Accessibility statement for Canvas LMS

This accessibility statement applies to the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) provided by the University of Wolverhampton.  The content on the Canvas is designed for everyone to find, access and use.  Canvas, as proprietary software is compatible with assistive technologies and developed to meet the accessibility standards outlined within this statement.

Getting the best from your device:

 We want as many people as possible to be able to use Canvas and access information on Canvas Pages.  For example, that means you should be able to:

  • change contrast levels
  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of Canvas using just a keyboard
  • navigate most of Canvas using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the information on Canvas Pages using a screen reader
  • access Microsoft Immersive Reader on Canvas Pages
  • view content offline in an ePub format 

It is important before accessing Canvas that you are aware of the settings available for your hardware, such a laptop computer or mobile devices, including smart phones or tablets.  These devices have individual accessibility settings that will help you access our content.  Depending upon your choice of internet browser or mobile smart device operating system, there are further settings to help you access our content.  Such settings may include the ability to change colours, contrast and the size of text and images.  When zooming, Canvas automatically reorganises the page content to enable you to access it without complex gestures or interactions.

You can find useful advice on making your device more easy to use by visiting AbilityNet, which provides step-by-step guides to making individual adjustments to your laptop, tablet or smart phone.  The University also provides a number of assistive software products (e.g. Virtual Magnifying Glass, ssOverlay) as part of its Apps Anywhere software repository.

We provide access to a comprehensive set of guides within Canvas to help you explore and understand the many features that Canvas has to help your learning journey.

We know some parts of Canvas are not fully accessible:

  • you cannot modify the line height or spacing of text
  • most older PDF documents are not fully accessible to screen reader software
  • live video conferences do not have captions.

If you need information about Canvas or this accessibility statement in a different format, please:

We’ll consider your request and get back to you within three working days.

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of Canvas and the content within Canvas Pages.  If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact:

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’).  If you have contacted us about an accessibility issue relating to our online content and you are not happy with the outcome of your complaint, you can contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

We consider digital accessibility a key part of our approach to being the University of Opportunity and we want you to be able to use our services in a way that supports a positive learning experience.

The University of Wolverhampton is committed to making its Canvas Pages accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Canvas Pages are partially compliant with the  Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version (WCAG) 2.1 AA standard; the non-compliances are listed below.

Non-accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

Distinguishable: contrast (minimum)

Some areas within Canvas have elements that maybe perceived as having a low contrast; for some, this means that some people with visual disabilities may find the text difficult to read, especially for people with colour vision deficiency or hyperopia (farsightedness).

Canvas is developed by a third party, with some aspects of content customisable locally by the University.  A good example of content that the University cannot control is the navigation menu in Canvas: the WAVE accessibility tool highlights that standard links in Canvas do not have the recommended contrast ratio; however, this can be amended by personal settings in Canvas.  A guide to amend these settings is provided by Instructure, the company that develops Canvas.

Navigable: link purpose (in context; link only)

Our audit identified examples of links without meaningful purpose, such as ‘click-here’ or ‘available-here’.

Documents that have been uploaded to a Canvas page include the option to have a preview and this will present two adjacent hyperlinks that are the same.  This has been highlighted by WAVE as an alert, although it is understood that the ARIA script should hide the preview element from screen readers.

Sometimes, links lead to PDF documents and these links do not provide a warning to users that a PDF will be opened.

We will repair links without meaningful purpose as we find them.  Please contact us if you find a link without meaningful purpose.

Text alternatives: non-text content

Canvas automatically uses the file name of the image as the alternative text, so there is always some information provided to users; however, this text does not always provide a useful description of the image and the file extensions are also present.  Users who access content through screen readers may therefore not be able to understand the image, the content it links to or what purpose it serves.

Some images that could be considered decorative have been used to link to other content.  Some decorative images have not been identified as such (such as background images).  At times images such as the header and footer banners contain text, although these are effectively decorative images and the alternative text often highlights what is being shown.

Some pages contain screenshots to help the user to understand how to access and find information.  These images will contain text that is unreadable by a screen reader, and it is important that the alternative text provides a suitable description to help anyone using a screen reader to understand the information being conveyed to users.

We will repair the alternative text for images as we find examples that are not appropriate.  Please contact us if you find an image which requires a change to the alternative text.

PDFs and other documents

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services.  Some of our Canvas topics may contain such content.  If you are having problems accessing this information, please consider visiting AbilityNet where you can find useful advice on making your device more easy to use.  Please contact us if you are unable to access this information.

Live video

We do not plan to add captions to live video streams (e.g. within Conferences) because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

Third party content

Canvas is a third-party product that also contains other third-party content, which means that the University cannot have control over some of the content provided.  Examples of third-party content that may be found within Canvas include, but are not limited to:

  • links to external sites not owned, managed or maintained by the University
  • other software products such as Turnitin, Panopto, Portfolium and Microsoft Teams.

If you find any of the aforementioned hard to access, then you may be able to find accessibility statements in searchBOX.  This is a free, comprehensive directory created by textbox to support accessible content.  The University is not affiliated with searchBOX and is not responsible for its content.

This statement was prepared on 16 September 2020. It was last reviewed on 11 September 2020.

Canvas was last tested on 28th August 2020.  The test was carried out by members of staff within the College of Learning & Teaching at the University of Wolverhampton within the period 11th-28th August 2020.  We audited a range of Canvas pages that reflect the breadth of subjects that students and staff will encounter at the University of Wolverhampton.  Importantly, we have included an audit of the Student Help & Guidance and the Staff Help & Guidance courses.