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Teaching Using Canvas: Canvas' Accessibility Tools

Canvas' Accessibility Tools

Canvas makes it easy to create accessible pages, assignments, and rubrics by offering its users three tools:

  1. the Accessibility Checker,
  2. the Immersive Reader, and
  3. the UDOIT Cloud.

Accessibility Checker

Canvas' Content Rich Editor includes an Accessibility Checker that will search for common accessibility errors in the page which you are currently editing. You can find a list of rules that the Checker follows here.

Step 1

Open the Accessibility Checker by clicking on the icon on the bottom right hand corner of the Rich Content Editor, or the text field you type into within a page. The icon looks like a little human figure.

Open Accessibility Checker


Step 2

Consider the "Issue/s" that the Accessibility Checker shows. You'll notice that:

  • The Rich Content Editor highlights the affected area. 
  • The sidebar displays the accessibility attribute. 
  • The sidebar explains the error. 
  • The Information icon in the shape of a question mark provides more information about the accessibility attribute.

View Issues


Step 3

If the New Rich Content Editor contains more than one issue, you can view all issues by clicking the Previous or Next buttons.

View Additional Issues


Step 4

To correct an issue, complete the task as noted in the sidebar. For instance, if the issue requires that alt text be added to an image, the sidebar displays a text field for you to enter alt text. When you are finished with your changes, click the Apply button.

The Accessibility Checker will apply the fix and display information for the next issue. Continue to review and fix any additional issues within the editor.

Apply Fix


Step 5

When all issues have been fixed, or if no issues are detected, the sidebar indicates that no issues exist and will close automatically.

Confirm Fix

Immersive Reader

Canvas' Immersive Reader is a learning tool that uses proven techniques to improve reading for people, regardless of their age or ability. Key features include "read text out loud," "break it into syllables," and "increase spacing between lines and letters." It offers text-decoding solutions for students with learning differences such as dyslexia, and it encourages independent reading and helps teachers support students’ unique learning needs.

The Immersive Reader will work best only when instructors post their content whether by typing or by copying and pasting into the Rich Content editor. Note that Word documents and PDFs that are embedded into your course will not be read by the Immersive Reader.

Immersive Reader from HCPS Canvas on YouTube.


The Universal Design Online content Inspection Tool (UDOIT) scans Canvas courses, provides easy-to interpret suggestions to improve the accessibility of the course, and can automatically repair many common accessibility issues.

UDOIT Introduction from Video@CDL on Vimeo.