Set up Ally

We do the set up for you. If you don't have Ally installed, contact your Blackboard representative or submit a request on Behind the Blackboard.


Generate an Ally access token

Ally needs to be able to sync data such as courses and files from the Canvas REST API to generate reports and provide instructor feedback. To do this securely, an access token needs to be generated.

More on how to generate an Ally access token


Access Ally Configuration

Administrators can access Ally Configuration from their Admin page.

Ally Configure Courses


Configure courses

Go to your Ally Configuration page and turn Ally on for all courses or decide course-by-course. It's up to you.

  1. View how many of your courses use Ally.
  2. Turn Ally on or off for all existing courses. Decide ahead of time if you want it enabled for all future courses as well.
  3. Search for individual courses or filter all course by enabled, disabled, and term.
  4. Turn Ally on or off for individual courses.

Turn Ally on or off for a single course

When Ally is on, instructors and students benefit from the accessibility scores, instructor feedback and alternative formats that Ally provides.

The Institutional report is available for all courses. It doesn't matter if Ally is on or off in a course. The course appears in the Institutional report.

From Ally Configuration, find the course you want to update. Use the Search field and filters to search by course title, course ID and course code.

Select Enable or Disable under the Enabled column to turn Ally on or off.

  • Ally is off: Select Enable course UI integration to turn on
  • Ally is on: Select Disable course UI integration to turn off

Turn Ally on or off for all courses

Not sure if all courses are using Ally or not? At the top of the Ally Configuration page, see how many of your courses are currently using Ally.

When Ally is on, instructors and students benefit from the accessibility scores, instructor feedback and alternative formats that Ally provides.

The Institutional report is available for all courses. It doesn't matter if Ally is on or off in a course. The course appears in the Institutional report.

You can turn Ally on or off in every existing course from the Ally Configuration page. Select Disable/enable all courses and select Disable or Enable.

Select Enable in future courses if you want Ally automatically on in all new courses.

If you don't select this, new courses will not have Ally enabled. If you want Ally on at a later date, turn Ally on for single courses.

After you choose to disable or enable in all courses, you need to confirm your choice. Select Enable or Disable, depending on your choice. Select Cancel if you changed your mind and don't want to change anything.


Turn Ally on for all new courses only

When Ally is on, instructors and students benefit from the accessibility scores, instructor feedback and alternative formats that Ally provides.

The Institutional report is available for all courses. It doesn't matter if Ally is on or off in a course. The course appears in the Institutional report.

Select Enable in future courses if you want Ally automatically on in all new courses.

If you don't select this, new courses will not have Ally enabled. If you want Ally on at a later date, turn Ally on for single courses.

Ally Configure Help Settings


Configure Ally user help settings

Configure custom help messages that display in the Alternative formats and Instructor feedback modals. The custom help messages can be used to point students and instructors to existing institutional documentation, share contact information, and so on. The custom help content can be configured in the Ally Configuration UI, and uses the Markdown format to help provide a structured (and accessible) message.

When no custom message has been configured, the Help links point to these pages in Blackboard help:

  • Alternative formats: This page explains how and when the different alternative formats can be used
  • Instructor help: Everything instructors need to know about Ally in their courses
  1. Go to your Ally Configuration and select Help settings.
  2. Choose the default or custom help option for both the Instructor feedback help and Alternative formats help.
  3. If you choose the custom option, edit the Custom message.

    Use the Markdown format to help provide a structured (and accessible) message.

  4. Select Save changes.

Configure expert help

Give your instructors and students easy access to your team of accessibility experts. Enable expert help to add a way for your users to request more help directly from in the alternative formats and instructor feedback panels.

When a request is made, an email containing the help request and details about the current course, content item and user is sent to the email address you configure.

  1. Go to your Ally Configuration and select Help settings.
  2. Choose Provide custom help for both the Instructor feedback help and Alternative formats help.
  3. Select Enable expert help.
  4. Type the email address for your team of accessibility experts.
  5. Select Save changes.

The Ally API user for the Blackboard Learn integration needs to be given the "Administrator Panel (Users) > Users" or "system.user.view" permission to allow Ally to include the student name and email address in the help request email. The Ally API user for the Moodle integration needs to be given the “moodle/user:viewalldetails” permission to allow Ally to include the student name and email address in the help request email.

Request alternative formats help

Request instructor feedback help


Configure course accessibility report

Configure Course Accessibility Report for Canvas

Record Consumer Key, Shared Secret, and Client ID

  1. Sign in as the administrator that configured the institutional report and navigate to Settings in the administrator workspace.
  2. Select the Apps tab and select Edit next to the Ally institutional report app.
  3. Record the Consumer Key, Shared Secret, and Client ID.

    If the “Shared Secret” is not visible, it should have been provided to you by your technical consultant during the implementation. Also make a note of your Client ID, which is the number between “v1/” and “/lti”in the “Launch URL”. These values will be needed during the configuration of the course accessibility report.

Add new application

  1. Sign in as an administrator and navigate to the Settings of the (sub-)account for which the course accessibility report should be added.
  2. Select the Apps” tab and select View App Configurations.
  3. Select the + App” button to add a new app.
  4. Enter this information:
  5. Use one of these URLs for the Tool Provider URL. Replace "[ClientID]" with the Client ID you recorded.
    • Institutions hosted in the US data centre: https://prod.ally.ac/api/v1/[ClientId]/lti/instructor
    • Institutions hosted in the Canadian data centre: https://prod-ca-central-1.ally.ac/api/v1/[ClientId]/lti/instructor
    • Institutions hosted in the European data centre: https://prod-eu-central-1.ally.ac/api/v1/[ClientId]/lti/instructor
    • Institutions hosted in the Singapore data centre: https://prod-ap-southeast-1.ally.ac/api/v1/[ClientId]/lti/instructor
    • Institutions hosted in the Australian data centre: https://prod-ap-southeast-2.ally.ac/api/v1/[ClientId]/lti/instructor
  6. Submit the form.

Accessibility Report should now be available in the course left hand navigation. Note that you can also perform these steps in the Settings” for an individual course in case the accessibility reports needs to be added to an individual course. If you encounter any issues configuring the report, please Submit a case on Behind the Blackboard.