How do I make my Canvas page accessible?

Canvas LMS

Welcome to the No Nonsense Guide to applying accessibility best practices to the Canvas Learning Management System. The Accessibility Guy has created detailed instructional guides and video walkthroughs to help you navigate all aspects of Canvas, including the Immersive Reader.

Table Of Contents

The Basics and Overview

Designing with usability and accessibility in mind is key to helping students with disabilities succeed in your course. Moreover, incorporating usability features provides all students with an opportunity to learn more effectively. For example, video captioning is a great help to students with hearing impairments, but it also benefits students who are learning English, struggling readers, or working in noisy locations.

Canvas Accessibility Requirements

The most common question I receive is, “How do I know if my page is accessible?” Here is what is required to ensure accessibility:

  • Consistently use heading styles
  • Create lists using the tool in Canvas
  • Use unique and descriptive links
  • Assign designated row and column headers for tables
  • Ensure sufficient contrast between background and foreground colors
  • Avoid using visual elements as the sole method of conveying information importance
  • Provide descriptive alternative text for every image in the course, including any text within the image

Where to start

Begin designing with your current content and don’t stress about reworking years’ worth of materials. Focus on implementing accessibility principles in any new content you create, and gradually work on making old content accessible over time.

Color Contrast and Visual Elements:

Ensuring sufficient contrast between background and foreground colors is important for making web text easy to read for students with low vision and helping text stand out for color-blind students. WCAG accessibility standards require a minimum 3.0:1 contrast ratio for text above 18 point font (14 bold) and a 4.5:1 contrast at or below 18 point font (14 point bold). Use bold elements, headings, and italics to draw attention to important information, and avoid using uppercase passages.

Color Contrast Corrections for Pie Charts in PowerPoint

Full Walkthroughs

10 Minute Video on how to make a Canvas page Accessible