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Accessibility – checklist for your content in Canvas

It is good to think about accessibility from the beginning when you create and upload material. Following this checklist will make your content accessible at a basic level while helping you meet legal requirements. The checklist is available in web format with explanations and as a downloadable PDF without explanations.

Tip! Learn accessibility in the self-study course Digital@KTH

There is a Canvas course in digital and accessible content for you as an employee. The checklist on this page will be more understandable after you have completed the course. The course gives you insight into laws that regulate digital content and methods for complying with them. Recommendations and examples are designed according to what makes the material easier for all recipients to understand - the so-called universal design. The self-study course Digital@KTH (in Canvas)

The checklist

I have

  • chosen "pages" when possible instead of PDFs
  • made an automatic accessibility check (for both pages and PDFs)
  • written the texts based on principles of plain language
  • created headings with the built-in templates
  • put the headings in the correct order
  • made link texts clear, even without surrounding text
  • given all images an alt text
  • captioned videos
  • if necessary, supplemented the media with a text version
  • tested it on a mobile phone.

You can also download an interactive version of the checklist:

Checklist accessibility (pdf 66 kB)

Explanation of the checklist

Below, the items in the checklist are explained in more detail.

Chosen "pages" when possible instead of PDFs

Pages in Canvas require less manual input than PDFs because pages come with some accessibility built in; for example, they are more adaptable for browsers and helpers. Therefore, post your content on a page in Canvas instead of having the content in uploaded documents. If you need to use a PDF, you need to make more accessibility adjustments than for a page. Read more about Available documents .

Made an automatic accessibility check (for both pages and PDFs)

You can quickly find many flaws with automatic accessibility checks, but remember that automatic tools cannot find everything. You must always manually review your material for things that the automatic check misses. In Canvas, the accessibility checker runs while you edit, but in, for example, Adobe Acrobat Pro, you have to start it manually.

Written the texts based on principles of plain language

Don't mess with it unnecessarily. Clear language is about the language being well-kept, simple and understandable. In this way, you reach more people and, at the same time, comply with Section 11 of the Language Act on language in public activities (11 § i språklagen om språk i offentlig verksamhet). Read more on the page What is plain language? (isof.se) .

Created headings with the built-in templates

Headings must be created with the correct formatting templates for utilities to understand they are headings. If you create headings by bolding text or resizing it, they will only be perceived as headings by sighted people. An accessible heading is thus created by selecting a heading format in the menu in the content editor, for example "Heading 2". It's easy and fast. Read more about Accessible headings .

Put the headings in the correct order

Headings define the structure of your text and make it more manageable, but only if the headings are in the correct order. For example, web pages and Canvas pages are structured so that the page title is heading level 1, all main headings are heading level 2, and their subheadings are heading level 3. If subheadings are needed for the subheadings, heading level 4 is used and so on. Heading levels are sometimes shortened to H1, H2, H3, and so on.

Never skip a heading level; it confuses those using screen readers or otherwise navigating the heading levels. Read more about Accessible headings .

Made link texts clear, even without surrounding text

Create links that clearly describe where they lead and what happens when you click on them. Understanding where the link leads must be possible, even if it is taken out of context. Clear link texts also make it easier for screen readers. More information and examples of good and bad link texts can be found on the page Clear links .

Given all images an alt text

For images to be accessible, they need a text that describes the content for those who cannot see, a so-called alt text. In connection with uploading an image in Canvas, there is a field for entering the alt text. You can also insert the alt text afterwards; see the guide How do I handle alt text for embedded images as a teacher? (community.canvaslms.com)

For more information about accessibility requirements for images, read Accessible images .

Captioned videos

All videos need captions to be accessible to everyone. In KTH Play, you can easily order automatic captions for your video; it saves a lot of work. But remember that you need to check the auto-captions and possibly make adjustments manually. Read more on the pages Video captioning  and Accessibility in video and audio .

If necessary, supplemented the media with a text version

Certain media need to be supplemented with a text version to be accessible to everyone; for example, an audio recording is supplemented with a transcribed text. Sometimes images and videos also need to be supplemented with a text version in addition to the alt text or subtitles. For example, a graph may need to be supplemented with a data table and a video supplemented with image descriptions. Read more on the pages Images on the web  and Accessibility in video and audio .

Tested it on a mobile phone

Many students will access your material via a mobile phone, either with the Canvas app or through the mobile browser. Check that your Canvas room can be navigated on mobile and that you can open and access all material. Make sure that the material is displayed in the correct order and that the students can access all the material according to your instructions and expectations. If your material is well adapted for a mobile phone, there is a good chance that it will also be accessible to those who use assistive devices.

Related reading

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Last changed: Feb 29, 2024