Ally Community Forum Series

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Attend a Forum Event

Webinars and panels will be held Wednesdays from 1PM-2PM EST over 10 weeks. Check out the Ally Community Forum Series Event Schedule for details about speakers and topics. Join events in the Forum Collaborate Room.

Our Journey

Since launching our Ally User Group site in April of 2017, we’ve seen our Community grow to include well over a 1000 members representing institutions in K-12 and Higher Education around the world. Together, we’ve created resources to support campuses in their Ally roll-outs like the Communications and Adoption Toolkit, and shared our experiences through Community Stories. We’ve connected through Tweets, webinars, conferences- even toasted at Ally happy hours.

During the past year, we’ve also observed the innovative ways campus leaders have used Ally to improve the accessibility of their learning content. From weekly accessibility campaigns focused on specific issues to gamifying instructor progress toward accessibility goals, campuses have been able to move the needle on their accessibility challenges while providing all students with access to content that fits their diverse needs and abilities.  

Sharing Our Experiences & Expertise

The Forum Series serves as an opportunity to come together in sharing what we have learned, what we have achieved, and what remains to be explored. For campuses just getting started with Ally, it is a chance to hear how others have rolled-out Ally to instructors and students. For more experienced Ally users, it is a time to connect with others at similar points in their journey, and learn new strategies and ideas to help them move forward.  

The Forum Series also brings together thought-leaders in accessibility and Universal Design for Learning from our Community to discuss best practices for designing more equitable and effective learning experiences for all students. Webinars and panels cover simple techniques for authoring more accessible content, tips for tackling more complex remediation challenges, strategies for making learning environments more mobile-friendly, and inclusive pedagogies for increasing learner autonomy. We encourage everyone to participate by posting questions and ideas in the Forum Series Space, tweeting at #BbAlly, or sharing thoughts in the User Group Discussions space.    

An Agenda for Research

Given the progress campuses are making in improving the accessibility of their course files, we are taking steps to more closely research the impact of Ally on teaching and learning. The Ally Research Special Interest Group is meeting during the Forum Series to explore potential areas for research and collaborate around research activities, including the design of research instruments and protocols. Taking advantage of Ally’s unique level of insight into accessibility issues, instructor engagement with accessibility feedback, and student usage of alternative formats, the Ally Research SIG may provide insight into accessibility strategies and UDL guidelines.

Looking Towards 2019

The Forum Series comes to a close at the Accessing Higher Ground conference in November, where we will begin thinking about and planning Community activities and goals for 2019. We will continue to think through how the Ally Community can grow as a voice of advocacy and innovation for inclusive learning. Recordings from the Forum Series webinars and panels will become part of the Community archive, available as resources for new members and for revisiting as we move forward in our Community journey.