What is it?
Ally is a groundbreaking digital accessibility solution. It is seamlessly integrated into Canvas, to automatically evaluate the content you upload and provide insights into its accessibility. What sets Ally apart is its proactive approach: it not only identifies issues but also suggests enhancements to make your course materials more inclusive.
Key Features of Ally
- Accessibility Score: Immediately upon uploading content, Ally provides you with an accessibility score, showing how well your material meets accessibility standards.
- Guided Feedback: Ally offers clear feedback on potential accessibility issues within your content and gives step-by-step guidance on how to address them. This empowers you to refine and optimize your materials for all learners.
- Alternative Formats: Recognizing that students have diverse learning preferences and needs, Ally automatically generates multiple formats of your content, from audio versions to semantic HTML. This ensures every student can engage with your materials in a way that suits them best.
We believe Ally can revolutionize the way we think about and approach digital content accessibility. By integrating Ally into our academic journey, we're taking a significant step toward a more inclusive and equitable learning environment for all our students.
We encourage you to explore Anthology's Ally, embrace its potential, and join us in creating a world where every student has the tools and opportunities to succeed.
Your students will not see the colored Ally indicators. They will see the clickable Ally Alternate Format symbol throughout your course. When clicked, your students will be able to choose a downloadable alternate format for your Canvas content.
The ability to create and download alternate file formats of content and documents in Canvas allows the student to customize their learning to their own needs. Anthology has a web tool available to anyone needing to create an alternative format. Find the tool here and submit documents to generate a downloadable alternative format for use on different devices or situations.
How to Use Ally
Ally is present in Canvas and has been enabled for all courses. Past and present courses have been analyzed by Ally. You will see the clickable colored indicators attached to the various components in your course content. Click the colored indicator to access the Ally window and see the repain instructions. Some repairs may not be available, in that case, you may need to replace the text, document or image.
- = Low: File is not accessible and needs immediate attention.
- = Medium: File is somewhat accessible and could use improvement.
- = High: File is accessible but could be improved.
- = Perfect: File is accessible. No improvement needed.
When you click on the indicator, Ally will provide instructions on how to improve the rating. Occasionally, Ally will not have instructions. In that case, rely on the 5 principles.
Download the Ally Adoption Toolkit (pdf) to learn Ally basics and features.
Ally provides an accessibility analysis of your course. This feature makes Ally a truly great and timesaving tool. You will find the course accessibility report in your course navigation under Settings, please add it to your visible course links in Canvas. You may choose to make the Accessibility Report visible to your students or not.
The default Overview tab will show you the general results for your course. You will see your percentage, the number of items in your course and which items are in need of urgent repair.
Clicking the "View" or "Start" button will take you to the Content tab and a list of content items. Click the indicator to apply a repair.
At present, videos are not able to be analyzed by Ally, however, that service is on the Ally roadmap. Please apply principle 5 to all videos in your course and make sure captions are enabled.
*All images missing alt text must be repaired on the page where they are located.
Fixing Accessibility Issues
The most common accessibility issue at UIW is the absence of alternative text that should accompany an image. Include "alt text" with your image to make it accessible.
Follow principle 2 for alt text. You will be able to make the alt text repair right in the Ally window.
*An important fact to remember, when fixing missing alt text, you must open the image in the Rich Content Editor on the page where the image is located, not from your Accessibility Report. Ally is not able to save alt text information, unless it is added to the image in the RCE.
A malformed document may be an Office file or .pdf file. Word, Excel and PowerPoint contain a tool in the Review menu called "Check Accessibility." The tool will identify accessibility issues as you compose your document, and you will receive instructions to correct the issues. Always review an Office document for accessibility issues before uploading to Canvas.
If you create a .pdf document in an Office app, make sure to save it with the Best for electronic distribution and accessibility radio button selected.
Other .pdf errors will be identified by Ally. You will receive repair instructions when you select the documents Ally indicator. There are many errors that can occur with .pdf files. Some may not be repairable if you did not create the document. In that case you should not use it.
Contrast plays a critical role in both online images and text for a variety of reasons, primarily pertaining to readability, aesthetics, accessibility, and comprehension.
Contrast between text and its background significantly affects readability. For example, black text on a white background is much easier to read than light gray text on a white background. The same applies to images - high contrast ensures the viewer can easily distinguish between different elements in the image.
Good contrast is important for accessibility. Users with vision impairments, including conditions like color blindness, need sufficient contrast to interact with online content. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) have specific criteria for contrast ratios to ensure content is accessible to as many users as possible. Black letters on a white background are best.
When your Ally indicator signals a contrast error, you may have to eliminate background color or change fonts. Contrast issues with images may require that you abandon an image, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to edit an important image to improve contrast.