Q. What is the new Ally accessibility tool in NILE?
Ally is a brand new tool inside NILE which enables students to access alternative, accessible formats of documents and files uploaded to their NILE modules. This means that when Word documents, for example, are uploaded into NILE, Ally will automatically create accessible versions of the Word document in PDF, HTML, ePub, electronic Braille, and audio (mp3) formats. Ally has been licensed in order to help us meet new Government Accessibility standards and has received positive feedback from other institutions.
Ally also provides an accessibility score for the documents uploaded to NILE, based on approved web guidelines and provides tips and tools to improve the accessibility of documents. The accessibility score is only available to staff.
The Ally service goes live in June 2019 and, provided that the documents initially uploaded to NILE are suitably accessible, staff don't have to do anything to enable students to choose the alternative accessible formats they prefer. Ally provides tips and support to staff who want to improve the accessibility of their documents, images and slide-decks, but academic and professional services staff who provide NILE sites for students do not need to activate this service. You just upload your documents to NILE as you normally do and students get to choose another format that is generated by automatically by the Ally service.
The Staff Development and Learning Technology teams will be sign-posting staff to online and face-to-face support on making digital content more accessible, but the links below provide quick starts for both students and staff, along with answers to common questions.
This is a fantastic new service which is going to make a huge improvement to the accessibility of NILE content and we are pleased to make it available to you.