Using Accessibility Features

A guide to using Canvas's Accessibility Features for better viewing and use.

Canvas includes several features to make content accessible for users. 

Accessibility Checker

When editing a page using the rich text editor, Canvas will automatically notify you if if there is a potential accessibility issue in the content you are creating. Two of the most common issues are not providing alt text for images and not providing header indications for tables. You can learn more about using the Accessibility Checker to identify and correct issues using this documentation provided by Canvas.

Immersive Reader

The Immersive Reader on Canvas provides an alternative viewing format for content intended to boost reading comprehension. It also provides a text-to speech readout of content.

The options to view pages using the Immersive Reader is not available by default and must be activated by the user by following the steps below.

  1. From any Canvas page, click on Account in the left-hand menu then select Settings.
  2. Scroll down to the "Feature Options" section and locate the list of "User" settings. 
  3. Select the red X next to Microsoft Immersive Reader. On the menu that pops up, select Enable.
  4. You will now be able to turn on the Immersive Reader on most Canvas pages, even if the instructor has not enabled it for a particular course.

Once activated, the Immersive Reader can be accessed from most pages within a course by clicking on the Immersive Reader button in the upper-right hand corner of the page.

Screenshot shows "Immersive Reader" in top right of Canvas page.

Please note that the Immersive Reader is designed for accessing course content, not for navigating Canvas itself. This means that it is unavailable on most menu pages, such as the Dashboard or the Modules menu within a course.

We have also provided a video walkthrough of enabling and utilizing the Immersive Reader.

You can learn more about using the Immersive Reader using this documentation provided by Canvas. (While the page indicates it covers using the Immersive Reader as a student, the content is identical to the documentation on using the Immersive Reader as an instructor.)

High Contrast User Interface

The High Contrast UI on Canvas makes colors easier to distinguish for text, buttons, and other elements within Canvas navigation. (It does not change the color contrast for images or videos uploaded by users.) It can be accessed by clicking on Account from the left-hand menu on any Canvas page. At the bottom of the Account menu that pops up, there is a button to activate the High Contrast UI. The page will need to be reloaded for the change to take effect. Once enabled, it will remain on for all pages unless the user disables it.

Screenshot shows "Use High Contrast UI" toggle turned on.

Keywordsaccess see better procedure policy guide to how   Doc ID129753
OwnerMatthew M.GroupSchool of Information Sciences
Created2023-07-14 13:35:46Updated2023-07-27 19:21:28
SitesUniversity of Illinois School of Information Sciences
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