Accessible Teaching and Learning

Campus Resources

Below is a list of campus resources available for faculty with questions about accessible course design and instruction:

Non-Western Resources

Below is a list of non-Western resources:

Canvas Accessibility Tips

Click on the headings below to expand topics:

Adjusting contrast in Canvas (for all courses)

  1. Enter the exam via “Quizzes,” “Modules,” etc.:
    sceen shot with the words: Settings
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the Settings menu, under “Feature” options, you have the ability to enable “High Contrast Styles”
    screen shot with the words Feature Options

Using Headers in Canvas

From any rich text editor in Canvas, you have the option to add headers.  Headers assist screen readers break up and organize the text.

  1. From your rich text editor, highlight the text you wish to make a header:
    Screen Shot with a header
  2. Under the “Format” drop down menu (default setting is “Paragraph”) select your header:
    Screen shot showing heading sizes
  3. This will apply your specific header to your text:
    Screen shot with Assignment Overview in a bigger header

Canvas also supports HTML Editing, if you are familiar with HTML you can use this feature to easily edit your content to apply headers:

  1. Select “HTML Editor” from the upper left area of your rich text editor:
    SCreen shot showing HTML editor
  2. Here you will be given an HTML editor to manipulate your content:
    screen shot showing code including </p></h2><h2> and <p> code


Providing Students with Additional Time for Exams and Quizzes

  1. Enter the exam via “Quizzes,” “Modules,” etc.
  2. Click “Moderate this Quiz” (located on the right):
    Screen shot showing Quiz stats and moderations.
  3. Find the student name and click the pencil on the right:
    screen shot showing pencil icon and how to edit
  4. This should open the “Student Extensions” box.  From here you can add extra attempts, give extra time, or manually unlock the quiz for the next attempt (if the student missed the deadline, etc.)
    screen shot showing student extensions box
    The time you provide via the “Student Extensions” menu will be in addition to the base time.  For example, if the quiz is a 60 minute quiz, and you would like to provide an extra 60 minutes, simply enter “60” in the box.
  5. Click “Save” and you are done!

Providing Alternative Text for Graphics

Instructors have two options for adding graphics to Canvas.  Adding alternative text is provided for both options.

Using the “Insert/Edit Image” Option (the Green Tree Icon) in the Rich Text Editor

  1. Click the small green tree icon:
    small green tree icon screen shot
  2. You are provided with three options: input a URL, locate an image previously uploaded to Canvas, or find an image on Flickr.  For this demonstration, we will find an image on Flickr.
  3. Locate and select your image:
    image source screen shot
  4. If you select an image from Flickr, many times alternative text will be automatically provided.  However, it is important to review and edit this text.
    attributes screen shot
  5. It is generally recommended that you select a standard way to identify imagery in your courses and be consistent with the application.  Be sure that your identification is clear and concise.  In this case, we may want to provide the following as alternative text:
    Image: Cloister of Glasgow University
    naming conventions explained in Attributes screen shot
  6. Depending on the type of image, you may want to use other indicator words, for example, graph, chart, table, etc.
  7. Once you have provided alternative text, press “Update” to add the graphics with the alternative text:
    cancel versus update screen shot on how to save your choices.
  8. Be sure to save your page once you have finished editing your graphics.

Using the “Images” menu in the “Insert Content into the Page” Menu

  1. On the right “Insert Content into the Page” menu, select the “Images” tab:
    Screen shot on how to use images and insert into content
  2. Here you are presented with the option of uploading a new image from your computer or using an image already uploaded to Canvas.
  3. Once you have selected an image (if you are uploading a new image, be sure to select “upload” after locating your image), it will be automatically added to the rich text editor.
  4. Click on the image in the rich text editor, then click the green tree “Insert/Edit Image” icon:
    how to insert/edit images box screen shot
  5. You should see the “Insert/Edit Image” dialogue box appear:
    How to insert/edit images with details.
  6. Update the “Alt text” and click “Update”:
    How to update alt text in a screen shot
  7. Be sure to save your page once you have finished editing your graphics.

Notes Related to Graphics in Canvas

If a graphic is complex, it is generally recommended that you provide an additional text-based overview of the graphic, for example, outlining a graph or chart, providing specific details regarding an image, etc.

Working with Lists

  • In lieu of using typed numbers or non-bulleted lists, use one of the following.  Both of these options are optimized for screen readers.
    • A “Bulleted List”:
      screen shot showing how to make a bulleted list
      • Example of a non-bulleted or text-based-bulleted list:
        Example of a non-bulleted or text-based-bulleted list:
      • Example of a bulleted list:
        Read the following : screen shot showing what a bulleted list looks like
    • A Numbered List:
      example of a numbered list
      • Example of a text-based-numbered list:
        example of a text based numbered list
      • Example of a numbered list:
        example of a numbered list

Canvas/Instructure Resources

For additional information related to Canvas accessibility, view the Canvas Help Center guide:

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