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Tool to check Accessibility at the course level

Tool to check Accessibility at the course level

(4)

I would like to have a Canvas tool to check Accessibility issues at the course level or selected parts of a course. I think this would make checking for Accessibility issues easier for content creators and result in increased compliance course-wide.

 

In the Canvas Beta Release Notes (2017-10-16), Canvas introduced the Rich Content Editor Accessibility Checker. The tool notifies the content creator of any Accessibility issues.  My feature idea is to expand on that and have a course-level Canvas tool where content creators can run an Accessibility checker for the entire course or selected parts of a course.

Example Menu Choices

For example, check Accessibility issues for the entire course, or select from the following: Syllabus, Pages, Assignments, Discussions, Quizzes, Announcements, or by module. The module check would check all items in the module such as pages and assignments.  Users would be able to select one or more of the items. For example, check all assignments and discussions, or check the syllabus and all pages, or just check everything in Module 5.

 

Report Example

The results of the check (Accessibility report) would display a list of pages or other items. Also listed would be the number of issues and a summary of the issues (or more details about each issue?). The user would then click on the page or item name and go to that item in edit mode, with the Accessibility Checker slider on the right, just like it does in the Accessibility Checker tool (currently in Beta), see Canvas Beta Release Notes (2017-10-16).

Your Feedback

I’d like to hear your feedback on my idea:

  • Would this feature idea help increase the Accessibility compliance of your courses? Would it make checking for Accessibility easier and faster?
  • What would you want included in the Accessibility report?
  • What parts of the course would you want to check or just everything at once?
  • Do you want to be able to fix the issues from the report page or is it better to click on a link in the report and go to the page and fix the issue using the Accessibility Checker slider (like it is now in Beta)?
  • What other features should this Accessibility tool checker at the course level have?
  • Would this suggested tool increase the Accessibility level of your Blueprint courses?

This was first discussed during the Beta Release Notes (2017-10-16) Collaborative Chat‌. This idea would increase Accessibility‌, and Accessibility within Canvas‌.

23 Comments
kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Great idea,  @Sylvia_Ami ‌!

Have you looked at the UDoIt Tool (free) or ALLY (paid integration)

You may also want to reference this.....https://community.canvaslms.com/groups/accessibility/blog/2017/09/21/comparison-of-canvas-accessibil... 

I hope this helps,

Kelley

tdelillo
Community Member

 @Sylvia_Ami  - I like that you created this, because my first thought when reading the release notes was "Ooh! Built-in accessibility checker!" and then disappointment when I realized it was just checking a single page.

I do want to tag tr_jbates‌ here, since he has been offering the free UDOIT tool for a while. It's not a native Canvas function, obviously, but it does do pretty much exactly what you're asking for.

tross
Explorer II

This one is not already available.  The one in the beta notes is only at the page level.  That is why she requested.  We talked about this on the Beta Notes Chat.  It would be much easier for teachers if it was at a course level.  While the new feature it great, a teacher has to check each item in the RCE.

kmeeusen
Community Coach
Community Coach

Thanks, tross‌, I did not note this until after I had posted, but have revised my posting.

But still, thanks!

Kelley

GregoryBeyrer
Adventurer III

Great idea  @Sylvia_Ami ‌ for Instructure to improve its support for universal design within Canvas. I love the idea of having the accessibility checker built in to the LMS and hope that Instructure leads the industry by example. Every LMS has a discussion tool, quizzes, etc., and they each ought to have this as well. No matter how wonderful the add-on tools are, the fact that something has to be added on communicates how much a feature is valued. Just as the awesome Instructure developers built a native file preview tool for Canvas, it is a great sign to see them building a native universal design tool as well. Thank you Instructure. Heart

RhondaB
Learner II

Personally, I wouldn't need all the options. I would want to check accessibility for a whole course, just like I check links for the whole course. I can think of plenty of scenarios where others may need all these options, so I don't want to negate that, I'm just expressing what my own needs would be.

