Blackboard Ally – Use the Accessibility Summary

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What is the Accessibility Summary?

The Accessibility Summary is part of Blackboard Ally, our accessibility add-on for My Studies. It provides you with an overview of content across your module or course. Alongide this the Accessibility Summary provides suggestions for quickly fixing your content and for improving low accessibility content.

How can I use the Accessibility Summary

In your modules and courses under the Course Management > Course Tools menu you will now see an Accessibility Summary option.

Screenshot of the Course Management menu with Course Tools opens and a mouse cursor pointing to Accessibility Summary in a My Studies module

The summary will open on its own page and will show the overall accessibility of your module content and an overview of content types in use.

Screenshot of the Accessibility Summary View - the overall rating is shown on the left with a pie chart content summary below

To see helpful suggestions for easy issues to fix, press Start in the top box on the right.

Annotated screenshot showing the 'content with the easiest issues to fix' block and the start button

On the next page, click on the dial next to the suggested fix to see instructions explaining how to improve the content.

Screenshot showing content to fix in the Accessibility Summary, a cursor and an arrow are pointing to the red dial to open the Instructor Feedback Panel

Follow the instructions provided. In this example I need to add alternative (alt) descriptive text. This will describe the content of the image to people who are visually impaired or blind. It will also help all students, as if the image does not load or there is a problem with it the text will explain what students should be seeing on the page.

Screenshot showing the Instructor Feedback panel in Ally, a diagram of a brain is shown, the accessibility rating is on the right and a text entry field for a alternative description is provided

I added the following written description…

Annotated diagram of the human brain with labeling and colour coding for each part of the brain. From the top: frontal lobe (red), parietal lobe (yellow), occipital lobe (blue), temporal lobe (purple), cerebellum (brown), spinal cord (purple).

Then I clicked on the Add button and hey presto, the image is now 100% and will be removed from the list of things to fix.

Screenshot of the Instructor Feedback Panel with the same view as the previous image except the description now added and it is 100%

The steps for fixing ‘low scoring content’ are the same as the process shown above.

I have been working in the Educational Technology field within Higher Education for eleven years. A big part of my job is finding new and innovative ways of integrating technology into current teaching and learning methodology. This can include assisting academic staff with Virtual Learning Environments/Learning Management Systems (Blackboard), implementing specific software packages, maximising current technologies and championing new ones. I find this profession both riveting and rewarding. I really enjoy life on the cutting edge, but I also enjoy being able to help staff achieve small and meaningful efficiencies; sometimes that makes all the difference.

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