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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 accessible to users with disabilities. The 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 semi-annually with internal audits conducted with each release. Mechanisms are in place for logging and fixing accessibility defects.

Third Party Conformance Statement

August 21, 2018, a third party 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 2.0. 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 included Modules, Moderated Grading, Google & O365 integrations, and the Rich Content Editor.

WebAIM cannot verify the conformance of content outside the scope of the representative sample, or content changed after August 21, 2018. However, based on our interactions with Instructure, WebAIM is confident in their ability and willingness to maintain a substantially conformant LMS.

Canvas LMS Accessibility Conformance Report

VPAT Version 2.3 - January 2019

Name of Product: Canvas

Date: January 2019

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 2.0 (Level A/AA). WCAG 2.1 Level A/AA conformance is also documented herein.


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.

WCAG 2 Success Criterion Supports Remarks and Explanations
1.1.1 Non-text Content Partially supports Most, but not all, non-text elements have equivalent text alternatives.
1.2.1 Prerecorded Audio-only and Video-only Supports Time-based media was not encountered in the sample.
1.2.2 Captions (Prerecorded)
1.2.3 Audio Description or Media Alternative (Prerecorded)
1.2.4 Captions (Live)
1.2.5 Audio Description (Prerecorded)
1.3.1 Info and Relationships Partially supports Not all label and legend text is programmatically associated with form controls.
1.3.2 Meaningful Sequence Supports The reading and navigation order is logical and intuitive.
1.3.3 Sensory Characteristics Supports Instructions do not rely on shape, size, visual location, or sound.
1.3.4 Orientation (2.1) Supports Orientation of web content is not restricted to only portrait or landscape.
1.3.5 Identify Input Purpose (2.1) Supports Input fields do not have inappropriate autocomplete attributes.
1.4.1 Use of Color Partially supports Meaning is sometimes conveyed by color alone.
1.4.2 Audio Control Supports No audio content was encountered in the sample.
1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum) Partially supports Some text has insufficient contrast.
1.4.4 Resize text Supports The page is readable and functional when the page is zoomed to 200%
1.4.5 Images of Text Supports No images of text were encountered in the sample.
1.4.10 Reflow (2.1) Partially supports Horizontal scrolling is required when content is presented at a width of 320 pixels. However, no loss of content or functionality otherwise occurs.
1.4.11 Non-text Contrast (2.1) Supports Graphical objects, user interface elements meet or exceed minimum 3:1 contrast.
1.4.12 Text Spacing (2.1) Supports No loss of content or functionality occurs when the user adapts text spacing.
1.4.13 Content on Hover or Focus (2.1) Supports No issues with additional content presented on hover/focus

Principle 2: Operable
User interface components and navigation must be operable.

WCAG 2 Success Criterion Supports Remarks and Explanations
2.1.1 Keyboard Partially supports Most, but not all, content is keyboard accessible.
2.1.2 No Keyboard Trap Supports No keyboard traps encountered.
2.1.4 Character Key Shortcuts (2.1) Does not support No mechanism is present to disable the shortcut keys.
2.2.1 Timing Adjustable Partially supports Some content disappears after a short time.
2.2.2 Pause, Stop, Hide Supports No animated content encountered.
2.3.1 Three Flashes or Below Threshold Supports Content does not flash.
2.4.1 Bypass Blocks Supports The site has a functioning skip link.
2.4.2 Page Titled Supports Pages have appropriate titles.
2.4.3 Focus Order Partially supports One issue is present when using right-to-left languages.
2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context) Supports Link purpose can be determined from the link text, or from the link text in context
2.4.5 Multiple Ways Supports Multiple navigation methods are available.
2.4.6 Headings and Labels Supports Headings and labels describe topic or purpose.
2.4.7 Focus Visible Partially supports Most elements have visible keyboard focus indicators.
2.5.1 Pointer Gestures (2.1) Supports Content can be controlled without path-based gestures.
2.5.2 Pointer Cancellation (2.1) Supports No mousedown or similar events encountered.
2.5.3 Label in Name (2.1) Supports Interactive elements' visible labels are included in their accessible names.
2.5.4 Motion Actuation (2.1) Supports No device movement was found to trigger functionality.

Principle 3: Understandable
Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.

WCAG 2 Success Criterion Supports Remarks and Explanations
3.1.1 Language of Page Supports Page language is specified.
3.1.2 Language of Parts Supports No alternate-language parts encountered.
3.2.1 On Focus Supports Navigation is consistent, simple, and user-initiated.
3.2.2 On Input Supports Form controls do not trigger page changes or navigation immediately when input is entered.
3.2.3 Consistent Navigation Supports Navigation elements are consistent across the site.
3.2.4 Consistent Identification Supports Functional elements are consistently identified.
3.3.1 Error Identification Supports Accessible instructions and error messages are provided where needed.
3.3.2 Labels or Instructions Partially supports Some issues were encountered with fieldset/legend structure.
3.3.3 Error Suggestion Partially supports Most error messaging suggests ways to fix the input in a timely and accessible manner.
3.3.4 Error Prevention (Legal, Financial, Data) Supports No legal, financial, or test data encountered.

Principle 4: Robust
Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.

WCAG 2 Success Criterion Supports Remarks and Explanations
4.1.1 Parsing Supports HTML validation issues do not impact accessibility.
4.1.2 Name, Role, Value Partially supports ARIA attributes are often used where they are not needed.

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  
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.


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