Ally: Alternative Formats


  • What is Ally?
  • What is that strange A with a down arrow next to my content in D2L?


  • Ally is integrated into D2L Brightspace at Metropolitan State University to provide students opportunity to access documents in the format that works best for them.

Introduction to Alternative Formats by Ally

Ally allows students to interact with content in D2L Brightspace in formats that work best for students’ individual needs. Ally can automatically convert content into alternate formats, such as eBooks, electronic braille files, and audio files. Alternate formats have been proven to benefit everyone.

Ally is integrated into D2L Brightspace's Content within courses. The alternative formats icon is found to the right of the topic name in the content area of a course that is utilizing Ally (it is an 'A' with a down arrow next to it):

Screenshot of a content module in D2L, two topics are visible with their names and to the right of there names are the alternative format icons which is an Ally 'A' with an arrow down (indicating downloads).

Ally can also make alternative formats available for module descriptions in content:

Screenshot of a module description field showing the alternative format icon to the right of the description.

Different content file types give you different alternative format types

Based on the document that is within D2L, Ally can provide different alternative formats for download by students.

To download, select the radio button next to the format you wish and select download. Ally will begin to compile and download the file format chosen. (With larger documents that are to convert to mp3, this may take some time.)

A Word Document

Screenshot showing the options available for an document topic: Tagged PDF, HTML, ePub, Electronic braille (brf), Audio (mp3), and BeeLine Reader.


A Webpage (HTML)

Screenshot showing the options available for an html page: ePub, Electronic braille (brf), Audio (mp3), and BeeLine Reader.

A PDF Document

Screenshot showing the options available for an PDF document: HTML, ePub, Electronic braille (brf), Audio (mp3), and BeeLine Reader.

BeeLine Reader

BeeLine Reader is another alternative format available through selection. It is HTML-based document specifically designed for reading on a screen. For more information on BeeLine Reader, you can read about the format on their website (BeeLine Reader: making reading on-screen easier and faster) or simply download an alternative format to try it out for yourself.

*New* Immersive Reader

A new option for download introduced Summer 2022 is the Immersive Reader. You can learn more about the Azure Immersive Reader on their webpage. Immersive Reader provides audio and follow along reading prompts. Also, the user can determine size, spacing, font and themes for their immersive feading experience.


For more information, please refer to the resources on Ally's Alternative Formats.


Article ID: 137431
Wed 9/1/21 10:41 AM
Wed 10/19/22 3:57 PM

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