ericwerth
Community Coach
Community Coach

I haven't used https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-6504?sr=search&searchId=e7e24d0f-b292-497c-a834-95c895e25d8... myself as I am waiting for it to be enabled in our instance of Canvas, but I recently spoke to someone who has used the tool extensively and said it was awesome.  I'm excited to start using it before long.

cclo
Learner II

There should be an option to make bulk changes. For example, if the color contrast of the hyperlink text is consistently insufficient, there should be a way to make appropriate update in bulk instead of having to go through link by link.

fosterl
Surveyor

OSU has UDOIT installed at the account level, and it gets pretty good usage. The new RCE level Accessibility Check is a good start, but we would love to see this built in to Canvas. Maybe that's the direction this is going! Thanks to  @Sylvia_Ami  for suggesting this.

ericwerth
Community Coach
Community Coach

 @fosterl , do you have any suggestions for those of us just getting ready to start with UDOIT, either from an end user standpoint or those working with faculty? By the way, I graduated from OSU so fun to touch bases with another Beaver!

fosterl
Surveyor

Hi ericwerth‌! I followed tr_jbates‌ video found here: UDOIT Installation - YouTube and initially installed it using a free account on Heroku. This was super useful for getting it going, and this allowed a few users to pilot it so we could see if the Instructional Designers and instructors would find it useful. This doesn't mimic the local installation perfectly (we now have it installed on our own servers), but it certainly got us started.

Go Beavs (just not football)!

ericwerth
Community Coach
Community Coach

Thanks  @fosterl !  I'll definitely check out the video you mentioned.  And yes, Go Beavs!

mtuten
Adventurer

There's a UDOIT User Guide in Canvas Commons that may be of use to you too.

ericwerth
Community Coach
Community Coach

Thanks  @mtuten !  You put this tutorial together, right?  I just downloaded the course cartridge and look forward to going through the modules.  

Where do you find that faculty have the most trouble with this process?  It doesn't seem like the scan itself is difficult, but do you find that fixing particular issues are more difficult or more confusing than others?  

I appreciate the insight!

mtuten
Adventurer

You're welcome. Smiley Happy  And yes, I did develop it. 

Clemson only implemented UDOIT late last summer, so I don't have much data for you. It's my understanding that those who do use it generally like it and don't come to us with questions. My hope is that, in addition to UDOIT being user friendly on its own, the positive response can attributed to the fact that the User Guide helps users navigate false positives.

ericwerth
Community Coach
Community Coach

I appreciate the information Michelle!  I look forward to seeing how it goes here before long.

kimberly_smith1
Explorer III

I LOVE the idea of an expanded (drop down menu) accessibility checker tool. In terms of feedback, I would say that, ideally, the report generated would provide direct links to any inaccessible content detected.

Sylvia_Ami
Explorer III

Hi ericwerth‌, You asked what areas in UDOIT might be difficult or confusing to fix. Our district has been using UDOIT for a few months now and here are my observations about the UDOIT report:

  • Videos get flagged for not being close captioned, yet the videos are captioned. I don't know what UDOIT is using for the check but the reports are giving us false errors. This is what the report says, "Synchronized captions should be provided for prerecorded web-based video."
  • If you use bold, then the UDOIT report always flags this - as a suggestion, "Avoid using color alone for emphasis." Faculty may not know what to do or if this is OK. If the text is not a header, then it's my understanding that just using bold is OK.
  • If you use a table just for layout and not for data, you'll get the following error - "No table headers found."

Overall though I like UDOIT and how it catches so many things. For example, if you have header or link tags withouth content, it picks that up.

ericwerth
Community Coach
Community Coach

Thanks for the update  @Sylvia_Ami !  I'll make sure to cover this with faculty when we go over UDOIT.  I can see how bold text would be flagged.  Does the same thing happen when colored text, highlighting, or italics are used?

I'm happy to hear that it is going well.  It gives me confidence we will have a similar experience! 

Sylvia_Ami
Explorer III

Yes ericwerth‌, you'll get a similar message for italics, different font color, etc. As long as faculty know when to use headers and how not to say things like, "correct answers are in red" you'll be OK.