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

September 8, 2021

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, New Quizzes, grading, communication, and administration.

WebAIM cannot verify the conformance of content outside the scope of the representative sample, or content changed after September 8, 2021. 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 LMS

Date: September 2021

Contact Information: accessibility@instructure.com

Evaluation Methods Used: Manual and automated testing by Instructure and by WebAIM with supported screen readers and other accessibility technologies.

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 (Level A)

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 Audio-only and Video-only (Prerecorded) (Level A)

Not Applicable

Canvas does not contain audio-only or video-only content by default. Users are responsible for accessibility of content they upload, and Canvas does support adding captions and transcripts.

1.2.2 Captions (Prerecorded) (Level A)

Not Applicable

Canvas does not contain audio or video by default. Users are responsible for accessibility of content they upload, and Canvas does support adding captions.

1.2.3 Audio Description or Media Alternative (Prerecorded) (Level A)

Not Applicable

Canvas does not contain audio or video by default. Users are responsible for the accessibility of content they upload.

1.2.4 Captions (Live) (Level AA)

Not Applicable

Canvas does not contain live audio or video functionality.

1.2.5 Audio Description (Prerecorded) (Level AA)

Not Applicable

Canvas does not contain prerecorded video. Users are responsible for the accessibility of content they upload.

1.3.1 Info and Relationships (Level A)

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 (Level A)

Supports

Canvas maintains consistent structures allowing correct reading sequences to be programmatically determined.

1.3.3 Sensory Characteristics (Level A)

Supports

Instructions for using Canvas do not rely on sensory characteristics.

1.3.4 Orientation (Level AA 2.1 only)

Supports

Canvas does not restrict usage to a single display orientation.

1.3.5 Identify Input Purpose (Level AA 2.1 only)

Supports

Canvas input field purposes can be programmatically determined.

1.4.1 Use of Color (Level A)

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 (Level A)

Supports

Canvas does not contain prerecorded audio, and user-generated content does not auto-play.

1.4.3 Contrast (Minimum) (Level AA)

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 (Level AA)

Supports

Canvas text can be resized to 200 percent without loss of content or functionality.

1.4.5 Images of Text (Level AA)

Supports

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 (Level AA 2.1 only)

Partially Supports

Most Canvas pages can be presented at 320x256 resolution without loss of information or functionality. One exception exists on the People/Course Roster page.

1.4.11 Non-text Contrast (Level AA 2.1 only)

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 (Level AA 2.1 only)

Supports

Canvas users can change text spacing without loss of content or functionality.

1.4.13 Content on Hover or Focus (Level AA 2.1 only)

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 (Level A)

Supports

Canvas functionality is keyboard-operable, including providing alternative keyboard-optimized interfaces for some features.

2.1.2 No Keyboard Trap (Level A)

Supports

Canvas does not trap focus when navigated by keyboard.

2.1.4 Character Key Shortcuts (Level A 2.1 only)

Supports

Canvas provides a Disable Keyboard Shortcuts feature option which disables character key shortcuts.

2.2.1 Timing Adjustable (Level A)

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 (Level A)

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 (Level A)

Supports

Canvas does not contain any blinking content.

2.4.1 Bypass Blocks (Level A)

Supports

Canvas has “Skip to Content” links to allow users to easily bypass navigation elements.

2.4.2 Page Titled (Level A)

Supports

Pages in Canvas have appropriate titles to describe their purpose.

2.4.3 Focus Order (Level A)

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) (Level A)

Supports

The purpose of each link in Canvas is clearly identified by its text, supplemented with labels when necessary.

2.4.5 Multiple Ways (Level AA)

Supports

Canvas pages can be navigated in multiple ways, following consistent layouts in global and page navigation.

2.4.6 Headings and Labels (Level AA)

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 (Level AA)

Supports

Focus is consistently visible throughout Canvas when navigated by keyboard.

2.5.1 Pointer Gestures (Level A 2.1 only)

Supports

Canvas does not require navigation by multipoint or path-based gestures.

2.5.2 Pointer Cancellation (Level A 2.1 only)

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 (Level A 2.1 only)

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 (Level A 2.1 only)

Supports

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 (Level A)

Supports

All Canvas pages contain a defined language value.

3.1.2 Language of Parts (Level AA)

Supports

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 (Level A)

Supports

Moving focus when navigating Canvas never results in an action or change of context.

3.2.2 On Input (Level A)

Supports

Modifying input fields in Canvas does not automatically initiate any action or navigation.

3.2.3 Consistent Navigation (Level AA)

Supports

Canvas contains consistent navigation patterns across all pages and content.

3.2.4 Consistent Identification (Level AA)

Supports

Canvas components are labeled and behave consistently across the application.

3.3.1 Error Identification (Level A)

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 (Level A)

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 (Level AA)

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) (Level AA)

Supports

If a user can change or delete legal, financial, or test data, the changes or deletions can be reversed, verified, or confirmed.

 

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 (Level A)

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 (Level A)

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 (Level AA 2.1 only)

Supports

Updates to content, status changes, and notifications that display visually have corresponding audio announcements for screen readers.

Section 508

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, NVDA and 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.

 

Chapter 4 Hardware

Note: These criteria are all Not Applicable because Canvas is not a Hardware Product.

 

Chapter 5 Software

Note: These criteria are Not Applicable as Canvas is a web application that does not directly access platform accessibility services. However, noteable criteria are briefly discussed regarding authoring tools.

 

Criteria Conformance Level Remarks and Explanations
504 Authoring Tools    

504.2 Content Creation or Editing (if not authoring tool, enter “not applicable”)

Supports

Canvas web application provides functionality for authors to create semantic content, such as headings, lists, add alt text to images

504.2.1 Preservation of Information Provided for Accessibility in Format Conversion

N/A

 

504.2.2 PDF Export

N/A

 

504.3 Prompts

Supports

Canvas has a built in Accessibility Checker within the Rich Content Editor that prompts users of WCAG A/AA success criterion errors.

504.4 Templates

N/A

 

 

Chapter 6: Support Documentation and Services

Criteria Conformance Level Remarks and Explanations
601.1 Scope    

602 Support Documentation

   

602.2 Accessibility and Compatibility Features

Supports

Canvas Community Documentation lists and explains accessibility features and compatibility with assistive technology.

602.3 Electronic Support Documentation

Partially Supports

Canvas documentation is hosted in the Canvas Community which is hosted on the Khoros Platform. Khoros WCAG 2.1 Statement

602.4 Alternate Formats for Non-Electronic Support Documentation

N/A

 

603 Support Services

   

603.2 Information on Accessibility and Compatibility Features

Supports

Canvas Customer Support can provide information about accessibility features of the product.

603.3 Accommodation of Communication Needs

Partially Supports

Canvas allows institutions to determine the support route for their users, which can include direct support from Canvas Customer Support and/or their institution's helpdesk. For users whose institution utilizes Canvas Customer Support, customers can contact Canvas Customer Support via email, accessible chat services or phones. Hearing-impaired customers who wish to speak to a Canvas Customer Support representative may use a telecommunications relay service (TRS). Information about the TRS is available at http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/trs.html, and a list of telephone numbers is available at https://www.fcc.gov/general/telecommunications-r elay-services-directory.