Creating Accessible Canvas Pages


Rich Content Editor

  • The rich content editor in Canvas is one tool that you should become familiar with. The icons above the pages where you add text, allow you to add headings to your page (much like you do in Word), add images, add tables, videos, lists, etc. 

Page Structure

  • Just as you do in Word, you add structure to a Canvas page by using headings. The page title is Heading 1, so any section heading in Canvas will begin with Heading 2. To add headings, you simply highlight the line of text, then select the appropriate heading.

Alt Text for Images

  • Sick of hearing about alt text? Guess what - you need it in Canvas, too! Luckily, Canvas makes it easy to add alt text - prompting you to add it when you first add your image (if you're using the rich content editor).
  • To add alt text to exiting images, click on the image, then click on the image editor icon in the rich content editor to access the alt text field.
  • If the image is decorative, remove all content from the alt text field - this will ensure that a screen reader skips over it. The default alt text is the file name, which can be quite confusing. Leaving the alt text field blank will render the alt text as alt="", which a screen reader will view as intentional, rather than simply leaving out the alt text. Note: other web editing software may behave differently.


  • Canvas allows you to edit tables in such a way that you can use the rich content editor to add headings to them (as opposed to going into the HTML to do it!). As discussed with Word, tables should have captions and headings to assist screen readers in reading the data correctly. Tables should not be used to format/control the layout of your page. 
  • Once you've made your table, do the following to make it accessible:
    1. Click on the table to select it. Then, click on the table icon in the rich content editor.
    2. Select Table properties and check "caption". Click "Ok".
    3. Click at the top of your table to type a caption for the table.
    4. Highlight the cells of the header row (or column).
    5. Select "Cell", then "cell properties" from the table menu in the rich content editor.
    6. Select "header cells" from the Cell type dropdown menu.
    7. Select "columns" (if the headings are by column as below. If it's arranged by row, select rows. If you do both, select both options.) from the scope dropdown menu. Click "Ok".
  • Review Canvas Guide for step-by-step instructions on making accessible tables

Captions/Transcripts for Media


Resources on the Web

Contact Accessibility Coordinators

  Brandon Ray/Director of IT Services/Technology Accessibility Coordinator

   (360) 442-2251
Fax: (360) 442-2259

  Mary Kate Morgan/Director of Disability Support Services & Special Populations

   (360) 442-2341

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