Canvas Accessibility

Top 10 Canvas Accessibility Tips


Simplify Navigation Menu

In the course Settings>Navigation tab, disable items not used from the settings menu (the one that looks like three dots aligned vertically). Select Disable to hide each links from the course navigation. Save your changes at the bottom of the Settings page.

Audio-described version

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

This is one of the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). 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. Some UDL ideas:

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.

Select the text you wish to modify [1], and click the Paragraph drop-down menu to change the text style [2]. You can choose from paragraph, heading 2, heading 3, or heading 4 styles.

Change text styles in the Ricj Text Editor

Have Simple and Consistent Navigation

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 to paper or as a PDF, 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 Headers to Tables

Use tables to only convey data and format with header rows and columns. To assign a header column, highlight the cells in the header column, select Cell > Cell properties from the Table menu.

Table cell properties from table icon > Cell

Choose Header cell from the Cell type drop-down menu and Column from the Scope drop-down. Select OK to save the table settings.  Make sure you also save all your changes for the Canvas resource you are editing.

Set table header-column scope