[Athen] Canvas Accessibility

Jiatyan Chen jiatyan at stanford.edu
Tue Jan 19 15:41:16 PST 2016

Hello Liz,

I've used both systems, and I have been on the LMS evaluation team. They are both active in making their LMS accessible. D2L had a 5-year accessibility roadmap last I heard (2 years ago?). Canvas is a new LMS and their CEO is a usability person. Both have active user groups for focussing on accessibility.

As LMSes, D2L has more features than Canvas, but that comes at the price of usability (complexity). Canvas has a cleaner interface and simpler workflows. Both the UI are designed for pedagogy (vs file folder hierarchy). Part of your decision should be the maturity of your faculty with online learning - if they are advanced uses, they are probably not going to be satisfied with the features in Canvas).

As for content accessibility, UCF wrote UDOIT, an accessibility content scanner for Canvas. <http://online.ucf.edu/teach-online/resources/udoit/>
MSU has a similar scanner for D2L. Let me know if you need the contact.

Jiatyan Chen
Online Accessibility Program Manager
Office of Public Affairs
Stanford University

On 2016 Jan 19, at 13:55, Prickett, Elizabeth <Elizabeth.Prickett at victoriacollege.edu<mailto:Elizabeth.Prickett at victoriacollege.edu>> wrote:

Good afternoon!

Our college currently uses Blackboard, but our Distance Education unit is looking into a new LMS. They are currently considering and demoing Canvas. I’ve found this summer’s version of their VPAT online and some other materials, but I’m curious about actual user experience with accessibility. Are any of your schools using Canvas? Have you or your students (or staff/faculty) with disabilities encountered any accessibility or usability challenges? It sounds like they may be checking out D2L as well, so if anyone has any experience with D2L pros and cons, that would be great, too. I’ve used Blackboard as an instructor, and I’ve used D2L for a short MOOC as a student, so I have some experience with those interfaces.

Does anyone know of any recent LMS accessibility comparison studies? I’ve only been able to locate ones which are several years old.

Thanks so much for your insight!

Liz Prickett
Alternative Media Specialist
Center for Academic & Professional Excellence (CAPE)
Victoria College
2200 E. Red River Street
Victoria, TX 77901
Elizabeth.Prickett at VictoriaCollege.edu<mailto:Elizabeth.Prickett at VictoriaCollege.edu>
(361) 573-3291, ext. 3243

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