Accessibility in Canvas

You may need to make your course accessible to students with disabilities. The Canvas application (including the navigation menus and system options) meets accessibility standards and works well with screen reader applications for visually impaired readers. However, faculty and course developers need to exercise care to ensure that individual pages in their courses also meet accessibility standards.

Simple Things You Can Do

Here's a summary of what to do to ensure that the various resources in your courses are built accessibly: 
  • Canvas
    • Use heading styles.
    • Add alternative text to images.
    • Use captioned videos.
    • Upload accessible documents. (See MS Word & PDF)
  • Video and Audio Elements
    • Make media available for download if possible.
    • Verify videos have accurate captions.
    • Use an accessible media player, (i.e. Kaltura or YouTube)
  • Images (on Canvas pages)
    • Briefly describe images with alt-text.
    • Make alternative text blank for decorative images.
    • Use images with good contrast.
  • PDFs
    • Use software that creates accessible PDFs, like MS Word, using accessible formatting guidelines (See Microsoft Word)
    • Save as PDF with “document structure tags for accessibility.”
    • MS Word for Mac cannot create accessible PDFs.
    • Do not use scanned documents.
  • Microsoft Word documents
    • Use heading styles Use built-in formats for bulleted lists, columns, and tables.
    • Use table headers on all tables.
    • Avoid floating text boxes.
    • Include alternative text for images.
    • Do not save as a webpage.
  • Microsoft PowerPoint presentations
    • Use built-in slide layouts.
    • Add alternative text for images.
    • Include alternative text for images or mark as decorative image.
    • Use captioned videos.
  • Microsoft Excel spreadsheets
    • Specify column headers. Do not use blank cells for formatting.
    • Add alternative text to images.
    • Use unique names for each “sheet.”
  • Math 
    • Use the MathType plugin for MS Word to write equations. “Export to math page.”
    • Select “MathML Using:”
    • Select “HTML+MathJax”
    • Keep the exported HTML file with the accompanying source folder. 
  • Email
    • Use descriptive links rather than having the full URL
    • Add alternative text to images.
    • Do not paste image files in lieu of real text.
    • Use high contrast colors.
    • Use readable fonts.

Additional Resources:

Available tool options:

SLCC provides a number of helpful resources: 

REV EZ 06/25/2021