Office of Digital Learning & Innovation (DLI)

UDAL Tutorials, Tools & Support

UDAL Resources for Teaching and Learning

Table of contents


Find useful information and tutorials to make your Canvas course universally accessible

Ally in Canvas

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.

Ally has three main areas determined by role:

  • 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. Students can request alternate formats at anytime.
    Note: Conversion will not work on image PDFs.
  • 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.
    Note: Students do not see the gauge icons.
  • Institution - Information is gathered and reported to administrators to show file types and levels of accessibility in all course content for the institution.

Ially introductory video

Accessible Documents

Accessible video

Active learning @UW Bothell

Accessible Web



Have questions about Universal Design, active learning or accessibility?


Ana Thompson MIS, CPACC
Learning & Access Designer