Old Dominion University, Center for Learning and Teaching

Can't Touch This: The Limitations of Canvas's Accessibility Checker

May 17, 2022 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Presented by: Chrystal Trapani,   Kristin White,   Jennifer Ashley,  

The transition from Blackboard to Canvas brought a new tool in the Accessibility Checker.  While this tool helps faculty ensure that their course content is more accessible, there are limitations.  This presentation will review why it is important to ensure your course content is accessible and accessibility basics.  The functionality of the Rich Content Editor (RCE) and Accessibility Checker will be reviewed.  While Canvas's tool analyzes far more data than Blackboard's tool, there are items that it cannot access.  A brief overview of when it is appropriate to use a PDF in an educational setting will be supported by a conversation concerning, transitioning to a different file type, and tools available to assess and remediating Microsoft and Google for Education products.


Online Only


By the end of the session, participants will

  • Ascertain the importance of making accessible course content
  • Review how to use the Accessibility Checker in Canvas
  • Detect the limitations of the Accessibility Checker
  • Recognize the importance of focusing on accessibility proactively rather than retroactively
  • Identify common accessibility standards to implement into personal content creation
  • Review accessibility tools in Microsoft and Google for Education products
  • Recognize why PDFs should often be the last option in educational settings

Supplemental Material

Not Yet Available

About the Presenters

Chrystal Trapani

Chrystal Trapani is an Instructional Technology Specialist with the Center for Learning and Teaching and an adjunct instructor in the Department of English at Old Dominion University. Chrystal has crafted tech-forward activities in her composition courses for over a decade. She blends her experience working with first-generation and non-traditional students, curriculum development, creating interactive and accessible online course content, and training and mentoring faculty in order to help them achieve positive student outcomes and success. In working with faculty, she helps her colleagues gain strong, working knowledge of how to make course content successful for students of all learning abilities. Chrystal continues her commitment to teaching so she can share personal classroom experiences with faculty.

Kristin White

Kristin White is an Instructional Technologist with the Center for Learning and Teaching at Old Dominion University; she has been an integral part of ODU’s transition to remote teaching during COVID-19 and continues to develop and facilitate faculty support on topics including Zoom, Canvas, VoiceThread, Kaltura, and other instructional technologies via workshops, consultations, videos, and support documentation. While building online interactive activities for faculty, she has noticed the absence of basic accessibility knowledge and does her best to inform and educate others on how to make content accessible to all learners.

Jennifer Ashley

Jenna Ashley is an Instructional Technologist with the Center for Learning and Teaching at Old Dominion University, and a former secondary inclusion mathematics teacher. Jenna is a Google Certified Trainer, Google Certified Coach, a Global GEG Leader, and a Canvas Certified Educator. She is also physically disabled and hearing impaired and enjoys helping others make content that is accessible to all.