Learning for all

Accessibility and inclusion

Teaching online affords instructors and students the luxury of convenience and easy access to communication with peers and educators. When building a Canvas course site, the amount of versatility and design flexibility enables instructors to produce robust content. Unfortunately, with the array of options available, it is easy to lose sight of inclusion and accessibility.

The most common misconception regarding accessibility is the notion that accessible design is meant to accommodate users with disabilities. FALSE. Accessibility actually involves designing materials to accommodate and include everyone. 

Quick links

Ally is coming -- Spring 2020

IMAGE showing the Ally logo which is the word "ally" in various colors. Below the logo is the statement "making course content accessible" in white font.

Ally is an accessibility checker that integrates with Canvas. Ally does the following:

  • scans supported documents and course materials in your Canvas course, comparing them to WCAG 2.0 accessibility standards and providing feedback on how to improve the accessibility of the documents
  • allows students to download alternative file formats that are more accessible such as audio and electronic braille
  • guides instructors on how to improve the accessibility of their files

The tool is currently turned on for all courses that were taught prior to Fall 2019; take a look at your previous courses to determine whether you should make revisions according to Ally's standards.

Beginning Spring 2020, Ally will be turned on for all courses. Use the links below to prepare for its launch:

Build with accessibility in mind

  • Access to information for all - A basic human right established by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 
  • Social inclusion - Accessibility does not only focus on individuals with disabilities but also on people in remote locations or developing countries
  • Legal obligation - In addition to ASU policy, federal and state law requires university programs and services to be available for those with disabilities

Intro to Accessibility

Learning the basics of accessibility will prepare you to understand how crucial inclusion is to student success. If you're not too familiar with the wide spectrum of categories on this topic, learn more on the Web Accessibility page!

Accessibility Barriers

When creating content, it is easy to forget that not everyone shares the same abilities and skills. Some users may have vision problems, motor problems, or auditory problems. Content that is created without accessibility for all in mind can prevent barriers and cause people to be excluded. Learn how to remove these barriers and what to look out for when designing materials.

Report an Accessibility Problem

If you see content on an ASU website (this one included!) that has an accessibility issue, you can report them to an accessibility expert. The expert can assist with remedying the problem or contacting the owner of the material with issues. Please include the appropriate information and...