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Easier Reading/Accessibility Tool For All: Incorporate BeeLine Reader into Canvas for Easier & Faster Reading

Easier Reading/Accessibility Tool For All: Incorporate BeeLine Reader into Canvas for Easier & Faster Reading

On-screen reading can be difficult for many students when they are at their computer even for a short amount of time.  Now that most students are completing their classes either 100% online, or in a hybrid model, this is even more true.  BeeLine Reader is a tool that helps both people with typical vision and atypical vision read faster and more efficiently.  The program changes the text on your screen to a guiding color gradient that allows your eyes to easily transition from one line to the next without getting lost.  Not only will this help to increase your speed of reading, but it also aids in keeping you focused. With the use of BeeLine Reader this past semester I received the highest GPA I have ever gotten- all due to the simple fact that I could read with ease.  The only way my grades could have improved was if BeeLine Reader was fully integrated into Canvas so that it was available on all pages including quizzes and tests.

Currently, BeeLine Reader is available as a Google Chrome Extension which can change most of Canvas, however, since it is not fully integrated, it cannot be used for quizzes.  This becomes problematic to people like me who have vision disabilities and rely on it for fluently reading on-screen text.  Chrome Extensions also don't work on mobile devices or tablets, so by integrating BeeLine into Canvas directly, it would improve accessibility for students no matter the device they are using.  Incorporating BeeLine reader into Canvas would be a game-changer accessibility wise for the disabled community, but also support the many students whose eyes grow tired after so much time in front of a screen.  

One LMS that already has BeeLine Reader is Blackboard, through Blackboard Ally.  Blackboard Ally is a tool that integrates into the LMS and helps to improve and offer insight in terms of accessibility options.  It would be really neat to see Canvas come out with something similar soon, especially given the current demand for online accessibility options. 

I am attaching a couple of photos of what it looks like to use BeeLine Reader within Canvas using the Chrome Extension.  There are different color options you can choose from, and you can even create your own!  There is also a "clean" mode that will take away any distracting sidebars and ads.  My hope is for full integration into the LMS so that BeeLine Reader can work across all devices, on all Canvas pages for better accessibility and easier reading. 

Please feel free to comment with any questions or thoughts and I will get back to you! I appreciate your support!