Accessibility: Accessible Course Design

"Ensuring an accessible and pleasant experience to all users, regardless of disability, is a key focus of Canvas" - One of the major reasons that we encourage the use of the Learning Management System at The University of New Hampshire is to increase accessibility with the tools built in to Canvas. More info:

Given the fact that your students come from different backgrounds, skill sets, culture, and disabilities, presenting your course content in multiple ways will better engage your students. You can use a combination of text, audio/video or images to present your lecture content.

The following list is a general guideline for when you use myCourses by Canvas to create your course content:

Format the content

Use "headers": LMS’s and document creation tools have "styles" built into them. Using these styles/headers will help screen readers navigate through them easily.

Text and Color

  • Avoid underlining text. Use bold or italics to emphasize your content. Screen readers will interpret underlined text as a web link.
  • Avoid using RED or other colors to display emphasis. The screen reader will not be able to recognize it. Also, a student with color-blindness will not be able to see it.
  • Avoid writing the whole sentence in capital letters. It is difficult to read.
  • Avoid highlights. Some combinations of background color and text color can make it hard to read, especially for those with color vision difficulties. Use this free Color Contrast Checker took by WebAIM.


  • Navigation consistency: By making the navigation within myCourses  consistent, it will make it much easier for screen reader users (students with disabilities) to find course materials.
  • Use descriptive text for web links/documents and avoid using "click here". "Click here" does not provide enough information for the screen reader software.


  • Good practice: Please visit Instructional Design and Development for more information about online instruction practices.  
  • Not recommended: Please click here for more information about Instructional Design.
  • Make sure your navigation is accessible by using keyboard alone.

Videos and Audios

  • Make sure your videos are closed-captioned and audios are closed-captioned or transcribed.



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Article ID: 1316
Fri 7/19/19 6:00 PM
Wed 10/25/23 10:36 AM
Applicable Institution(s):
Keene State College (KSC)
Plymouth State University (PSU)
University of New Hampshire (UNH)