Ally Mini-Course

Getting Started

Our hope is that we can provide you with the tools you need to see your score rise and in turn, see the accessibility of your course increase, as we continue to strengthen our commitment to creating an inclusive learning environment at UTSA. If you get stuck along the way, email us at

Please get started by:

  1. Watching the Understand the Ally Course Report and Understand the Ally Gauge videos
  2. Reviewing the What Formats Ally Can Review section
  3. Selecting Rise Up ‘Runners Learning Pathway 1 or 2 to begin your journey
Note: All external links open in a new window.
Rise up runners with Blackboard Ally logo

Currently, Ally checks files in these formats:

  • PDF files
  • Microsoft® Word files
  • Microsoft® PowerPoint® files
  • OpenOffice/LibreOffice files
  • Uploaded HTML files
  • Image files (JPG, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF)
  • YouTubeTM videos embedded in WYSIWYG/VTBE content
  • WYSIWYG/VTBE content
    • The results for WYSIWYG content only appear in the course accessibility report

List directly from Blackboard Course Accessibility Report

Rise Up 'Runners Learning Pathways

We recommend starting with pathway 1 and working your way to pathway 3. The instructor feedback panel in your course will provide resources and steps to remediate content. In addition to the instructor feedback panel, some of the listed items have been hyperlinked to resources to help you complete the task. Reach out to the Digital Accessibility Team with any questions.

Pathway #1: In Course Basics

The following items will help you update and remediate content housed in your course.

  1. Start by checking your overall accessibility score.
  2. Add the Ally Student Communication to your course.
  3. Delete course “fluff” (old or outdated documents, duplicated documents, unused documents, etc.).
  4. Add alternative text to in-course images (note: clicking the text will drop you to the Top 5 Ally Issues at UTSA section).
  5. Fix the Ally Top Six HTML Errors Guide found in the Ally Course Report.

Pathway #2: Course Documents

The following items focus on the files in your course. Review your accessibility course report to view your document issues. We recommend fixing all issues in a document before uploading it to your course.

  1. Watch Uploading Updated Files in Ally to understand the best way to overwrite files in Blackboard to see an immediate score change.
  2. Determine if you want to fix the PDF files, the source files (usually the Word or PowerPoint used to create the PDF), or if you can find an HTML options.
  3. If you have found an accessible HTML copy of the files, add it to your course.
  4. If you will apply all fixes into PDFs, use our Creating Accessible Adobe PDFs guide.
  5. If you will apply all fixes in Word or PowerPoint, use the Microsoft Office Accessibility Video Training.

Note: We recommend using the source file to apply fixes whenever possible. PDF changes can be cumbersome and we recommend only going the PDF route if you are more comfortable with Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.

Pathway #3: Wrap up and Beyond

If you have been working through the first 2 pathways and you feel ready to begin wrapping major elements in your course start working on the list below. We have also included some inaccessible elements that are not picked up by Ally to review.

  1. Address major and severe Ally issues in your course.
  2. Remove all of the Top 5 Ally Issues at UTSA in your course (note: clicking the link will drop you to the Top 5 Ally Issues at UTSA section).
  3. Ensure videos follow Media Accessibility Tips.
  4. Use our Starting Six Accessibility Essentials to check any publisher content, websites, or external software in your course for accessibility.

Top 5 Ally Issues at UTSA