What do we mean?

Alternative Formats - content accessible in a different format from the original. Examples are audio, large print, Braille files.
Assistive Technology - specialist IT equipment and software to help ​increase productivity and improve access to technology.

Accessibility Tools

What are Accessibility tools?

Accessibility tools can help people to:

  • interact and engage with content. For example, Blackboard Ally and SensusAccess can create alternative formats from existing resources to boost the productivity of students and staff (e.g. having a document read aloud to support dyslexia or avoid eye strain).
  • understand the accessibility barriers for others and how to remove them. For example, Blackboard Ally in Moodle can be used to review and improve the accessibility of your content.

What tools are available at the University of Bath ?

Blackboard Ally in Moodle

  • Students can download alternative formats of existing resources in Moodle (including MP3 audio file, ebook, braille, and more)
  • Staff can easily find resources with accessibility issues (see the fuel gauge icon next to uploaded resources) or view a whole course report highlighting the easiest or most severe issues to fix (view the "Accessibility Report" at the bottom of the left-hand-side block on every Moodle course).
  • Staff can use the "What this means?" and "How to" feedback to help them improve resources. Steps to improve the accessibility of resources are also important in generating better alternative formats.


  • Create alternative formats (e.g. MP3 audio file, ebook, braille, and more) from existing documents.
  • Convert scanned PDFs to another format using optical character recognition (OCR).
  • Simply upload a document and select the output format

Microsoft Office and Accessibility Features

There are lots of accessibility features included in Microsoft Office that help you digest content and also help you to create more accessible materials and communications: see these short video tutorials on Accessibility in MS office products.

More tools and support at the University of Bath

The Assistive Technology Team page is great place for people who want to improve their productivity, people with disabilities or those suffering from various health conditions or injuries.

They offer:

  • an inclusive approach to supporting you
  • advice and training in a wide range of supported software and hardware to help with accessibility


Updated on: 17 May 2021