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nathan_stingle
Community Member

screen readers and canvas

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Hey Canvas,

I work with the Education Department, we use Canvas as our student work platform. I work with students have are visually impaired. we have currently ran into issues where Canvas isn't supporting screen readers, such as NVDA, Does canvas have a preferred screen reader that they support? or is there something we're doing wrong when it comes to Canvas and screen readers.     

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chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @nathan_stingle ...

There is something called the Immersive Reader from Microsoft that is available in Canvas, but I would encourage you to read through the information in these Guides (especially the information at the top in the blue boxes):

Currently, this is only available on "Pages" within Canvas courses.  It is not available on other areas of a course such as "Assignments", "Discussions", "Quizzes", etc.

I hope this info will be helpful to you, Nathan.  Sing out if you have any other questions.  Stay safe, be well.

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chofer
Community Coach
Community Coach

Hi  @nathan_stingle ...

There is something called the Immersive Reader from Microsoft that is available in Canvas, but I would encourage you to read through the information in these Guides (especially the information at the top in the blue boxes):

Currently, this is only available on "Pages" within Canvas courses.  It is not available on other areas of a course such as "Assignments", "Discussions", "Quizzes", etc.

I hope this info will be helpful to you, Nathan.  Sing out if you have any other questions.  Stay safe, be well.

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Stefanie
Community Team
Community Team

 @nathan_stingle  Welcome to the Canvas Community! Chris has given you great information about Microsoft's Immersive Reader product. In addition, this resource provides a general overview of accessibility tools that work well in Canvas: https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-2061-accessibility-within-canvas 

sgaboriau
Learner

We have been having issues with Immersive Reader this week. It has not been loading. 

DebeeArmstrong
Surveyor

Just to add my two cents: I'm a screen reader user and have taken about thirty courses which used Canvas.

Screen reader support is superb. But the user must really, really know how to use that screen reader.

Typically blind students who are not tech-obsessed just learn what they need to, just like sighted students. For example, you learn Word but not all its features. If you want to create a table of contents and you aren't a book writer, you probably need to look up how. And you can watch a video that shows you what to click on.

The screen reader user typically learns to navigate with the arrow keys, the home and end and the tab and things get read to them. But they often don't progress much past that point.

To successfully use Canvas, you need to know a lot more. You need to know how to enter the different modes that let you interact or not interact with a page. You need to know how to skip backwards and forwards by element. You need to know how to use the screen reader's search and skim features. You need to know what to do when something isn't reading right -- how to reset things.

In other words, you have to know how to use the screen reader with the same level of competence that a desktop publisher might apply to working with Word.

You also must cope with distracting interruptions. As I type this, every minute or so, the screen reader stops reading to me and instead says "Alert, your content was last auto-saved at zero colon nine colon seventeen A M". I really don't care that my content was saved, but I'm stuck with this annoyance because whoever designed this page coded it as an alert which interrupts everything else that is being read!

Yes it is wonderfully accessible, but it is a learning curve because the screen reader user must memorize many keystrokes and procedures -- unfortunately we blind folk can't just click on stuff!

 

Hi Debee! This is John Cavano, formerly of the High Tech Center Training Unit and now I'm at San Joaquin Delta College. I was so glad to see your post! Which screen reader do you use with Canvas? My student uses NVDA but we are having a very difficult time navigating the menus when creating a new message in the Canvas Inbox. It is very inconsistent when selecting the course name. But, I just tried it with JAWS and it was very easy to do. I want to suggest to Canvas to make the Inbox more accessible to NVDA. Hearing your experience with Canvas was very helpful. Thank you!