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New accessibility & communication tools coming to Blackboard

Summary

There are two new tools coming to Blackboard beginning in Spring 2022 that will enhance accessibility and communication within the platform.

Full Description

Blackboard Ally and Impact are new tools being implemented by Information Technology during the winter break. At the start of the Spring 2022 semester, faculty and students will experience the benefits of these new tools within the Blackboard environment. 

Blackboard Ally

Blackboard Ally works seamlessly with the Learning Management System (LMS) to gauge the accessibility of your content. Ally provides guidance and tips for lasting improvements to your content accessibility.

  • Receive feedback on the accessibility of your content
  • Improve content accessibility with Ally's step-by-step instructions

In addition to providing instructors with insight to their content accessibility, Ally automatically creates alternative versions of files. This allows students to choose the type of file that best suits their needs. 

Benefits
  • Automatically checks course materials against WCAG 2.1 accessibility standards
  • Gives students accessibility and flexibility to download alternative formats such as audio and electronic braille when they see this icon: Blackboard Ally Logo 
  • Delivers accessibility guidance to instructors through the use of Accessibility Indicators that are only visible to instructors in their course. (Pictured below). 
Ally Accessibility Indicators
Helpful resources to get you started

{{youtube:medium|BGtCuZl3esA, Blackboard Ally Promo Video}}

Impact

Impact is a new tool that will help with inline support for faculty and students when navigating in Blackboard. Customized messaging will allow users to get help when needed by providing support articles and videos to help perform tasks. Impact will replace the Blackboard Help messaging that is currently in the system and allow users to find materials for help when needed.

When completing tasks in Blackboard, look for the question mark Impact Icon to find help materials along with pop-up tutorials to guide you through the process.  

Questions?

Contact the Technology Support Center (TSC) 757-221-4357 (HELP) | support@wm.edu | Jones 201, Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm