ASL Interpreter helping a student and professor communicate in class
Professor presenting a slideshow to his class
Guest speaker, Ken Petry, speaks at a past Access MU symposium to a large audience
The varsity hockey team glides across the ice with members of the Best Buddies Choir


Websites and Applications

When using websites in classes, it is good to at least check them for accessibility to ensure material can be viewed. WebAim WAVE is a free tool that can easily scan a page to tell you if its accessible. The more RED errors you have on a page, the less likely you should use it. It is recommended for faculty to try and find resources that are the most accessible. If you are using applications in the class and would like to have them tested for accessibility you can also contact

Are you a Cascade User?

University Communications and Marketing provides great resources on Website Accessibility.

Canvas Users

The guidelines below can help you create accessible web pages in Canvas.

Basic Principles of Accessibility

By following these general rules, you accomplish about 80% of creating an accessible course!

  • Use header styles (paragraph, header 2, header 3, header 4) when creating subsections on a page.
  • Provide alternative text (ALT text) for images and charts.
  • Avoid communicating information with color alone.
  • Use formatted lists (bulleted or numbered).
  • Use descriptive web links—avoid using the entire URL or “click here.”

When Do I Need to Remediate?

When you have a student with a requested accommodation through Student Disability Services (SDS), you need to provide ADA accommodations as directed in the letter from SDS and work with the Accommodations Coordinator for assistance

Otherwise, you can continue to use your existing materials without remediation. However, you should develop a plan to remediate over time, building new courses or adding new materials with accessibility in mind.

Accessibility Checker in Canvas: UDOIT

Miami Canvas website has integrated an accessibility checker tool called UDOIT into all courses. The University of Central Florida, sponsored by a Canvas project fund, developed UDOIT.

Follow these steps to use UDOIT:

  1. Enable UDOIT from course settingsNavigation.
  2. Click on UDOIT and run an accessibility check.
  3. Review the course accessibility report and fix the errors.

Accessibility Checker for External Websites: WAVE

WAVE is a free accessibility checker provided by You have two options when using WAVE to check a website:

Option 1: In your browser copy the URL of the page you want to check then go to Paste the Web page address you want to check for accessibility in the box on the WAVE website then click the arrow.

Option 2: Install a web accessibility add-on/extension to a browser. The accessibility checker tool will show up in the toolbar. In a browser go to a website then click the accessibility checker tool.

Incorporating Best Practice When Creating your Canvas Pages
Miami University ADA Compliance and Accessibility Best Practices Canvas Course Pages
Maintain a simple, consistent page layout throughout your web pages. Miami Oxford Canvas Template provides a consistent page layout by using the heading graphics.
Make sure that there is enough contrast between the text and the background of the page. Online color contrast checker:
Use Standard HTML code. The Rich Content Editor in Canvas will help you format your content. It also allows you to switch to default HTML code.
Caption video, and transcribe other audio. See Canvas Learning U—Create Accessible Video Content.
Provide alternative text for every image. Users unable to see images depend on authors to supplement images with alternative text that clearly describes the image. While inserting an image in Canvas, you can type in the Alt Text in the pop-up window.
Provide alternative text for infographics as well. Depending on the course context, a surrounding paragraph on the same page may provide better explanation than brief alt text alone.
Make links descriptive instead of the URL. Use the link tools in the rich content editor to enter or break a web link.
Avoid PDFs by putting the content directly into the web page. Copy and paste the PDF content in your web page.