Accessible design allows as many people as possible to use technology regardless of ability, age, or functional limitation. When developing your online Canvas content, activities and assessments, it is important for faculty and course developers to keep students with disabilities in mind.
Usability: Navigation and Organization
- Use icons as visual cues.
- Make use of the “Next” and “Previous” buttons to create multi-page modules rather than log scrolling pages.
- Provide navigational options - use the course menu, a start here page, and modules.
- Provide descriptive module and page titles and clear, unique, descriptive headings.
- Always provide text equivalents for non-text elements (alt tags for images, captions for media).
- Be sure to title all of your links, do not paste raw URLs into pages.
- Don’t use color alone to convey information - use bold, italics, etc. in addition to color.
- Make sure everything is appropriately aligned
- Allow for enough white space to keep the page from looking cluttered, but not so much that students have to scroll excessively
- Consistently place important information near the top of the page
- NO horizontal scrolling; limit vertical scrolling
- Use meaningful text link labels
- Match link names with their destination pages
- Avoid misleading or inconsistent cues to click (blue or underlined text)
- Within an LMS, external links should open new browser tabs or windows so that students can easily return to their place in the course
- Use familiar, common fonts
- Use plain, high-contrast backgrounds
- Use consistent formatting
- Use BOLD sparingly, or it ceases to draw attention and clutters the page
- Use text color sparingly, as it can be distracting
- Provide for users to enlarge text
Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
- UDL is a set of principles for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn.
- UDL provides a blueprint for creating instructional goals, methods, materials, and assessments that work for everyone--not a single, one-size-fits-all solution but rather flexible approaches that can be customized and adjusted for individual needs.
- See the National Center for Universal Design for Learning for more information.
Accessibility and Universal Design Resources