Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

6. Use Ally to audit and improve files

Ally is a powerful tool that assists instructors in analyzing and improving the accessibility of resources uploaded into Yale Canvas sites. As its name suggests, Ally can be a useful support for students and instructors alike.

Ally for instructors

From a Canvas instructor’s point of view, Ally acts like a built-in accessibility coach, identifying resources in a Canvas site that warrant attention regarding accessibility and also directing instructors on ways to improve them. 

The most visible manifestations of Ally for instructors are the color-coded dials in a Canvas site’s Files area:

Instructor's view of Ally's colored dials in Files

A red or orange dial alerts instructors to a file that may pose access challenges to students with certain disabilities. Clicking a dial will reveal the file’s accessibility score, an explanation of the file’s top accessibility issue, and instructions on how to improve the file and score.

Ally for students

Students will not see Ally’s colored dials, scores or information about how to improve files’ accessibility, but they may be able to obtain a more accessible version of a file in Canvas through Ally’s provision of alternative formats. Wherever a Canvas resource is linked in a site, Ally provides a way to request an alternate version of the file that typically has a higher accessibility score than the original. In some situations, an instructor may even choose to replace the original file within Canvas with Ally’s alternative, to improve the course site’s accessibility for future students. 

Learn more

More detailed information about Ally is available in the Canvas @ Yale support pages

Instructors and students may also wish to explore Sensus Access, a service that provides more accessible versions of uploaded files.