Canvas Accessibility Checklist

Canvas Accessibility Checklist

This checklist resource contains areas to check for Canvas course accessibility, links to tutorials and information to make your Canvas courses more accessible and usable to everyone. To start, let’s review some accessibility basics.

Use Ally

Ally is a tool in Canvas that offers two benefits:

  • scans all uploaded course files and produces an accessibility score and instructions to make the file more accessible
  • offers students the option to download alternate formats of files (e.g., mp3 from a PDF file). This option works well when files contain real text and are of good quality.

What is Ally?

Check PDFs in Course

PDFs from Library Databases

Is a PDF article also offered in HTML format? Top 3 databases that offer PDF, HTML or other formats for articles  - Consult a Librarian

  • Academic Search Complete (General)
  • CINAHL Complete (Nursing)
  • CQ Researcher (General)
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library (Audio format available)

Check Office Documents in Course

Check Images in Course

Use text + images instead of text in images in content when possible. Types of images:

  • Simple images - Their meaning in context
  • Complex images (graphs, maps, etc.) - Meaning should be fully described in surrounding text and contain a short description in the alt text to identify it.
  • Decorative - Only for visual appeal purposes

Canvas Pages

  • Syllabus, Home & Content Pages
    Canvas Pages
  • Hyperlinks
    Should be descriptive, with the URL behind the name to inform the user beforehand the link purpose - For example, use Wikipedia website (not Wikipedia: Click here or
    When using Canvas pages, full URLs get printed if the page is printed to PDF or paper.
  • Tables
    Accessible Tables in Canvas


Audio & Video

Is media captioned or a transcript available?

Broken Links Check

This tool will provide a report of any broken links in the course. To access go to course Settings > Validate Links in Content.

Full Links to Resources on this Page

Need the URLs for all of these resources? Go go to the Canvas Accessibility Checklist Links page.