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Ally provides alternative formats for these file types to both faculty and students:

  • PDF files
  • Microsoft® Word files
  • Microsoft® Powerpoint® files
  • OpenOffice/LibreOffice files
  • Uploaded HTML files

These alternative formats can be generated:

  • OCR’d version (for scanned documents)
  • Tagged PDF (currently for Word, Powerpoint and OpenOffice/LibreOffice files)
  • Mobile-friendly HTML
  • Audio
  • ePub
  • Electronic Braille

When a particular alternative format for a particular content item is requested for the first time, Ally generates this on demand. In most cases, this completes within 1-2 minutes. Larger files may take longer. As soon as it has been generated, the alternative format is downloaded. Ally then also caches the result, so any additional requests for the same alternative format can be served and downloaded from cache immediately.

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Ally will be available in both Ultra and Original courses for summer 2019 and beyond.

GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT ALTERNATIVE FORMATS


Does Ally generate alternative formats for student content?

Ally currently only processes instructional content. For example, content added by someone with edit permissions in the course, such as the instructor or instructional designer. Ally currently does not process student content or student submissions.

What format is the OCR’d alternative format?

The OCR’d version is made available as a tagged PDF.

What format is the Audio alternative format?

The audio alternative format is made available as a downloadable MP3 file. We also add some of the extracted semantic information into the speech, which adds additional structure to the audio and makes it easier to follow.

How does Electronic Braille Format work? 

Ally uses Grade 2 Unified English Braille in the Braille Ready File (.brf) as the electronic Braille format. The Braille Ready File (.brf) format can be used for both electronic braille displays and braille embossers (printers). You still need to check whether a specific Braille embosser/printer supports the .brf format.

What does the instructor need to do to generate alternative formats for a content item?

Nothing. Ally automatically picks up on any existing or new materials, runs it through the accessibility checklist, and makes the alternative formats available to both the student and the instructor.

Is there a file size limit?

No, there is no file size limit. There may be cases where the algorithm fails to generate alternative formats for certain large files, but Ally doesn’t enforce a maximum file size.

How does Ally handle password protected content?

Ally detects password-protected content, gives them a 0% accessibility score and provides guidance to help remove the password through the instructor feedback. Ally does not generate any alternative formats for password protected content, as we can’t get access to the actual content.


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