Canvas Ally FAQ

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Q. What’s the policy behind this service?

The key driver is the CSU’s Accessible Technology Initiative, or ATI for short. This is a system-wide effort.

The ATI is documented in a series of coded memoranda, the latest of which is Executive Order 1111.  The ATI was developed and guided by multiple items of legislation, notably the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.  Please see our Laws and Policies page for more information.

Q. May I have Ally removed from my course?

Ally is a university initiative in support of increasing accessibility in instructional materials. As such, we cannot turn off Ally or remove it from a course. This is a campus-level initiative, not an Information Technology/Academic Technology/Universal Design Center one.

Q. I uploaded a new file but I don't see a dial next to it? 

Ally normally scans a file within minutes, however, in rare cases it can take up to a few hours. 

Q. What score is “good enough?”

The goal of Ally is not a numerical score but to make instructional materials as accessible as possible for all students.

Q. The dials are red, orange and green. Is Ally accessible? 

Yes!  The needle on the dial corresponds to the approximate "score," so red dials point left, orange to the middle, and green to the right. 

Q. Do students see the dials?

No. The dials are only displayed in the instructor view.

If you project or share your view of Canvas during class, switch to Student View first so the dials won’t appear inadvertently.

Q. May I or my students use Ally to check their coursework for accessibility? 

The Ally dials are available only to Faculty and only in the instructor view of Canvas.  Students may use the Microsoft Office Accessibility Checker instead. 

Q: Do you have sample language to include Canvas Ally in a syllabus?

Canvas Ally is a university initiative to help make course materials more accessible to all students.  Next to each file in Canvas is a small arrow icon that opens a menu with three options.  The third option is Alternative Formats.  You will be able to download different formats of the file, which may include a PDF, browser (HTML), reader (ePub) or audio (MP3) files.  For more information, please visit www.csun.edu/ally