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Unizin Partners with Blackboard to Offer Ally Across Member Institutions

Unizin's 14 member institutions can now tap into Blackboard's Ally accessibility solution. The higher education consortium recently announced a partnership with Blackboard to help "create a more inclusive and data-informed learning environment" for its members, according to a news announcement.

Ally integrates into learning management systems and automatically checks digital course materials for accessibility issues. It then generates alternative file formats for the instructional content, including HTML, ePUB, audio MP3, electronic braille and Language Translation, as well as feedback for instructors on how to improve the accessibility of their content. Ally also provides data analytics on overall content accessibility at the course and institutional levels.

As part of the deal with Unizin, Blackboard is implementing learning data interoperability standards within Ally, to integrate learning data into the Unizin Data Platform (UDP). By combining accessibility data with other forms of learning data collected by the UDP, Unizin institutions will be able to analyze the impact of accessibility and inclusive design on student success.

"The Blackboard Ally team's commitment to providing Ally-based learning data through data interoperability standards is another example of their strong commitment to serving higher education," said Cathy O'Bryan, chief executive officer of Unizin, in a statement. "Now more than ever with digital learning tools usage at an all-time high, it is critical that all students have equitable access to course resources."

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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