You've Always Had The Power To Be Accessible: Introducing Accessibility Checker Notifications

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"You've always had the power to be accessible in Canvas. You just had to learn it for yourself."
- Glinda the Good Witch (more or less)

Many of you reading this already know Canvas has a built-in Accessibility Checker that works everywhere the RCE is used. The problem is that many more people have no idea that tool exists. The Accessibility Checker is great because it helps everyone find and fix common accessibility issues in their content without having to be an expert in the WCAG guidelines. Having that assistance right in the RCE is great if you know that accessibility issues are a thing you should care about and you know there is a tool built in to help you.

It is scientifically impossible to ignore a number in a circle.It is scientifically impossible to ignore a number in a circle.

The Accessibility Checker Notification bubble aims to fix the awareness gap. This little nudge says "hey. I have some useful things to tell you. And you can see by my pleasant warning-orange color that they are important things!" Now someone who just learned accessibility issues are a thing is also in a position to fix them too. I say "someone" because most of us think of content creation as something teachers and designers do, but students use the RCE too (and there are a lot more students than teachers!) so helping everyone create more accessible content really is a win for everyone.

No one using Canvas should have to be an accessibility expert to avoid common accessibility issues. This small change will help everyone improve their content's accessibility using the tools they didn't know they already had.


Note: There is a bug in the number reported in Production environments. The correct behavior can be seen in the Beta environment today, and will be updated in Production with the October 2021 release.

Tags (2)
Community Participant

Hello @dlyons,

I have a question regarding the bug that has been solved. In the beta environment I notice that in Edit view, the text color of links has been changed. The color of links is almost the same as the color of normal text. See pictures below. Is wonder if this is a result of the bug fix, and if this is intended.

Links in edit view BetaLinks in edit view BetaLinks in edit view ProductionLinks in edit view Production



@ellen_peters, you're correct! The color has been updated to the high-contrast UI link color during editing for all users.

Community Participant

One thing that I think helped with accessibility is the old RCE Control K option that used to include open a new window and the ability to edit alt text. This was used a lot when hyperlinking images that serve as menu links to other parts of Canvas or the worldwide web. This was a great quick shortcut that was rendered useless by the new RCE. Can we please added this back in the name of feature parity with the old RCE and the way it handled Control K. Thanks!