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Disability Accessible Canvas Courses

Accessibility guidelines for faculty and support staff when building Canvas courses for students with disabilities.

As you build your course in Canvas, here are a few quick steps you can take to maximize the accessibility of your course.

  1. Avoid using scanned PDFs. They cannot be read by screen readers used by students with visual disabilities and learning disabilities. If you have no other option than to use a scanned PDF, an alternate, accessible version should be created. The Accessibility Resource Center can help you create accessible PDFs.
  2. Use Canvas formatting for tables, numbered or bulleted lists, columns, etc. rather than using white space, extra spacing, or tabs to create those features.
  3. Use Canvas formatting to create headings and subheadings (h1, h2, h3) rather than manually adding larger fonts, boldface, or underlined text. To learn how to do this, see “Change Text Style” in this Canvas Rich Content Editor guide.
  4. Reserve underlined text for hyperlinks only. Use another method (italics, boldface) to emphasize digital text.
  5. Use descriptive titles for all hyperlinks. Students should have no questions as to what will open when they click on the link. Do not use URLs as a link. Do not use generic link text, such as “click here.” (For examples, see the link titles used in this list.) To learn more, see this Canvas guide on creating hyperlinks.
  6. If you create videos, store them in Kaltura, so they can be captioned and ready for future students who may need them to be captioned. SeeHow Do I Upload a Video to Kaltura? and How do I Install Kaltura Capture? for more information.
  7. Add alt text to every image you add to the course. To learn how to do this, see this Canvas guide on adding alt text to an image. Avoid using images that contain large amounts of text. It’s better to present that text in the form of a document or content page, if possible.
  8. If you venture into writing your own custom HTML, please work closely with a curriculum designer and the Accessibility Resource Center to ensure that your HTML is coded according to accessibility guidelines.

For help creating accessible course materials, please visit the Accessibility Request site to submit a request or contact the Accessibility Resource Center directly at or (208) 496-9217.