How do I fix accessibility issues in my Canvas course as an instructor?

Quick Links: | Prerequisites | Instructions | Troubleshooting |

Improving the accessibility of your course materials not only complies with legal standards but also ensures that all students have equal access to educational resources. This guide focuses on fixing common accessibility issues identified by the Ally Course Accessibility Report in Canvas, starting with content that is "easiest" to address.


Step-by-Step Instructions

Accessible Content Assistance from TLP and TEIN

If you encounter complex accessibility issues or need assistance with PDFs, submit a ticket for specialized support. The process involves collaboration with the Technology & Learning Program and the Office of Accessible Technology Services to improve materials and discuss actionable steps for ongoing learning.

Request Accessibility Assistance

To fix common accessibility issues identified by Ally, follow these steps:

  1. From the Ally Accessibility Report, select the Content tab.
    Accessibility report with arrow pointing to Content
  2. Unless you have the Files area visible to students on the Canvas course menu, TLP recommends using the fixing content in this order:

    • Pages, Announcements, Discussions, etc. (they contain the majority of content visible to students so you want to put the most effort here)
    • Office Documents
    • PDFs (you can now add some basic tags yourself)
    • Other

For Pages & Associated Images:

Locate and check the score of all Pages , Announcements , Discussions, Assignments, etc.

Select Issues next to the page. Typically it contains images that are not tagged.

Content tab of Accessibility Report with page and issues highlighted

If the image conveys meaning to the learning or has text, add a description, otherwise, mark it as decorative. If you're unsure of how to write effective alternative text, refer to WebAIM's alternative text guide.

image highlighted with arrow pointing to decorative

For Documents:

Download documents lacking headings, add the necessary headings in a word processor, and re-upload to your course.

Seek assistance for PDFs missing tags through the provided support channels.

file upload option on the ally accessibility report

For PDFs that are just missing titles, etc:

You can fix some basic content for PDFs within Ally. For complex PDFs with low scores, request help from our accessible content specialists by contacting the Technology & Learning Program.


  • When fixing images, ensure the alternative text accurately reflects the image's purpose or content. If unsure, refer to WebAIM's alternative text guide.
  • For document accessibility, consider also using accessibility checkers available in word processors before re-uploading to Canvas.

Still need help? If you run into problems or still need help, reach out to the Technology & Learning Program

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Article ID: 113744
Mon 3/4/24 2:46 PM
Mon 4/8/24 11:02 AM