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UC Berkeley Rolls Out Tech for Accessible Course Content

Following a semester-long pilot of Blackboard's Ally solution for accessible course content, the University of California, Berkeley is expanding its use of the technology across campus. The rollout will begin this fall, and by the end of next year, the system will provide accessible course materials to more than 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students, according to a news release.

Blackboard Ally automatically runs course materials through an accessibility checklist and then generates alternative content formats such as Semantic HTML, audio, ePub and electronic Braille. The system also offers instructors recommendations for improving the accessibility of their course materials. A reporting function provides insight into the state of content accessibility at the course level as well as the institutional level.

"Berkeley is committed to building inclusive online learning environments for each and every one of our students," said Catherine Koshland, vice chancellor for undergraduate education, in a statement. "Our collaboration with Blackboard will help ensure that digital content is consistently accessible at Berkeley, benefiting all learners and ultimately improving student success."

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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