ally alternative format header

Alternative Formats – ALLY

In the last blog post, we briefly discussed the generation of accessible alternatives such as audio, ePub, electronic braille, tagged PDFs, and HTML for viewing on mobile devices. This supports the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and allows students to choose the type of file that best suits their needs.

The following video explains why this feature is so helpful to students:

Alternate Format Types

Ally creates alternative formats of the original content that you as instructors add to courses. These formats are made available with the original file, so everything is in one convenient location. The alternative formats created depend on the original content. Students will only see these options if you have enabled Ally for your course(s).*

* To request that Ally be turned on for your courses(s) submit your request to the IDAT team. Please include your course title and the section of the course. ex. Principles of Writing ENG-111-H

In the Course View, the Alternative Format icon is placed next to the title of the content.

ally alternative formats icon next to content title

This screenshot shows alternative format options for a PDF content file.

  • OCRed PDF
  • HTML
  • ePub
  • Electronic braille
  • Audio
  • BeeLine Reader
ally alternative format options for pdf

Note that the first option is an OCRed PDF. OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition. The OCR PDF alternatives are created when the original content is a PDF of an image. OCR technology analyses the content and converts the image into searchable text. This option allows screen readers to navigate the PDF easily.

For additional details about other alternate formats please check out the Alternate Formats page on the Ally Blackboard site. This page also contains a table outlining which alternate format students should use based on their individual needs.

Look for future blog posts on Ally: Next- Course Accessibility Report

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