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Blackboard Acquires Accessibility Platform

Blackboard today announced the acquisition of Fronteer, a UK-based educational products and services company whose flagship Ally software helps institutions and instructors make course content more accessible.

The Ally platform "provides educators with essential guidance for improving accessibility of their course materials, while supplying comprehensive reporting on the current state of course content accessibility across the institution," according to a press release. The software automatically checks course materials for accessibility issues and generates supplemental material for students who need alternative file formats, such as semantic HTML, tagged PDF, audio, e-pub and electronic braille.

Blackboard plans to make Ally available to all institutions, including those using non-Blackboard products, the company said.

"Blackboard and Fronteer share a strong commitment to making education available to all students," said Bill Ballhaus, chairman, CEO and president of Blackboard, in a statement. "We're pleased to continue investing in technology and people that understand our vision to provide product experiences that enable greater accessibility. We both recognize the close connection between accessibility and the quality and usability of course content, and the benefits accessibility can bring to all learners."

For more information, visit the Fronteer site.

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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