myCourses Accessibility Checker

October 25, 2017

by Alicia Medros

myCourses by Canvas operates on a three-week release cycle through which features are added or updated. Academic Technology myCourses blog will periodically highlight important information from these releases to inform the UNH Community about new and updated features available.


The Canvas release scheduled for Saturday, 10/28 includes a number of feature enhancements and break fixes.  One of the new features I am most excited about is the Accessibility checker that is being added to the Rich Content Editor throughout myCourses.

Tools such as accessibility checker are vital to UNH's ability to provide all of our students access to instructional materials. Your willingness to incorporate the accessibility checker tool in your teaching along with other practices such as captioning videos and universal design are appreciated greatly and are fundamental to our efforts to provide University-wide access among our students.  I do recognize that this accessibility checker is not a 100% answer and there is still manual review and work to be done by faculty, but this tool is a great starting point to check some specific accessibility concerns and help us and Canvas move in the right direction.

See details on what the Accessibility Checker can do and how to use it below.  Read the full release notes about the checker and other updates to myCourses: 

Accessibility Checker

The Rich Content Editor Accessibility Checker assists instructors and course designers to maintain accessibility requirements in Canvas content. The Accessibility Checker is located in the Rich Content Editor menu bar. Depending on the size of your browser window, users may have to scroll the menu bar horizontally to view the Accessibility Checker icon.


Rich Content Editor Accessibility Content Checker Icon


The Accessibility Checker verifies attributes within the editor and notifies the content creator of common accessibility errors. The Accessibility Checker provides a user-friendly explanation about any errors and provides the fields or menus needed to fix the error. The explanation also provides a link to additional resources to educate content creators about the accessibility guideline. The content creator can easily correct the error and apply the fix to the editor.



Rich Content Editor Accessibility Content Checker sidebar and error message

This tool verifies the following accessibility rules:

  • Large text contrast: Text larger than 18pt (or bold 14pt) should display a minimum contrast ratio of 3:1.
  • Small text contrast: Text smaller than 18pt (or bold 14pt) should display a minimum contrast ratio of 4.5:1.
  • Table captions: Tables should include a caption describing the contents of the table.
  • Table header scope: Tables headers should specify scope and the appropriate structure.
  • Table header: Tables should include at least one header.
  • Sequential headings: Heading levels should not be skipped.
  • Heading paragraphs: Headings should not contain more than 120 characters.
  • Image alt text: Images should include an alt attribute describing the image content.
  • Image alt filename: Image filenames should not be used as the alt attribute describing the image content.
  • Image alt length: Alt attribute text should not contain more than 120 characters.
  • Adjacent links: Adjacent links with the same URL should be a single link.
Bookmark and Share