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Accessible Content in Canvas

Whether moving from a face-to-face course to temporary remote teaching for the first time or teaching an established online course, posting course content and materials in an accessible manner offers students access to the content they need to be successful. The following accessibility criteria identify best practices for faculty to address accessibility issues when moving course content into the online environment.

Content Formatting

  • Content is organized into meaningful sections using heading styles.
  • Heading styles are nested in a logical and sequential order.
  • Link text is meaningful, descriptive, and in context.
  • Underlining is not used for emphasis.
  • Color and contrast are sufficient. Color is not used alone to convey meaning.
  • Lists are formatted using the embedded list tool.
  • Tables are for data with header rows identified.


  • Images have appropriate alt text descriptions; images unrelated to page content are designated as decorative.
  • Videos have accurate captions (not auto-generated) with proper punctuation. Review DCMP Captioning Key for guidance.
  • Audios have accurate transcripts.
  • Videos/audios are not set to auto-play.

Other Supplementary

  • Foreign language content is identified in the Canvas page
  • Files (Word, PPT, PDF, Excel) have been “converted” to Canvas pages whenever possible. Use copy/pasting techniques to ensure clean conversion. If in the original format, they are made accessible.
  • All Canvas content (pages, discussions, assignments, and quizzes) has been reviewed with an accessibility checker.
  • Download the adaptable course layout in Canvas Commons. Search "Accessible Course Layout (Simple)" or "Accessible Course Layout (Multiple Front Page)" in Canvas Commons to download your copy to adapt today. Note: You will need to be signed into Canvas Commons to use the direct links. To learn how to download and edit your own copy, read How do I import and view a Commons resource in Canvas?