While Disability Services Program (DSP) approves academic and non-academic accommodations associated with a student’s disability, medical and mental health condition, faculty are legally responsible for administering many accommodations within the classroom. The OTL and DSP are here to help support faculty and facilitate this process. Throughout this article, you can find our accessibility checklist for designing, building and teaching in Canvas, DU’s primary Learning Management System. The content described in this article is applicable to all teaching modalities, not strictly teaching online. All courses moving forward should have a Canvas presence. Please follow this checklist, or download our accessible PDF here.

Syllabus Checklist

It includes contact information to the Disability Services Program (DSP), as
well as the institutional DU Accommodation Statement.
It includes contact information for the instructor, as well as any teaching,
graduate or classroom assistants.
It includes contact information for Canvas, Zoom and/or technical assistance.
Syllabus is posted on Canvas Syllabus navigational area within Canvas, and it
is accessible to students.
If any component of the class requires a physical campus presence such as
Labs, a COVID-19 statement has been included.
Include an accessible and downloadable syllabus that also match any
syllabus information on Canvas, this can be in an accessible PDF or Word

Navigation and Organization Checklist

Navigation and Organization
Canvas Modules are labeled accordingly and follow a linear or cohesive
naming convention.
Assignments are nested in their appropriate Module, and match the syllabus.
The Navigational bar contains relevant links & applications, any unused areas
are disabled in the settings and not viewable by students.
All Modules, Assignments and relevant instructional materials are published
and accessible to all students. You can also verify this by using the “Student
View” option.

Headings, Texts, and Links Checklist

Headings, Texts, and Links
Canvas content was created with either a CidiLabs template or the Rich
Content Editor
in Canvas.
Use different heading levels (Heading 1, 2, 3, etc.) to clearly mark sections of
your course and indicate how content is ordered and related.
Labels are provided for linked text, and are not posted as long url links. Avoid
using language such as “Click this link”, and instead use screen tips.
All links work as intended after testing, and they open in a new tab.
Colors on text and background are high contrast.
All bullets and numbered lists were created using the Canvas Rich Content
Editor. The built-in lists provide a navigational structure for those students
using screen readers.
The Rich Content Text Editor was used to create formulas, equations and
other scientific notations.
Math content in Word, PDF, applications, platforms
or other formats also need to be accessible (MathType, MathML, LaTeX,
Desmos, etc.).
Use the heading labels in Modules to mark distinct sections.

Tables Checklist

Tables in Canvas were created using the Rich Content text Editor or using a
CidiLabs template.
Tables include appropriate Headings, and headings appear in a single row.
Tables include Captions or an Alternative Description.

Images Checklist

All images in your course are high-resolution with good color contrast.
All images, charts, diagrams and illustrations have the appropriate alternative
(decorative, informational, etc.).
Any text-based images include the same as the text in the image. However,
we encourage adding any text content using the Rich Text Editor.

Video Checklist

Enable Zoom automatic closed captioning during live lectures.
Zoom lecture videos are uploaded to Canvas for later viewing, whether
automatically via cloud recording or manually.
Verbally describe any images or graphs in your slides to help low vision, blind,
or students with learning disabilities. Verbal description will also be converted
into closed captions.
Captions and transcripts have been reviewed for accuracy.
Review and edit auto-generated closed captions for Kaltura videos for

Audio Checklist

All audio files (audio recordings, podcasts, etc.) have transcripts. Kaltura is
able to provide a transcript for podcasts & audio recordings.
All transcripts have been manually reviewed for accuracy.

Files Checklist

For materials that I uploaded in an Acrobat PDF format, I used the built-in
accessibility checker
to review errors, if any. All DU faculty & staff have
access to Adobe Creative Cloud at no cost (please email IT support to
For materials that I uploaded in a Microsoft Office format (Word, PowerPoint,
Excel, etc.) I used the built-in accessibility checker to review errors, if any. All
DU faculty & staff have access to Microsoft Office 365 at no cost.
Excel documents contain no empty cells and are used strictly for organizing

Assessments and Discussions Checklist

Assessments and Discussions
Extended times on timed assessments for students with approved
accommodations have been provided & setting options have been reviewed.
Students have been provided with the option to use a variety of modalities
(text, audio, video, etc) with any discussion in Canvas to promote an inclusive

Third Party Applications and Books Checklist

Third Party Applications and Books
Third party platforms that are used as part of instruction (assignments, exams,
readings, etc) are accessible to all students. You can review this by
requesting a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) from the the
publisher or vendor, and reviewing it with your IT department.
Your course book(s) are accessible to your students in different modalities,
and compatible with assistive technology (PDF, ePub, audiobooks, etc).
Please contact the publisher of your book(s), or your department head to
check for accessibility.

Quality Assurance Checklist

Quality Assurance
I used the built in CidiLabs Accessibility checker to review errors, if any.
I used the accessibility checker for document files (Word, PowerPoint, etc.) in
the corresponding program.
If I have any students with medical accommodations, I have contacted
Disability Services Program to make sure my course & materials are
I made the suggested changes to my course and/or I have consulted with an
Instructional Designer from OTL to make sure my course is accessible.
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Need additional assistance? Please contact the Office of Teaching and Learning at OTL@du.edu, 303-871-2084 or schedule a one-on-one consultation with an Instructional Designer.