Canvas, Information for Assistive Technology Users
This page contains multiple links and information about accessibility within Canvas.
Screen Reader / Keyboard-Only Users
The Canvas website provides tips for screen reader and keyboard-only users.
Please consult the Screen Readers and Browsers section of Canvas’s accessibility documentation to determine its current support for various screen reader and browser combinations.
Specific issues to note are as follows:
- Screen readers do not announce the occurrence of an annotation when reading through the document. Annotations are read at the end of the document, and it is not possible to determine non-visually which part of the text they are linked to.
- JAWS users must hit Enter before they start typing when they want to leave a comment on an annotation, or else the focus shifts to the top of the page.
- Screen magnifier users need to select the comment before zooming in to see which part of the text it is linked to. Otherwise, the dotted line linking the comment to the text disappears upon zoom.
- If the annotated document is downloaded for review, it is recommended to use Adobe Acrobat for viewing the PDF, since the annotation comments may not be consistently displayed in generic PDF viewers.
- Note: students using screen magnifiers must go into full-screen view in View Feedback to view the annotation comments.
Screen reader users are recommended to use the Agenda calendar view due to inaccessible table structure in the Week and Month views.
After submitting an assignment, screen reader users may not receive a notification alert indicating the status of their submission.
Workaround: The notification is located in the complementary region on the assignment submission page.
The file tree is not easily navigable or consistently usable by screen reader users.
Workaround: If possible, access content through Modules rather than Files.
My Media and Kaltura Media Gallery
My Media and Kaltura Media Gallery are both part of the Canvas Kaltura integration. Please see the Kaltura accessibility page for more details about the accessibility of Kaltura.
Screen reader users may experience significant barriers in attempting to complete an in-video quiz in Kaltura Media Gallery. Faculty should avoid utilizing this tool.
Documents in the Office 365 integration will be rendered through the Office Online document viewer.
Screen Magnifier Users
- Users can enable high contrast mode under Account > Settings > Feature Options. Some interface elements may fail color contrast requirements when this mode is not enabled.
- Some aspects of Canvas’s column-based layout may be displaced at higher browser zoom settings, resulting in a confusing layout to read.
- When navigating through Modules, note that the “Next” and “Previous” buttons are located at the bottom right and bottom left of the page, respectively. They may be difficult to locate initially when using a magnifier.
- Many control elements, such as settings menus or notification toggles, are located on the far right side of the page from the element they modify.
- Many notifications, such as the successful submission of an assignment, are communicated through alerts that appear at the top of the screen rather than near the location the action was performed.
- In the document viewer, screen magnifier users need to select the comment before zooming in to see which part of the text it is linked to. Otherwise, the dotted line linking the comment to the text disappears upon zoom.
- In the document viewer, students using screen magnifiers must go into full-screen view in View Feedback to view the annotation comments.
- If an annotated document is downloaded for review, it is recommended to use Adobe Acrobat for viewing the PDF, since the annotation comments may not be consistently displayed in generic PDF viewers.
Information for Instructors
Canvas has General Accessibility Design Guidelines for making your course content accessible.
You can set different availability dates and times for specific users for assignments and quizzes. To do so, review the How to Extend Time for Assignments and Providing Extended Time Accommodations Answers KnowledgeBase articles.
Information for Instructors using Assistive Technology
Consult the Accessibility Within Canvas guide for keyboard shortcuts and advice on specific tools within Canvas.
Vendor Accessibility Documentation
Canvas Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) and WCAG 2.0 Checklist
24/7 INSTRUCTURE LIVE SUPPORT & ONLINE DOCUMENTATION
Canvas is one of several products developed by Instructure. As part of our contract, all students, staff, and faculty have access to Instructure’s support services including a 24-hour Canvas Support Hotline at 1-833-228-9829. You can also chat with a live representative – Chat with Canvas Support
Instructure also maintains an extensive library of documentation to assist faculty and students with the transition to Canvas:
We want to hear from you about our Canvas service. If you’re having problems using this service or you have more information about the accessibility of this service that we should share with others on this page or elsewhere in our Canvas Accessibility Resources, please let us know by using our U of I Canvas Contact Form. For accommodation-related questions, please contact Disability Resources & Educational Services.