Canvas Accessibility: Toward an Accessible LMS


Presented at 9:15am in WB III on Wednesday, November 16, 2016.



  • Hadi Rangin, IT Accessibility Specialist, University of Washington
  • Jacob Bates, Techrangers Team Lead, University of Central Florida
  • Robert Fentress, Senior Accessibility Solutions Designer, Virginia Tech
  • Aaron Cannon, , Instructure

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format:
  • Expertise Level: Intermediate
  • Type of session: General Conference


Accessibility professionals from higher education institutions evaluated the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) and collaborated with Instructure to improve the accessibility/usability of Canvas.


Given its presence in the entire academic experience, Learning Management Systems (LMSs) are critical within higher education. Depending on the features enabled for a given course, however, students and instructors with disabilities may find participating independently is nearly impossible. Thanks to the hard work of Access Technology Higher Education Network (ATHEN) and various other LMS Accessibility working groups and their respective LMS vendors, LMS vendors have begun to understand the need for universal accessibility of their tools. Instructure, Inc., maker of the Canvas LMS is one of the vendors that has realized the importance of accessibility and have been working proactively to make their product more accessible and usable. In this session we will discuss the methodology used for our accessibility testing and evaluation and how we collaborated with Instructure to address technical and functional accessibility issues that improved the overall usability of Canvas for all users.


  1. Learn about Canvas collaboration and how it leads to accessibility/usability enhancements.
  2. Learn about the accessibility of Canvas and methodology used for testing and evaluation.
  3. See selected functions in action.

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Mobility, Vision

Topic Areas

Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Hadi Rangin

Hadi Rangin is an Information Technology Accessibility Specialist at the University of Washington in Seattle. In this position he is tasked with improving access to information technologies for all users, including those with disabilities. To do this Hadi works with and advises software engineers, designers, administrators, and purchasers on accessible implementation techniques, quality assurance, and best practices. Some of the higher education vendors Hadi has collaborated with include Blackboard, Blackboard Collaborate, Desire2Learn, Moodle, Canvas, Elsevier, Ebsco, Ex-Libris, PeopleSoft, Microsoft, Google, Qualtrics, Ellucian, Workday, ServiceNow, Trumba, Innotas, Zoom, and many more.

Additionally, Hadi teaches the Universal Design Principles for Online Learning as well as the Certificate of Professional Development course in Information Accessibility Design and Policy for the University of Illinois.

Hadi's educational background is in Computer Science with a focus on Network Management and Human-Computer Interfaces. As someone who is blind, Hadi brings a wealth of personal and professional experiences to the many spheres he works within.

Jacob Bates

Robert Fentress

Aaron Cannon