Accessibility Indicators

In addition to creating alternative formats for your files, Ally measures the accessibility of each file attached to your course and shows you at-a-glance how it scores.

Currently, Ally checks files in these formats:

  • PDF files
  • Microsoft® Word files
  • Microsoft® Powerpoint® files
  • OpenOffice/LibreOffice files
  • Uploaded HTML files

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 new legislation and legal requirements worldwide align with this standard. To measure accessibility, Ally assigns your file an accessibility score.

Note: Accessibility indicators do not show up immediately upon file upload. The time it takes Ally to read a file and generate a report depends on the size of the file.

Accessibility indicators and scores are not displayed in the student view of Blackboard Learn. The only Ally feature available in the student view are the Alternative formats generated for each file.

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. 

Ally indicator gauges in red (low), orange (medium), high (green), and perfect (dark green)

Green is the goal! It may not be realistic to achieve 100% on every file. Ally is a tool for continuous improvement. It is most important to address critical issues and Low (Red) accessibility scores first.