Accessible Instructional Material
Comparable in quality to those received by students without disabilities
Comparable in timeliness of delivery and availability
Provided in a manner and medium appropriate to the significance of the message and the abilities of the person receiving the material
Providing universal design access
Setting up accessible formatting for text and tables
Creating Accessible Word documents and PowerPoint presentations
Reconfiguring PDFs to maximize accessibility
Creating or uploading accessible content to Canvas
Using Ally to make course content more accessible
Hosting and captioning video
For a quick-start overview of things to watch out for when ensuring the accessibility of instructional materials, please consult Ally's Accessibility Checklist.
Although the Canvas web interface is accessible, it is the responsibility of each instructor to ensure that any content created or uploaded onto Canvas is also accessible. The Canvas Rich Content Editor has an Accessibility Checker to check if page content is accessible. Furthermore, Ally is an Accessibility Awareness tool integrated into Canvas, and it can help you make your uploaded files and images more accessible.
When posting written content, whether in a Canvas page or in uploaded documents, make sure that the text is formatted in an accessible way. This means using proper heading structure, using built-in bullet or numbered lists, and creating tables with proper header rows or columns.
Any documents and files uploaded to Canvas, including Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, and PDFs, should be made accessible. Ally, which is integrated with Canvas, can help identify which files are accessible or not.
With PDFs that are created from Word documents or PowerPoint presentations, make sure that the original document is accessible. You may also make a document remediation request through ITS to ensure the accessibility of PDFs and hard-to-fix documents.
When uploading images to Canvas or embedding them in documents, make sure they have descriptive alt text. Any videos shared should have accessible captions. If videos are uploaded through Panopto or Canvas Studio, you can request automatic captions and manually check to make sure they're accurate. If posting a YouTube video, try to find videos where the channel posts their own captions.
Note: Because Panopto is a more reliable and capable video communication platform, Canvas Studio will be gradually phased out and replaced by Panopto. Instructors should start to use Panopto in place of Canvas Studio for the recording and hosting of video.
- How do I effectively describe images using alt text?
- How do I use Ally in Canvas to make images accessible?
- How do I ensure a YouTube video has accessible captions?
- How do I get started with Panopto on Canvas?
- How do I add captions to videos I upload to Panopto?
- How do I add captions to videos I upload to Canvas Studio?
For more information on accessibility in Canvas, visit Canvas's page on general accessibility guidelines.
For training on Microsoft Office, including Word and PowerPoint, please contact the ITS Training Staff at [email protected]. You may also visit the ITS Training Program page, which has self-paced training resources for Microsoft Office.
The ITS Accessibility page has many resources to help make accessible instructional materials, including guides on specific programs, and a document remediation service.
CETL runs the Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) Workshop several times a semester for all faculty as a part of the TEACH program. To complete the workshop, (1) instructors attend a live webinar and then (2) submit a deliverable, namely a Syllabus with Heading Styles.
Please check our latest workshops and register for the Accessible Instructional Materials Workshop if available.
An important component of designing a course, either online, hybrid, or in-person, is to ensure that the instructional materials are accessible for students with disabilities. In this workshop, we will demonstrate several practices instructors can implement to ensure accessibility of their course materials.
By the end of this workshop you will have accomplished the following objectives:
- Explain the importance of accessible materials.
- Structure text documents with Heading Styles.
- Add a text-based description to an image (alt text).
- Assess closed captioning quality in online video.