Making your Canvas courses accessible to users with disabilities is a legal requirement and a good design practice. On this page you will find design guidelines and links to additional resources.
General Accessibility Design Guidelines
In the General Accessibility Design Guidelines in the Canvas Community pages you will find detailed information about how to format your course content.
Some of the Guideline highlights are:
- HTML tags should be used to describe the structure of your content. Headings should be used to indicate topic headings. HTML tags should not be used to 'style' the visual display of your content. The Canvas user-interface itself follows these guidelines.
- If colors are being used to emphasize certain pieces of content be sure that there is adequate contrast between the background color and the content color. You may want to also emphasize the content with the Bold, Italic or <em> HTML tag.
- Tables should be used to present tabular data. They should not be used for page layout.
- Files that you add to your courses should also be accessible. The guidelines referenced above contain information about making sure your Word, Powerpoint and PDF documents are accessible.
- All images should have 'alt text' that describes the image. When you insert images into Canvas a text field is provided for this purpose.
- Link text should be descriptive of the item that it is pointing to. In general you should not use the URL of the item as the link text.
Using the Accessibility Checker in the Rich Content Editor
The Rich Content Editor includes an accessibility tool that checks common accessibility errors within the editor. This tool can help you design course content while considering accessibility attributes and is located in the Rich Content Editor menu bar. This tool only verifies content created within the Rich Content Editor.
See How do I use the Accessibility Checker in the Rich Content Editor as an instructor? for more information.
- Accessibility within Canvas - On this page you will find information about the technologies and standards that Instructure uses and observes to ensure that Canvas is accessible.
- Creating Accessible Tables in the Rich Content Editor - A properly-coded table can be a lot easier for screen readers to navigate.
- Information and Technical Assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act - This is the ADA.gov website which provides information on the ADA laws and regulations, design standards, technical assistance materials and enforcement.
We are here to help you
If you would like assistance coding your site or verifying that your site is accessible please contact the Teaching and Learning Technologies team. We are here to assist you.