Canvas Accessibility

This page will provide guidance and support on how to create accessible content using Canvas from Instructure. This is a full guide on Canvas Accessibility.

Full Walkthrough

This video will provide an overview of Canvas Accessibility best practices. For more detailed information and user guides, check out the blog posts linked in this post.

Full Canvas Accessibility Playlist on YouTube

The Basics and Overview

Designing with usability/accessibility in mind will help students with disabilities be successful in your course. As an extra benefit, adding usability features gives ALL students the opportunity to learn more effectively. For example, video captioning is clearly of great help to students with hearing impairments—and it is also is beneficial to:

  • students who are learning English
  • students who are struggling readers
  • students with attention deficits
  • students reading on tablets and cell phones, which will reflow the text to fit the screen size, and
  • students working in a noisy location (on the bus or in Starbucks).

Canvas Accessibility Requirements

The number one question I receive is “how do I know if my page is accessible”? The following list will provide you with exactly what is required.  

  • Heading styles are consistently used.
  • Lists are created with the tool in canvas.
  • Links are unique and descriptive.
  • Tables have designated row and column headers.
  • There is enough contrast between background and foreground colors.
  • Visual elements are not used as the sole method of conveying importance of information.
  • Every image in the course has descriptive alternative text, including any text within the image and does not contain phrases such as “image” of or file extensions such as .jpg.
  • Videos have captions and Audio files have transcripts

Where to start

Start designing with any current content you have. Do not stress yourself out about reworking years’ worth of content. Any time you begin to create anything new, make sure to follow the principles listed in this guide! When you have time, slowly work back to old content making it accessible.