Optimizing user experience – How input from students and faculty shaped the SensusAccess interface in Canvas

Presented at 9:15am in Independence on Thursday, November 9, 2023.



  • Lars Ballieu Christensen, Senior Advisor, SensusAccess
  • Tanja Stevns, , SensusAccess

Session Details

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


This presentation will show how input from students, faculty and staff has prompted development of features and functionality in SensusAccess that solves real problems. This year, it resulted in a user-friendly, intuitive SensusAccess Inside Canvas interface. Presenters will highlight the special collaboration between users and the SensusAccess developer-team.


This session discusses how the user experience in SensusAccess Inside Canvas was shaped through usability testing and input from students and faculty. This led to an intuitive and effective SensusAccess interface in Canvas.

SensusAccess already provides a wide range of alternate formats and document remediation options, packaged in accessible, WCAG-compliant interfaces. Many conversion options found in the service exist because of popular demands from users – they solve actual problems. As a global service with hundreds of institutional users, SensusAccess aims to support inclusion and self-sufficiency.

With the latest innovations, the SensusAccess team has used feedback from students and faculty to further improve the usability and create an intuitive interface to the service inside Canvas. The SensusAccess interface inside Canvas, like the standard SensusAccess service, remediates inaccessible documents i.e. image-only PDFs to tagged PDF or converts other office-type documents into alternate formats such as audio files, e-books or Braille documents.

This presentation will discuss and show how the collaboration between users and SensusAccess developers turned into a much better user experience to the benefit of all users, regardless of having a disability or not. You will also learn about the accessibility and conversion features that the product offers.


  1. Having easy access to accessible documents is key to student success
  2. Feed-back from users is valuable and can result in improvements
  3. Accessible and intuitive solutions remove barriers for students and faculty

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Mobility, Psychological, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Educational Materials, Alternate Format, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Lars Ballieu Christensen

Lars Ballieu Christensen (born 1963) works with technology and design for people with special needs. He advises government, organizations, academic institutions and companies on accessibility and inclusive design. Furthermore, he is the inventor of a range of innovative technologies that support inclusion and self-sufficiency amongst people with special needs, including the award-winning RoboBraille service. Lars holds master degrees in computer science and journalism, as well as a Ph.D. degree in computer science, all from the University of Roskilde, Denmark.

Tanja Stevns

Tanja Stevns (born 1967) works with education and technology to support inclusion of people with disabilities. With more than 25 years experience working at the Danish National Center for Blind and Partially Sighted Children and Youth, Tanja is a special education teacher and speech therapist, specializing in visual impairment and general learning disorders.