Office of Digital Learning & Innovation (DLI)

UDAL Tutorials, Tools & Support

UDAL Resources for Teaching and Learning

Table of contents

UW Bothell Digital Accessibility Plan

Accessible technology includes electronic documents, websites, videos, software applications, and hardware devices that can be used effectively by everyone, including students, faculty, staff, and visitors with disabilities. The UW Bothell Digital Accessibility Plan and the IT Accessibility Policy were approved and published June 2019 to guide our campus to support our diverse community and provide equitable access to everyone. Both documents are linked in the UW Bothell Accessibility website.

Accessible, universal and usable design

Accessible design is a design process in which the needs of people with disabilities are specifically considered

Universal design is a broader concept that is defined by The Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University as "the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design."

Usable design serves to create products that are easy and efficient to use. Usability has been defined by the International Organization for Standardization as the "effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction with which a specified set of users can achieve a specified set of tasks in a particular environment."

DO-IT, University of Washington. (2017). What is the difference between accessible, usable, and universal design? Retrieved from


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.

Ally 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