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.
- ASU Canvas accessibility guidelines: https://lms.asu.edu/accessibility
- ASU Disability Resource Center website: https://eoss.asu.edu/drc
- Ally (Canvas Accessibility checker) Self Training: https://www.asu.edu/courses/acadtech/tutorials/ally/#/
Ally is coming -- Spring 2020
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
Accessible technology is...
- All students can process the information on your course site
- Assistive technologies like screen readers can consume the content
- Here's a thought: Are there any materials in your course site that a visually-impaired student can't perceive?
- Sites should respond to a variety of tools aside from a standard mouse (e.g. keyboard-based operations)
- User responses, animations, and media should be easy to control
- Here's a thought: Does your site use page titles, headings, and links so visitors can better navigate it?
- The language and message of the site is clear and concise
- Functionality of the site is simple and is in the realm of the users' understanding
- Here's a thought: Is the material on your site relevant to the course and can students easily interpret its messaging?
- Site content can be reliably interpreted by all technologies (including assistive technologies)
- All web browsers accurately deliver your course site's content
- Here's a thought: Will a screen reader like JAWS be able to accurately interpret what's on your course site?
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!
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.
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...