Making your subject more accessible to students

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As part of our continuing functionality updates to the LMS, the 'Ally' accessibility tool has been integrated into Canvas and is now available for teaching staff in all subjects.

What is Ally?

Ally is a tool that helps teaching staff check and improve the accessibility of their online content such as files and images, to support students with accessibility needs or concerns.

What is accessibility?

Accessibility (in this context) refers to the design and offering of online materials in ways that are 'accessible' to all students, including those who may have difficulty with visual elements or particular modalities, and could require or benefit from supplemented resources or alternative formats of online content. Some examples of online content made more accessible include:

  • A written document is provided in an audio format or braille to support students with a visual impairment
  • An image contains appropriate 'alt text' so that a screen reader can describe the image to students with a visual impairment

How does Ally work?

Teaching roles within a subject will see a colour coded 'speedometer' icon overlaying an image or near the file showing an item's 'accessibility score'. The icon is also listed in a column in the 'Files' Page in your subject navigation. This automated advice is only visible to staff with a teaching role in the subject. Students will not see this accessibility rating.

screenshot highlighting the Ally Icon next to a file resource

Ally also has the ability to provide alternative formats derived where possible from your LMS content (e.g. read aloud MP3 audio files, tagged PDFs and electronic Braille). The Student Equity & Disability Support unit may request this functionality is enabled if a student is registered with them who is enrolled in your subject. Subject coordinators can also request to make Ally's alternative formats feature available in any subject or community by submitting a request to Learning Environments.

Learn more about how Ally can support and improve the accessibility of your subject

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