What is Ally for Students?

There is a feature available in Canvas that allows you to download course content in your preferred format.  Ally provides a way for content to be accessed   in multiple formats that is best suited for each students needs.

Inclusive Content is Better Content: Using Ally with Canvas

Ally Accessibility tools are integrated into Canvas to make digital course content more accessible, but they are also powerful usuability tools that can make learning in a digital environment easier for every learner. 

Ally for Canvas Accessibility

In the content of online courses, accessibility makes it possible for students, regardless of physical or development impairment to use all course matierls and tools. An accessible Canvas Course allows every student to successfully nagivate course content and submit assignments. If your teacher shares a PDF file that is hard to read on your phone you can quickly download it as an audio or ePub file and listen or read it on the go.

Getting Started

The following video will give you a quick tutorial of this Canvas feature and how it can be accessed.

How to Navigate Alternative Formats

In Canvas most files have a drop down menu where you can download the file. Wherever you see the download option (1) there is also an option to download alternative formats (2) of that file.

Ally dialog highlighting the accessible versions available in the download link

After you click on "Alternative formats" you will see all of the formats that content is available for you to download:

List of all of the available accesssible formats to download

Available formats to download include:

  • OCRed PDF - a more accessible type of PDF file.
  • HTML -provides a version you can view in any browser.
  • ePub - great for reading on mobile devices such as a phone, iPad or Kindle.
  • Electronic braille - cool right? Did you know braille can be electronic.
  • Audio - an MP3 fie that you can listen to on the go on your preferred device.

Learn more about these alternative formats and different scenarios where they might be helpful.

Once you select your desired format and click "Download" the file will be prepared for download, if it is not the first time the file has been created, it will download immediately. If it is the first download, it may take a minute or two for the file to be ready—at that point it will download to your computer or mobile device and will be ready to use.

Consider opening multiple tabs if you need to download multiple files.

More information for students using the tool is available on the Ally website.

Video Tutorial on How to Access Alternative Formats

This video is a tutorial gives a walk through demonstration on how to access the alternative formats on Canvas.