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Product Accessibility

Canvas Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)

This 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 and WCAG 2.1 AA.

Accessibility Statement

Instructure is committed to ensuring its products are inclusive and meet the diverse accessibility needs of our users. Canvas LMS strives for WCAG 2.1 Level A/AA and Section 508 conformance. Regular testing (both internal and by a third party) is conducted to identify conformance issues, with processes in place for timely remediation of accessibility issues that are identified. Canvas is a complex and broad system. The statements below are accurate as of the date indicated.

Canvas has been evaluated by Instructure and WebAIM according to WCAG 2.1 standards. Testing is regularly conducted using automated tools, assistive technology (such as screen readers, keyboard testing, etc.), and coding best practices. Third party accessibility evaluation occurs regularly with internal audits conducted with each release. Mechanisms are in place for logging and fixing accessibility defects.

Third Party Conformance Statement

August 24, 2020

WebAIM, an independent authority in web accessibility, has evaluated the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) by Instructure and certifies it to be substantially conformant with Level A and Level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1. While not fully conformant, conformance issues that pose a significant barrier for users with disabilities have been addressed in the sample evaluated.

A sample of the frequently used aspects of Canvas were evaluated in both Student and Instructor roles. This sample includes but was not limited to general navigation, course content, grading, communication, and administration.

WebAIM cannot verify the conformance of content outside the scope of the representative sample, or content changed after August 24, 2020. However, based on our interactions with Instructure, WebAIM is confident in its ability and willingness to maintain a substantially conformant LMS.

Canvas LMS Accessibility Conformance Report

(Based on VPAT® Version 2.4)

Name of Product: Canvas

Date: September 2020

Applicable Standards/Guidelines: This report covers the degree of conformance for the following accessibility standard/guidelines:

  • Revised Section 508 standards as published by the U.S. Access Board in the Federal Register on January 18, 2017
  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 (Level A/AA)

Terms

The terms used in the Conformance Level information are defined as follows:

  • Supports: The functionality of the product has at least one method that meets the criterion without known defects or meets with equivalent facilitation.
  • Partially Supports: Some functionality of the product does not meet the criterion.
  • Does Not Support: The majority of product functionality does not meet the criterion.
  • Not Applicable: The criterion is not relevant to the product.

WCAG 2.1 Report

This table documents conformance of the Canvas LMS (including web content, electronic documents, software components, and authoring systems) with WCAG 2.1

Principle 1: Perceivable

Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.

 

