- Scanned PDFs: An enemy to accessibility
- Add a library reference
- View all file accessibility issues
- Add alternative descriptions to PowerPoint images
- Add headings to a Word document
- Add headers to your data tables in Word
- Export a Word document as a tagged PDF
Have questions about accessibility on our campus?
Have questions or feedback about Ally?
Contact the Provost Office Ally Hotline (email@example.com or 713-221-8003) if you have questions about or concerns related to pedagogical implications, discipline-specific issues, or specific challenges you are having in making your instructional materials accessible.
If you know your question is specifically related to an IT issue, please feel free to reach out directly to IT for assistance at AllyGator@uhd.edu.