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carli_tegtmeier
Instructure
Instructure

Accessibility Checker for External Docs

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Does anyone have a recommendation for an accessibility checker that integrates with Canvas and works on external docs like PDF and Word? 

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Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

Deactivated user, I'm glad that  @mworden ​ bumped this question to the forefront, because it heretofore had escaped my notice. I concur with Mark that an application that checks PDFs and Word documents doesn't necessarily need to integrate with Canvas.

Since we're on the topic of accessibility, I thought I'd share a laundry list of accessibility resources I've compiled over the years. You might be aware of some or all of them already, and many of them are specific to media, but I hope you find some of them worthwhile. Some of the websites have additional links that are worth exploring.

Access Color--Online Tool for Colour Contrast

AC Checker (checks single HTML pages)

WAVE (web accessibility evaluation tool for a web address)

WebAIM (training, assistance, certification)

ADA-compliant captions (according to TechSmith)

Accessibility and Usability at Penn State (for video captioning)

Dive Into Accessibility (tips)

ui Access (best practices for transcripts on the web)

Universal Usability (for media)

Writing an Explainer Video

That clears out my bookmark folder for ADA compliance. Smiley Happy Hope this helps!

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9 Replies
mworden
Community Participant

I see no one has answered this, so I thought I would take a stab at it. I think the question itself may be causing some confusion. Adobe Acrobat Pro will check PDF's for accessibility and Word will check itself for accessibility. I don't know that there is a need for something to integrate with Canvas, so that is probably why no one has offered a recommendation. :smileygrin:

Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

Deactivated user, I'm glad that  @mworden ​ bumped this question to the forefront, because it heretofore had escaped my notice. I concur with Mark that an application that checks PDFs and Word documents doesn't necessarily need to integrate with Canvas.

Since we're on the topic of accessibility, I thought I'd share a laundry list of accessibility resources I've compiled over the years. You might be aware of some or all of them already, and many of them are specific to media, but I hope you find some of them worthwhile. Some of the websites have additional links that are worth exploring.

Access Color--Online Tool for Colour Contrast

AC Checker (checks single HTML pages)

WAVE (web accessibility evaluation tool for a web address)

WebAIM (training, assistance, certification)

ADA-compliant captions (according to TechSmith)

Accessibility and Usability at Penn State (for video captioning)

Dive Into Accessibility (tips)

ui Access (best practices for transcripts on the web)

Universal Usability (for media)

Writing an Explainer Video

That clears out my bookmark folder for ADA compliance. Smiley Happy Hope this helps!

View solution in original post

dejonghed07
Community Champion

Another option is to convert a file to an accessible format. I'm sure there are other services, but Convert a File | RoboBraille is one that I tried - it's free for personal, noncommercial use and a paid service for organizations.

dejonghed07
Community Champion

Adding to Mark's comment about each file type checking itself for accessibility: We created an Electronic Accessibility document for our faculty that lists all the common files they upload to Canvas, what to check and links to the accessibility checker information for each. It's shared in The Commons (as Creative Commons — Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International— CC BY-NC-ND 4.0  and called Electronic Accessibility. It's also online at: https://indd.adobe.com/view/45319e87-9c7b-48f6-9101-91b69944e8f2

cadatko
Community Participant

What a great resource you have created! Thanks so much for sharing!

cadatko
Community Participant

These are such great resources! I also came across this online PDF & web checker from the European Internet Inclusion Initiative. I really like it for it's simplicity (it's not too overwhelming for faculty to use.) Also, not all of our faculty have access to Adobe Acrobat Pro, so this can be a way to double-check their PDF documents. (I found it helpful, because there are additional things that Word doesn't check for.)

dejonghed07
Community Champion

Thanks for posting this resource! Since not everyone has Acrobat, I've been looking for something free that will check the accessibility of PDFs. I tried the PDF checker on a few documents and it did find areas to fix on each. Note: What it doesn't seem to check for is alternate text for images. Alternate text for images is on the list of what it checks ( eAccessibility PDF Tests ) but the PDFs I tried had missing alt text that was not identified. Did anyone try it out and find that it does identify missing alt text?

dicksonl
Community Participant

I use Free PDF Accessibility Checker (PAC 3). It checks PDFs much more thoroughly than the built-in Acrobat checker, which is both a blessing and a curse. Smiley Wink  It often identifies errors I'm not familiar with, and I've found the Tagged PDF website to be extremely helpful in helping me fix PDF accessibility errors. I just type the error from the PAC 3 results into the search bar on the Tagged PDF website, and there are written and video instructions on how to fix it. 

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

I will add the new kid on the block! ALLY. Unfortunately it is a Blackboard tool, but it integrates very nicely with Canvas, because that was the original intended audience when the company got started.

Our entire state system of community and technical colleges are using it, and it truly is amazing.

Kelley