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Canvas@Illinois, New DesignPLUS Sidebar Alternative Access Plan

This article describes the alternative access plan for people using the New DesignPLUS Sidebar to edit content within Canvas@Illinois or Canvas Catalog/Open Canvas.


For users developing content with the new DesignPLUS Sidebar, certain components were identified by the Technology Services Quality Assurance team as not fully accessible as of January 2024.

Cidi Labs is aware of these accessibility issues and their developers are working on updates to resolve these issues in the coming months. An estimated timeline is to be determined. However, this Knowledgebase article will be updated as issues are resolved.

Functional Modalities Impacted

The accessibility issues in certain components of the new DesignPLUS Sidebar will negatively impact individuals in the following interaction modalities:

  • Without vision or with limited vision, where a visual mode of operation is provided.
  • With limited manipulation, reach, and strength, where a manual mode of operation is provided.

Description of Issues

Certain components of the new DesignPLUS Sidebar are not accessible as noted below:

  • In the Icon Picker menu, a user using only a keyboard may not be able to open the drop down menu to refine the list of available icons.
  • In the Icon Picker menu, the NVDA screen reader announces the icons as buttons rather than the name of the icon to users.
  • In the Advanced Tool settings, when a user navigates to a resize-able text field, the focus shifts to the top of the section without navigating to the next field and can be disorienting to screen reader users.
  • If a user is going through the walk thru tutorial on a smaller screen utilizing only a keyboard, the “Next” button may be obscured on the Style section.
  • In the Accessibility/Usability panel, specifically in the Image Alt Checker, when a user selects the info/tool tip for more information using only a keyboard, the message cannot be closed and covers part of the sidebar.

Alternative Access Plan

For anyone who experiences difficulty using the new DesignPLUS Sidebar, users should continue to use the Canvas Rich Content Editor (RCE) to create and edit content in their courses to add accessible styling and content.

If any user would like additional guidance with using the DesignPLUS Sidebar or if they encounter difficulties with using components of the tool with assistive technologies, contact Technology Services at or 217-244-7000 and your ticket will be escalated to the CIDILabs DesignPLUS Service Owner and the Technology Services Canvas Support team. Additionally, you may reach out to other support unitis on campus such as the Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning (CITL) at

KeywordsCanvas, catalogDesignPLUS, DesignPLUS sidebar, alternative access plan, aap, accessibility   Doc ID135681
OwnerRachel M.GroupUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
Created2024-02-23 16:14:48Updated2024-02-27 17:41:15
SitesUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
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