This article will briefly explain what accessibility is and why it matters. It also introduces, Ally the accessibility tool available on Learning Space.


Video Guide

This video introduces Ally, the accessibility tool available on Learning Space.

Why Accessibility Matters

Accessibility is often mistakenly described as how easy it is for someone with a disability to interact/access a service or system. Whilst this is somewhat true, accessibility is actually about improving how all users interact/access a system or service, by tailoring the environment in a way that meets their individual needs and preferences. 

Important: From September 2020, it is a legal requirement that all documents added to the Learning Space must meet a set of accessibility standards. To help staff comply with these Government regulations, Ally is available on each course, module or resource page on Learning Space and offers advice on how to enhance the accessibility rating of documents. 

What is Ally

Ally is a tool available on every module, course and resource page on Learning Space and offers two key functions. Firstly, Ally scans each document uploaded to Learning Space and indicates how accessible it is. Secondly, Ally can provide alternative formats for documents uploaded, including: Tagged PDF, HTML, Audio and Braille formats.
Ally's Download Alternative formats dialog
You can access the alternative formats by click on the 'A' with a downward facing arrow icon.Ally icons
Exclamation mark iconImportant: Original file formats such as Word's .docx and PowerPoint's .pptx offer built-in accessibility features to ensure that documents are accessible to the widest range of users. With this in mind, we recommend uploading module material e.g. lecture slides in their original format instead of as a PDF. As Ally lists PDF as an alternative format for download, this means that a PDF version of the resource will also be available for the user if required.

Assessing Accessibility using Ally

Whenever you upload a document to Learning Space you will see a red, amber or green speed-o-meter which rates the accessibility of your document:




To see how you can improve - just click on the speed-o-meter which will provide you with more information. In the example below, the image is missing a description:

Ally screenshot showing picture missing alt text

You can learn more about what that means using the menu on the right. You can also use the menu to upload an improved version of the document.

Close up of Ally right hand menu

Alternative Document Formats using Ally

Tip: For information about how to access alternative document formats, please see the student guide on Ally.

Further support

More information about accessibility is available on the Falmouth Digital Accessibility Sharepoint site. For general help and support with accessibility, please contact the accessibility team: accessibility@fxplus.ac.uk. For assistance with using Ally, please contact dlsupport@falmouth.ac.uk. Alternatively, please refer to the numerous help guides found on our Knowledge Base

View the Accessibility Statement for all of our support guides.