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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.

Learn digital accessibility in three hours

Digital accessibility means that everybody – regardless of disabilities – can use our digital services and websites. Now there is a Canvas course for you as an employee.

Course in digital accessibility

How can I adjust material in Canvas make it more accessible?

Create a distinct structure and clearly describe both the assignments and expectations. All course rooms are created with a templade with a clear structure. Feel free to use it.

You will find more tips on the page Accessibility tips  and more detailed explanations on the pages Work with content  (the focus is on webpages, but most information is true for everyone)

Should digital publications and e-books be made accessible if we link to them? We don't own that content nor do we publish it.

It doesn't have to be made accessible, but of course you should keep the accessibility perspective in mind. If some students can't 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 information, but 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.

Consider 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? For example, only adapt the content for current students disabilities.

According to the Web Accessibility Directive all published content must be made accessible. No exceptions are made due to lack of time and students with disabilities should not have to tell the course coordinator their disability. 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 no students has permanent disabilities. For example, if their internet is slow the ALT-text will load instead of images. If they can't have the sound on without waking up their kids, the captions helps. High contrast makes it easier to read the page even with sunlight on the screen.

Do I have to add captions to all my videos I use?

The law's requirement for captions is explained on the page Film and sound . To sum it up, the law requires captions 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 captioned without undue delay, but can be published before the captioning is finished.

KTH has an automatic captioning function in KTH Play, called Reach. The automatic captioning must checked manually, but it will do most of the job for you. Read more about Order machine-generated captions for the video (via the Reach module) .

I'm going to publish different types of documents (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. If you're publishing documents you didn't create yourself you can always contact the publisher and ask if they have an accessible version.