Criteria Conformance Level Remarks and Explanations
1.1.1 Non-text Content Supports Canvas provides text alternatives to default non-text content, and provides the ability to attach text content to user-generated non-text content.
1.2.1 Prerecorded Audio-only and Video-only Not Applicable Prerecorded audio or video are not provided by Canvas. Users are responsible for accessibility of content they upload, and Canvas does support adding captions and transcripts.
1.2.2 Captions (Prerecorded) Not Applicable Prerecorded audio or video are not provided by Canvas. Users are responsible for accessibility of content they upload, and Canvas does support adding captions.
1.2.3 Audio Description or Media Alternative (Prerecorded) Not Applicable Prerecorded audio or video are not provided by Canvas.
1.2.4 Captions (Live) Not Applicable Prerecorded audio or video are not provided by Canvas.
1.2.5 Audio Description (Prerecorded) Not Applicable Prerecorded audio or video are not provided by Canvas.
1.3.1 Info and Relationships Partially Supports Most Canvas information, structure, and relationships can be programmatically determined or are available in text. Canvas currently has exceptions related to consistently conveying field validation and to some quizzes legends.
1.3.2 Meaningful Sequence Supports Canvas maintains consistent structures allowing correct reading sequences to be programmatically determined.
1.3.3 Sensory Characteristics Supports Instructions for using Canvas do not rely on sensory characteristics.
1.3.4 Orientation Supports Canvas does not restrict usage to a single display orientation.
1.3.5 Identify Input Purpose Supports Canvas input field purposes can be programmatically determined.
1.4.1 Use of Color Supports Canvas does not convey information by color alone. Canvas provides an Underline Links feature option which provides enhanced link identification above and beyond this criteria.
1.4.2 Audio Control Not Applicable Prerecorded audio is not provided by Canvas, and user-generated content does not auto-play.
1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum) Supports Canvas provides a 3:1 contrast ratio by default and a 4.5:1 contrast ratio via the High Contrast UI feature option. This feature option overrides all custom styling, ensuring a compliant experience for all users.
1.4.4 Resize text Supports Canvas text can be resized to 200 percent without loss of content or functionality.
1.4.5 Images of Text Not Applicable Images of text are not provided by Canvas. Users are responsible for accessibility of content they upload, and Canvas provides the ability to associate alt text to user-generated images.
1.4.10 Reflow Partially Supports Most Canvas pages can be presented at 320x256 resolution without loss of information or functionality. Some exceptions exist, and corrections are regularly being made as part of Canvas’s agile development process and frequent deploy and release cycles.
1.4.11 Non-text Contrast Supports Canvas graphical objects and user interface elements meet or exceed minimum 3:1 contrast when the High Contrast UI feature option is enabled. This feature option overrides all custom styling, ensuring a compliant experience for all users.
1.4.12 Text Spacing Supports Canvas users can change text spacing without loss of content or functionality.
1.4.13 Content on Hover or Focus Partially Supports Canvas content is dismissible via the escape key and persistent while hovered. A known issue currently exists where some tooltips triggered by hovering cannot be hovered themselves.

 

Principle 2: Operable

User interface components and navigation must be operable.

 

Criteria Conformance Level Remarks and Explanations
2.1.1 Keyboard Supports Canvas functionality is keyboard-operable, including providing alternative keyboard-optimized interfaces for some features.
2.1.2 No Keyboard Trap Supports Canvas does not trap focus when navigated by keyboard.
2.1.4 Character Key Shortcuts Partially Supports Canvas provides a Disable Keyboard Shortcuts feature option which disables character key shortcuts on most pages, but some exceptions exist.
2.2.1 Timing Adjustable Supports Canvas does not time-out interface elements or content by default. Where time limits are user definable for content like quizzes, the time limits can be modified for specific users.
2.2.2 Pause, Stop, Hide Supports Canvas generally does not contain moving, blinking, scrolling, or auto-updating content. Where this content does exist, such as the Celebration Animations feature, it can be disabled.
2.3.1 Three Flashes or Below Threshold Not Applicable Canvas does not contain any blinking content.
2.4.1 Bypass Blocks Supports Canvas has “Skip to Content” links to allow users to easily bypass navigation elements.
2.4.2 Page Titled Supports Pages in Canvas have appropriate titles to describe their purpose.
2.4.3 Focus Order Supports Navigating Canvas by keyboard or screen reader occurs in consistent and logical sequence, generally top-to-bottom and left-to-right. When used with languages with right-to-left writing, the Canvas navigation sequence is appropriately mirrored.
2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context) Supports The purpose of each link in Canvas is clearly identified by its text, supplemented with labels when necessary.
2.4.5 Multiple Ways Supports Canvas pages can be navigated to in multiple ways, following consistent layouts in global and page navigation.
2.4.6 Headings and Labels Supports Canvas pages contain a single H1 header describing the purpose of its content, and additional headers always follow single-steps and maintain logical structure.
2.4.7 Focus Visible Supports Focus is consistently visible throughout Canvas when navigated by keyboard.
2.5.1 Pointer Gestures Supports Canvas does not require navigation by multipoint or path-based gestures.
2.5.2 Pointer Cancellation Supports No actions in Canvas complete on mouse-down, and thus can be aborted by moving the mouse away from the button or target area before mouse-up.
2.5.3 Label in Name Supports Canvas visible and accessible labels match, and any controls that use icons or symbols are given consistent accessible labels.
2.5.4 Motion Actuation Not Applicable Canvas does not contain any motion operations.

