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As you will be aware, recent EU Web Accessibility Legislation requires the University to ensure that Canvas is accessible, making sure it can be used by as many people as possible. This means making your content and design clear and simple enough so that most people can use it without needing to adapt it, while supporting those who do need to adapt things.

The legislation applies to all new content added to Canvas for the first time and not existing before.

The term content refers to any and all information* made available in Canvas. This includes but is not limited to new content added to Canvas pages, new quizzes or quiz questions, new discussion topics, new assignment portals and information. It also includes ‘Office File format’ documents uploaded to Canvas and other websites.

‘Office File format’ includes all Microsoft Office files (Word, PowerPoint, Excel), PDF files, Apple Office type files (including Pages, Keynote) or similar files produced in open source software. Examples include lecture notes, slides or handouts provided on Canvas as files.

 *There are exemptions to the term content and the legislation does not currently include media content such as video recordings, lecture recordings or audio recordings.

If you are unsure if new content needs to be in an accessible format speak to your local HEFi Digital team.

There is no requirement in the legislation to retrospectively change content already uploaded on Canvas. Furthermore there is a recognition that the requirements are new and there are varying levels of understanding around accessibility, therefore the aim is to ensure that we are compliant by the end of this term and that all new content uploaded to Canvas is accessible.

It is the responsibility of module leaders and content creators to ensure that their new Canvas content and any files uploaded to Canvas are accessible.

In order to help colleagues meet the change in legislation, we are pleased to share the following resources:

1)      Training sessions:

HEFi Digital has arranged for face-to-face training and webinars on 'Making Digital Content Accessible'. The sessions will be held on the following dates:

  • Friday 29 November 2019, Old Gym LG10, 11:00-12:00
  • Monday 9 December 2019, (Webinar) 14:00-15:00
  • Tuesday 17th December 2019, (Webinar) 11:00-12:00

Register via our Eventbrite page

                Further sessions will be made available as required

2)      Quick reference guide – ‘Canvas and Document Accessibility' .

3)      Online Resources:

HEFi Learning and Teaching Gateway - Making Digital Content Accessible provides guidance when creating online digital content; it highlights the in-built accessibility checkers available in Word, PowerPoint and Canvas; and signposts users to additional resources including discipline specific advice.

4)      Local HEFi Digital teams will be able to answer specific questions.