Ally for Students
Have you ever accessed a file or text content on Blackboard that was difficult to read, or you wish was available in a different format? Ally automatically creates different formats for you to download within your Blackboard course - just choose the version that’s right for you.
How do I access Alternative Formats?
Alternative file formats are available next to the original file or text content in Blackboard. Just click on the Alternative Formats icon and choose the file type that works best for you. If you're struggling to open a PPT file on your phone, try downloading the HTML version instead. Use the audio format to learn on the go. You might find the alternative formats work well with other software you might use, such as ReadIt or ZoomText.
Which Alternative Formats are available?
The alternative formats generated depend on the original file uploaded, but generally you will be able to choose from the below options:
The audio alternative reads aloud the text in the original file. This also includes alternative descriptions for images, if they are provided. The audio is downloaded as an MP3, which you should be able to play on any computer or mobile device.
Audio might be useful if:
Most audio players, such as Windows Media Player or VLC allow you to adjust playback speed.
The electronic braille alternative creates a BRF file that can be read on a refreshable Braille display (RBD), other Braille reading devices, or within a Braille software like Duxbury.
Electronic Braille may be useful if:
The ePub alternative creates a digital publishing file that can be viewed on mobile devices. ePub files are responsive, this means they will automatically adapt to the screen size of your device. With an ePub you can take notes, adjust the text and background settings and create bookmarks.
Adobe Digital Editions opens ePub files on a PC, this can be installed on a University Managed Desktop via the Software Centre, or from here on your personal PC or Mac.
ePub might be useful if:
The HTML format can be viewed on a browser, and it will automatically adapt to the screen size of the device you are using. It aids screen reader users as it adds structure to documents.
HTML might be useful if:
Once you have downloaded the HTML file from Ally, double click on it to open it in your computer's default browser. You will then be able to use any accessibility features or extensions that you have available in your browser.
Browser accessibility features
My Computer My Way details individual adjustments you can make to your computer to make it easier to use. Includes advice for Safari users.
|Tagged PDF||A Tagged PDF uses tags and elements—such as paragraphs and headings to add meaning to a page. It aids screen reader users as it adds structure to documents.
Tagged PDF might be useful if:
|OCR PDF||The OCR (Optical Character Recognition) PDF alternatives are created when the original file is a PDF of an image. OCR technology analyses the document, and converts the image into searchable text. The conversion is only as good as the quality of the original file. If the file is difficult to analyze, there may be mistakes, or the alternative format may not be generated at all.
OCR PDF might be useful if:
Instead of using plain black text, BeeLine Reader displays your learning materials using a subtle color gradient that helps pull your eye through the content.
When you select the Beeline Reader alternative format, your content will download as a HTML file that can be opened by any web browser. Once opened, you can customise the colours used to display the text.
Beeline Reader might be useful if:
Ally alternative formats are automatically generated from the original source document. The accuracy of the alternative format can vary, and may not always be an exact match, particularly with regards to layout. You should always ask your tutor if you are unsure about the accuracy of the Ally alternative format.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries about accessing alternative formats on your Blackboard course.