Accessible Canvas Design

Providing multiple ways for students to gain knowledge, demonstrate knowledge, and interact goes a long way toward making the Canvas course site accessible to all students. It is important to consider accessibility in advance of designing and teaching your course so that accessible content and strategies can be implemented up front rather than after the fact. Below are some guidelines and best practices to keep in mind before, during, and after your course.

In Advance

  • Provide students with textbook and media requirements before the class starts.
  • Consider adding information to your syllabus about accessibility accommodations.
  • If possible, choose materials from publishers and journals that provide electronic content.
  • Work with the Library to set up your course reserves.

General Accessibility in Canvas

Canvas provides guidance on designing an accessible course. Refer to their “General Accessibility Design Guidelines.” Below are some highlights.

Synchronous Class

  • Zoom web conferencing is compliant according to Section 508 and WCAG 2.0. Refer to Zoom’s Accessibility page.
  • Consider using Zoom’s caption feature, if making extensive use of online synchronous sessions in your course.
  • If you are sharing your screen or annotating a document, describe what you are doing visually, so those with visual impairments can participate.
  • Consider sharing documents in advance of the live session, so those relying on a screen-reader can familiarize themselves with the content.


General Accessibility Design Guidelines