Office of Digital Learning & Innovation (DLI)

UDAL Tutorials, Tools & Support

UDAL Resources for Teaching and Learning

Blackboard Ally

Blackboard or Bb Ally is a tool that works from within Canvas to increase access and improve user experience for all students, not just students with disabilities. The student side was implemented at UW Fall 2018 and the instructor side is scheduled to be released Spring 2019.

Bb Ally has three main areas it addresses:

  • Students - By using machine learning algorithms, all files that get up loaded to Canvas courses are analyzed to produce alternative formats: semantic html, mp3 audio, electronic Braille, tagged PDF and ePub, so they are ready for students to download.
  • Instructors - Similar algorithms look at the Canvas course content and provide contextual feedback to the instructor on level of accessibility and suggests how to fix issues. Small gauge icons accompany each file or image in the course letting instructors know the percentage of accessibility. Students do not see the icons.
  • Institution - Information is gathered and reported to administrators to show file types and levels of accessibility in all course content for the institution.

Introductory Video

Policy, Articles, and White Papers

Accessible Documents Guides

Accessible Videos Guides

Active Learning @UW Bothell

Accessible Web



Have questions about Universal Design, active learning or accessibility?


Ana Thompson MIS, CPACC
Learning & Access Designer