Accessibility for All

The twelfth week is upon us and I have exciting news! There’s a built-in Accessibility Checker in Canvas!! This tool will help as you build out your final activities this semester and is a ‘must use’ when you start developing your spring courses.

It is important to create accessible content for students from the onset of creation and now it’s one step easier. I’m sure many of you have received a notification from Disability Accommodations & Support Services (DASS) regarding a student needing accommodations in your course. By adding this tool into your creation workflow you will save time by reducing the need for remediation and also increase the number of students that can readily utilize your content.

Within the Rich Content Editor (RCE) you have a new button at the end of the second row called ‘Check Accessibility’ that looks like a silhouette of a stick figure.

The RCE is available when creating an Announcement, Assignment, Discussion Board, Page, Quiz, and Syllabus. Please note that this tool only verifies content created within the Rich Content Editor.

What does the Check Accessibility tool provide?

The Check Accessibility tool verifies common accessibility errors such as:

  • Table header: Tables should include at least one header.
  • Sequential headings: Heading levels should not be skipped (e.g. H2 to H4). The title of page is designated as the H1.
  • Heading paragraphs: Headings should not contain more than 120 characters.
  • Image alt text: Images should include an alt attribute describing the image content.
  • Image alt length: Alt attribute text should not contain more than 120 characters.
  • Large text contrast: Text larger than 18pt (or bold 14pt) should display a minimum contrast ratio of 3:1*.
  • Small text contrast: Text smaller than 18pt (or bold 14pt) should display a minimum contrast ratio of 4.5:1*.
    *Text contrast calculations match those used by WebAim tool.

This may not be the most exciting topic we have blogged about, but this is one of the most exciting tools to be added to Canvas. Using the Accessibility Checker can improve your courses for students with and without disabilities.

To learn more about what is included refer to How Do I Use the Accessibility Checker in the Rich Content Editor?

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