Improving the Accessibility of Your Course
Various state and federal laws have requirements aimed at making education accessible to as many people as possible. For instance, making sure that classrooms are wheelchair accessible would be an effort to comply with these laws and policies. Online classes need to be accessible as well. Here are some best practices to use in Canvas. If you have additional suggestions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Keep the design simple, clean, and uncluttered.
- Use alternate text tags for images. For example, you can add alternate text when you embed an image from the web or from Flickr creative commons. If you have an image in your course file you want to use, you can add an alt tag by switching to HTML view. Doing this will mean that people who use a screen reader to read aloud the contents of a web page will hear an auditory description of the image.
- Rather than pasting in raw URLs, link to words that describe the link destination. Again, this will help people using a screen reader understand where the link will take them.
- Use other formatting besides color (bold words, different size font) to distinguish between important items in your course. Changing the font size rather than using different colors will benefit those people who cannot differentiate colors.
- Learn to use CTRL+ and CTRL- or CMD+ and CMD- to resize the text in the course for the visually impaired.
- Caption YouTube Videos.
- Use the link icon in the Rich Content Editor to embed a YouTube video. It will auto-embed the video and link to the title of the video. Visit How do I link to a YouTube Video? in the Canvas Guides for more information.
Screen Reader Programs
- Macintosh: VoiceOver (latest version for Safari)
- PC: JAWS (latest version for Internet Explorer 10 & 11)
- PC: NVDA (latest version for Firefox)
- There is no screen reader support for Canvas in Chrome
- Creating Accessible Electronic Content
- Canvas Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)
- Enabling Keyboard Navigation in Mac OS X Web Browsers
Tips & Tricks
By pressing the comma key, a pop-up window with keyboard shortcuts will appear for keyboard navigation on the following pages in Canvas: