Accessibility and DocViewer

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As a product manager at Canvas, I am impressed by the dedication to creating accessible experiences that our designers and engineers craft every day. That's why I'm excited about our most recent update, DocViewer.

In late May we released DocViewer in Free-for-Teacher (FFT) and Beta environments, with minimal accessibility included, similar to what one would see in all other document viewing and annotation applications. This release enabled us to get feedback and receive any bug reports before transitioning to Canvas production.

On Friday, June 16, DocViewer released improved accessibility functionality that enables students to access annotations and comments with a screen reader, including information about the annotation type, author name, comment, and any reply comments at the end of the document. This release makes Canvas the first accessible annotation and document viewing service available.

The release of this functionality is only the first step of a larger goal to create an exceptional feedback experience that is accessible for all Canvas users. DocViewer will continue to improve with in-document annotations and accessible author-created annotations as next steps.

I look forward to reading your suggestions and feedback as we build these accessible experiences. Together we are ensuring that the right to learn is available for all.

1 Comment
Community Coach
Community Coach
This release makes Canvas the first accessible annotation and document viewing service available.

Wow! Can't wait to share this with our Learning Accommodations staff!

About the Author
Kona Jones is the Director of Online Learning and Faculty Academy Coordinator at Richland Community College in Decatur, IL. She is responsible for the assessment of online courses and initiatives, providing instructional design and pedagogical support to faculty, development of faculty and student technology training materials, and overseeing faculty professional development. She serves as a technology resource for the College as well as an adjunct instructor of statistics. Her particular passion is student retention in online courses and more specifically on assessing how different initiatives can improve student retention. She has a M.S. degree in Quantitative and Cognitive Psychology, Undergraduate degrees in Biology, Psychology, & History, and is ABD in Curriculum & Instruction.