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keefern
Community Participant

Adding Columns to a page

Hello:

Tables without header rows go against ADA compliance; screen readers need a header to be clear to the user.

Many faculty use tables to space out items because there is no other way to accomplish this using the rich content editor. This causes problems because faculty tell me if it's an option in Canvas, it must be compliant.

How have you helped your faculty arrange their pages so it is compliant? As you can see, the header row labels can get...weird.

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nwilson7
Community Champion

@keefern I notice no one else has chimed in so thought I would share, although not sure how helpful it will be.

We push accessibility quite a bit and if the class is fully online, faculty are even required to take a course on accessibility for online content.  We have also added Blackboard's Ally tool to Canvas to do an even deeper dive into all the content that is added to Canvas being accessible.

So, first, we try to get the message that there are best practices and just because you can do something does not mean you should.  We also ask that faculty (I know they don't always do it) use the Canvas accessibility checker on anywhere that they have added content via the RCE.  I call him the jumping jack guy in the lower right corner.  

When we first rolled out Canvas we developed some templates that used custom HTML to try and be accessible and then all the faculty had to do was copy and paste their stuff to switch out the content.  This was to avoid exactly what you are running into with tables as that defaults to an easy way to organize info. These were somewhat successful but we ultimately changed directions.

We try to push that tables are for data/charts not an organizational tool.  We have also since purchased DesignPlus by CidiLabs and are working on rolling that out as it allows for a lot more design capabilities that are compliant and don't require that the instructor know HTML to pull it off.

I am not necessarily endorsing BlackBoard Ally or DesignPlus but we have seen success with both tools thus far.  I know it is an additional expense and extra lift for designers/trainers/IT staff.

Hope that maybe helps at some level 😉!

-Nick