Academic accessibility is important for the inclusion of all learners. Necessary for some but beneficial for all, accessibility provides an ease of use and ensures that learners of all types and abilities are able to access the tools they need for quality education.
ASU offers many resources for accessibility through the Canvas LMS, including the Canvas Accessibility Checker and Ally.
Be sure to view our Accesibility Quick Tips
Ally is a tool for improving the accessibility of course documents. It has two main functions:
- Evaluate all documents and images that are uploaded to the course and, for those documents and images which do not comply with accessibility guidelines, lead the instructor through the steps needed to improve the accessibility of the document.
- Provide students with multiple formats of the original document so they can select the one that best fits their unique needs.
Benefits for Students:
Ally improves the student experience by providing alternative and accessible formats of uploaded course documents. The accessible versions available will depend on the original document. Students may select the format that best meets their needs. Providing access to course documents in alternative formats is beneficial to all students, regardless of ability.
Benefits for Instructors:
The goal of Ally is to assist instructors with learning techniques for enhancing the accessibility of course documents. There are no required actions however, the integrated Ally tutorials will provide information and simple steps to take to improve the accessibility of uploaded course materials. Instructors can use these techniques when creating future course content and ensure that these materials are accessible from the start. As subject matter experts, faculty members’ main goal is to communicate concepts and help students achieve learning outcomes. Ally is another available tool to help instructors meet that goal.
How Ally Works:
Once an instructor uploads a document into a course, Ally performs an automated accessibility evaluation and a small accessibility gauge will appear next to each uploaded document. The gauge indicates the overall accessibility of the document as a percentage.
The indicator is color-coded and uses a gauge to indicate the accessibility score:
- Red gauge with a left pointing arrow = low accessibility score
- Yellow gauge with an upward pointing arrow = medium accessibility score
- Green gauge with a right pointing arrow = high accessibility score
Ally then guides faculty and designers through a series of steps designed to remediate the document and improve the overall accessibility.
Training and Support:
- A self-paced interactive tutorial is available at: links.asu.edu/ally
- Ally training and support is available from the UTO instructional design team. (email@example.com)
- Accessibility Quick Tips
- Ally for LMS Help for Instructors
- WebAIM: Creating Accessible Word Documents
- Adobe: PDF Accessibility Overview
- Ally for ASU Canvas LMS - ASU Knowledge Base