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FAQ about accessibility

Here we have collected a few of the most frequently asked questions, and their answers, about accessibility and Canvas. The page is based on the questions we've recieved from teachers at KTH.

Updated 30 juni 2021

Accessibility in teaching at KTH

There are currently no requirements for KTH's teachers as content producers linked to the DOS Act

Jan Gulliksen, the Vice President for Digitalization, has started a project to work focused on digital accessibility. A steering group and a working group were appointed with the task of further developing digital accessibility at KTH. One focus is "Accessibility in teaching".

The project presents measures to increase awareness and knowledge of digital accessibility with the goal of eventually establishing practice for students' digital educational environment and teacher communication.

Until the project delivers uniform instructions on working methods for teachers, the principal has said that for the time being there are no requirements for teachers linked to the DOS Act.

Read more about the project and activities on the page Digital accessibility at KTH .

About DOS and accessible content

DOS, the law on accessibility to digital public services, entered into force on 1 January 2019 and affects KTH since 23 September 2020. It applies to KTH's website (including the Intranet and Social) and Canvas. In the next few years, accessibility laws will also apply to the private sector and throughout the EU.

Accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the web, but accessible web pages are good for all users. The information is easier to find, read, and understand. Watch intro film about and why digital accessibility

DIGG, the authority for digital public administration

DIGG is the authority responsible for the law having an impact. Lack of accessibility can be reported by private individuals to DIGG. They are also the supervisory authority and will begin their reviews in January 2021. Read about DIGG and the DOS law on .

Creating accessible content

Read about creating content where the DOS aspects are integrated .

How can I adjust my Canvas course room to make it more accessible?

Start by reading 5 tips in Canvas@KTH for increased accessibility .

Other things to keep in mind:

  • Provide text versions of video and image material.
  • Create a distinct course structure and clearly describe both the assignments and expectations. You can use the KTH template course room  for support.

Should digital publications and e-books we link to from the course pages also go through accessibility review? We don't own that content.

It doesn't have to be reviewed, but of course you should keep the accessibility perspective in mind. If not all students can partake in all of the content, then that's not ok. But there are no restrictions in the law of digital accessibility.

You can always contact the publisher and ask if they have an accessible version.

Remember to link to the website where the author published the original version.

How do I write good alt-text to complex images like graphs, flowcharts or models?

An alt-text exists to give the reader relevant, that is not necessarily all, information the image convey. It's often possible to describe a process or a relationship in text by going through it step by step.

Think through what information the graph should convey and how it will be used. The same image can be described in different ways depending on the expected use. If, for example, a graph only is used to show a relationship, then describe it (example: the price of fruit has increased over 20 years), but if the students should use the graph for calculations a table is recommended instead (table 1 show the price of fruit the last 20 years).

Important: Alt-text can not be longer than 125 characters and still be read by screen-readers. If more information is needed, write a short alt-text like "the price of fruit over time" and write the longer description in the text itself.

Example of a process map with a description by the ITM-school (page in Swedish).

Describing complicated graphs and illustrations - with concrete examples (

Can I make exceptions due to lack of time and, for example, only adapt the content for current students disabilities?

According to the Web Accessibility Directive all published content must be made accessible, and students with disabilities should not have to tell the course coordinator what kind of disability they have. There are also students with disabilities who hasn't told KTH that they are disabled.

Remember that making content accessible is helpful for all students, even if noone in the course has permanent disabilities. If their internet is slow the alt-text is loaded instead of images, if they can't have the sound on without waking up the kids the subtitles helps and high contrast makes it easier to read the page even with sunlight on the screen.

Do I have to add subtitles to all my videos used in my course?

The law's subtitle requirement is explained on the page Film and sound , but to sum it up the law requires subtitles on all videos published from the 23rd of september 2020 as soon as they are published, except for live broadcasts. Recorded live broadcasts (for example a Zoom-lecture) must be subtitled as soon as possible, but can be published before the subtitling is finished.

KTH is currently working on a solution for subtitling videos that's integrated in KTH's systems, which is expected to be completed in the autumn of 2020. See the top of the page for more information.

I'm going to publish different types of documents in my course (PowerPoint, PDF, Excel etc), how should they be managed?

Prefereably the documents should be converted to pages in Canvas instead of files to download, if possible. Feel free to use the inbuilt calendar for schedules, or structure the modules chronologically instead of uploading a seperate file for the schedule.

Most PDF-documents are text and images that can be converted to a Canvas page, but for documents that must stay as a PDF read Adobe Acrobat Pro accessibility tutorial ( .

For PowerPoints, look through WebAIM's guide to PowerPoint ( .

Excel accessibility guide (

In general it's possible to google the document type with "accessability" after it to find relevant guides to accessibility, and if you're publishing documents you didn't create yourself you can always contact the publisher and ask if they have an accessible version.

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Last changed: Sep 07, 2021