Canvas Accessibility

Top 10 Canvas Accessibility Checks


Simplify Navigation Menu

In the course Settings>Navigation tab, disable items not used

Add ALT Text to Images

This is important if the images convey meaning. If they don't, just use "" for the ALT text so it is ignored by screen readers. To access the ALT text option, selected the image and then the Embed Image icon within the Rich Text Editor.

ALT Text option in Insert / Edit Image screen

Provide Content in Multiple Ways

Use different file types and options to convey content to fit different types of learners. Images and multimedia are great to illustrate ideas, just make sure that the text provides the information too.

Use Canvas Pages

Canvas pages are in HTML, the most universally accessible format. MS Office documents (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) also work well, use the MS Accessibility checker. Avoid using image PDFs.

Use Heading Styles

Use Header 2, Header 3, etc., and Paragraph in your Canvas content. Header 1 is automatically used for the title. This creates content that is well-structured and accessible to screen readers.

Be Consistent

In providing content via pages and/or modules in Canvas, maintain consistency in titles, navigation, module structure, weekly activities, etc., so format does not detract from the content. 

Use Meaningful Hyperlinks

Instead of use the Office of Digital Learning & Innovation website. Avoid links such as Click Here, which is not meaningful. Tip: When you print Canvas pages, all full URLs will be included as part of the printout.

Use Lists

The Canvas Rich Text Editor has options for adding unordered lists (with bullets) and ordered lists (with numbers). When lists are created as using the built-in option, it helps users of screen readers to understand how the content is organized.

Don't Rely Fully on Color or Position

  • Instead of "Required fields are in red" use "Required fields are marked with an asterisk *"
  • Instead of "Click on the button on the bottom right" use "Select the Submit button"

Assign Header Row to Tables

Use tables to convey data and format with header rows and columns. To assign the header row, put the cursor on one of its cells, select Row > Row Properties from the table menu and then select Header from the Row type drop-down menu.

Row properties to assign the header row in a table