Beginning Fall 2021, anyone who is teaching a course, including all NIU faculty, instructors, staff, and teaching assistants, are eligible to sign up to be part of the initial pilot of Blackboard Ally at NIU. You can be among the first to offer students the flexibility of accessing course materials in the format that best meets their needs.
Blackboard Ally is a powerful tool that can make your courses more accessible to all students through principles of universal design for learning. Using machine learning algorithms, Ally scans any files you add to your Blackboard course to generate alternative formats for your students and to provide you with feedback about the accessibility of your materials. Ally will also provide you with guidance on how to improve the accessibility of your files, to help you build lasting skills for creating accessible materials.
The Blackboard Ally pilot is open to anyone who is teaching a course at NIU. To sign up, simply complete the Blackboard Ally Pilot Interest Form.
Ally will be enabled in your courses during the week of August 16-20, or within 2 business days if you sign up for the pilot after the semester has begun.
Getting started with Ally is really easy and should not require much time. After introducing your students to accessing the alternative formats, we ask that you also spend some time exploring Ally's accessibility scores and feedback to improve a few of your files.