 

Principle 3: Understandable

Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.

 

Criteria Conformance Level Remarks and Explanations
3.1.1 Language of Page Supports All Canvas pages contain a defined language value.
3.1.2 Language of Parts Not Applicable Multi-language content is not provided by Canvas. Users are responsible for accessibility of content they upload, and user-generated content can be supplemented with appropriate HTML language tags.
3.2.1 On Focus Supports Moving focus when navigating Canvas never results in an action or change of context.
3.2.2 On Input Supports Modifying input fields in Canvas does not automatically initiate any action or navigation.
3.2.3 Consistent Navigation Supports Canvas contains consistent navigation patterns across all pages and content.
3.2.4 Consistent Identification Supports Canvas components are labeled and behave consistently across the application.
3.3.1 Error Identification Partially Supports Most forms in Canvas are validated and errors are properly identified and described to the user. Some forms do not contain explicit field validation; form submission is disabled instead.
3.3.2 Labels or Instructions Partially Supports Most content in Canvas requiring user input contains appropriate labels. Exceptions currently exist with Canvas quizzes, where some radio inputs do not automatically read their legend.
3.3.3 Error Suggestion Partially Supports When errors are encountered in Canvas, usually an announcement is made including suggestions for correcting the error. As noted in Criteria 3.3.1, there are currently some exceptions to consistent validation.
3.3.4 Error Prevention (Legal, Financial, Data) Not Applicable No legal or financial data is stored in Canvas.

 

Principle 4: Robust

Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.

 

Criteria Conformance Level Remarks and Explanations
4.1.1 Parsing Supports Canvas is constructed to proper HTML 5 standards. For user-generated content, the Canvas Rich Content Editor supports users in generating proper HTML.
4.1.2 Name, Role, Value Partially Supports Canvas UI components generally use HTML and ARIA best practices. In some cases ARIA is used where standard HTML would be sufficient.
4.1.3 Status Messages Supports Updates to content, status changes, and notifications that display visually have corresponding audio announcements for screen readers.

 

Functional Performance Criteria (FPC)

 

Criteria Conformance Level Remarks and Explanations
Without Vision Supports Canvas has been optimized to work well with screen readers such as JAWS or VoiceOver.
With Limited Vision Supports Canvas supports screen magnification and browser-provided zoom functionality.
Without Perception of Color Supports Canvas does not require color perception for operation.
Without Hearing Supports Canvas does not use any audio for its default operation. Users can upload their own content and are responsible for ensuring the accessibility of the uploaded content.
With Limited Hearing Supports Canvas does not use any audio for its default operation. Users can upload their own content and are responsible for ensuring the accessibility of the uploaded content.
Without Speech Not Applicable Canvas does not require speech for operation.
With Limited Manipulation Supports Canvas does not require fine motor control or simultaneous actions. It is accessible via keyboard and touch devices.
With Limited Reach and Strength Supports Canvas does not require fine motor control or simultaneous actions. It is accessible via keyboard and touch devices.
With Limited Language, Cognitive, and Learning Abilities Supports Canvas supports adaptation of content by end users and provides an easy-to-use interface for users with cognitive or learning disabilities.

 

Software

Criteria Conformance Level Remarks and Explanations
504 Authoring Tools
504.2 Content Creation or Editing (if not authoring tool, enter “not applicable”) See WCAG 2.x section See information in WCAG section
504.2.1 Preservation of Information Provided for Accessibility in Format Conversion    
504.2.2 PDF Export    
504.3 Prompts    
504.4 Templates    

 

Support Documentation and Services

Criteria Conformance Level Remarks and Explanations
601.1 Scope
602 Support Documentation
602.2 Accessibility and Compatibility Features    
602.3 Electronic Support Documentation See WCAG 2.x section See information in WCAG section
602.4 Alternate Formats for Non-Electronic Support Documentation    
603 Support Services
603.2 Information on Accessibility and Compatibility Features    
603.3 Accommodation of Communication Needs    

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