Canvas - Accessibility & Usability Information

This document summarizes common accessibility and usability barriers identified during testing the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS). This document also provides ways to get help with reporting and resolving accessibility barriers in Canvas.

Get help with a usability or accessibility barrier 

Canvas Pronoun Feature

Through a new feature in Canvas, UW–Madison students, faculty, and instructional staff can now choose the pronouns they want to be associated with their online profiles. (Preferred name use is already available in Canvas.)

Accessible Canvas Course Content Design

All students, with and without disabilities, benefit from accessible course content. Read about accessibility considerations when designing content in Canvas.


Turn on “High Contrast” in Canvas

The high contrast user interface (UI) features enhance the color contrast of text, buttons, and other elements so they are more distinct and easier to identify in Canvas.

Known accessibility and usability barriers 

The following information is provided to help people with disabilities anticipate and navigate potential barriers while using Canvas.

People with colorblindness and/or low vision may experience difficulty

The following elements have low color contrast and may pose a barrier for people who are colorblind or have low vision: 

People who are navigating via screen reader may experience difficulty

Those navigating via a screen reader or other assistive technology may experience difficulties reading content in Canvas as some pages have heading levels that are out of order. This may make it difficult for some users to find their way via clearly identified sections in the content that they are viewing.


Some quiz question items also may present barriers for those navigating via screen reader. Some of these issues include:

People who are navigating via keyboard 

Some secondary functions within Canvas are not consistently keyboard accessible and may be difficult to operate for those navigating via keyboard. For example, the “Select file” checkbox in file upload does not operate properly via keyboard consistently. Additionally, text styling for rich text input fields may not be consistently reachable via keyboard for some users.