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Canvas Accessibility

Canvas Accessibility Standards

The Canvas platform was built using the most modern HTML and CSS technologies and is committed to W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative and Section 508 guidelines.

The Voluntary Product Accessibility Template, or VPAT, is a tool that administrators and decision-makers can use to evaluate Canvas’ conformance with the accessibility standards under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. View more information about the Canvas Voluntary Product Accessibility Template.

General accessibility design guidelines can be found in the General Accessibility Design Guidelines document.

Learn more about Canvas accessibility standards.

Screen Readers and Browsers

Each Canvas feature and release is manually tested with the following screen reader and browser combinations:

  • JAWS (latest version for Chrome/Firefox on Windows)
  • NVDA (latest version for Chrome/Firefox on Windows)
  • VoiceOver (latest version for Safari on Macintosh and iOS mobile)
  • Talkback (latest version for Android mobile)

Browser and screen reader pairing is selected based on current screen reader and browser usage statistics, ensuring that preferred combinations are always maintained for the widest range of Canvas users. As preferences shift and stabilize over time, Canvas testing and support shift to match them.

Learn more about supported Canvas browsers.

Making Content Accessible in Canvas

The Canvas Accessibility Checker

The Accessibility Checker verifies content created within the Rich Content Editor to check on common accessibility issues.

Learn more about the Canvas Accessibility Checker


Ally for Canvas is embedded in all Montclair State Canvas courses and automatically checks for accessibility issues and generates alternative accessible formats. Ally also guides instructors on how to improve the accessibility of course content.

How to Make Documents Accessible

Images and Graphics, Layout, Design, Color

  • All images and graphics need alternative text descriptions (e.g. “alt”) which allow visually impaired students to understand what they represent. WebAIM examples of alt text.
  • Accessible Charts (use visuals to convey complex ideas to users – from Penn State).
  • Equations (how to make math equations accessible – from Penn State)
  • Use headings to make pages easy to navigate.
  • Font size should be larger than 10pt to ensure legibility.
  • Links should be labeled in a descriptive way. Avoid “click here” or URLs to web addresses.
  • Tables should be formatted to include row and column headers.
  • Color alone should not be used to convey important information. If you use color to convey important information, also use pattern, shape, or labels to provide that information to the color blind.
  • Ensure color contrast is strong.

Video and Audio in Canvas

  • Audio files should include transcripts.
  • All videos should have captions.
  • Panopto is an all-in-one video platform. It provides desktop lecture recording and automatic captioning services and is seamlessly integrated with Canvas. You can review our documentation for both the PC (Windows) and Mac (Apple) or attend a training workshop.