Cal State LA has launched a limited pilot of Ally in the Canvas LMS. The pilot began in Fall 2020 within the Charter College of Education Rehabilitation Counseling program.

Information for Faculty

Ally is a tool that integrates seamlessly into the Canvas LMS. Ally instantly gauges the accessibility of your uploaded course content, such as Word documents, PowerPoint, and PDFs. There are two main components to the Ally tool:

  • Instructor feedback on the accessibility of digital content, including step-by-step instructions to remediate accessibility barriers
  • Students can select an alternate, more accessible version of your course content instantaneously.

Ally is, first and foremost, an awareness tool for faculty. Also, faculty can leverage Ally to improve the accessibility of their course content over time. Instructors learn about the accessibility of their course content at-a-glance with the color-coded indicators next to each file:

Ally accessibility gauges. Red, orange, green; low, medium, high.

Which content does Ally check for Accessibility?

Currently, Ally checks files in these formats:

  • PDF files
  • Microsoft® Word files
  • Microsoft® PowerPoint® files
  • OpenOffice/LibreOffice files
  • Uploaded HTML file
  • Image files (JPG, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BPM, TIFF)
  • YouTubeTM videos embedded in WYSIWYG/VTBE content

Self-Help Resources for Faculty

ITS Remediation Team

Accessibility is building a team of student remediation experts to remediate difficult files for faculty such as PDFs or more complex documents. As the Ally pilot progresses, our remediation team will come online to assist. Requests for remediation assistance are initiated by completing the Digital Content Remediation form in ServiceNow.

Additional Instructor Resources

Information for Students

As a student in a course with Ally enabled, you can access alternative formats of digital content. Next to each file in your Canvas course is a drop-down menu that will allow you to create an alternate format of course materials instantly.

Ally drop down to access alternative formats in Canvas

Ally alternate formats; tagged PDF, HTML, ePub, e-braille, BeeLine Reader

What alternative formats does Ally generate?

Ally provides alternative formats for the following file-types:

  • PDF files
  • Microsoft® Word files
  • Microsoft® Powerpoint® files
  • OpenOffice/LibreOffice files
  • Uploaded HTML files

Ally can generate the following alternative formats:

  • OCR’d version (for scanned documents)
  • Tagged PDF (currently for Word, Powerpoint, and OpenOffice/LibreOffice files)
  • Mobile-friendly HTML
  • Audio: MP3
  • ePub: for use with personal e-readers, such as Kindle
  • Electronic Braille: a braille ready file version for use with an electronic refreshable braille display
  • BeeLine Reader
  • Language translated version: provides up to 58 language translation options (not available during the pilot)