Yale Center for Teaching and Learning

Learn About Accessibility

Yale’s accessibility policy

Campus events relating to accessibility

See the Center for Teaching and Learning event series, “Thinking about Accessibility,” for upcoming events, workshops and support hours.

Effective use of Canvas

While the core components of the Canvas platform are accessible to all students, the content that you add to a Canvas site may pose some accessibility and usability challenges, especially for students who rely on assistive technology. The resources linked below highlight some simple things you can do to make your Canvas sites as accessible as possible.

Syllabus statements

Including a welcoming statement on your course syllabus will encourage those students who encounter accessibility challenges to contact you and to seek help from the Resource Office on Disabilities. The best syllabus statements are friendly, supportive and personal messages to your students, and don’t read like boilerplate policy statements. 

Supporting students with disabilities

Media guidelines

Media such as online video and audio may pose special challenges to students with disabilities. Whenever possible, share media with closed captions and transcripts.

Accessible text books and other readings

Having access to digital versions of course readings can make a world of difference to students who learn most effectively through listening to texts, such as students with visual disabilities (including those with concussions or migraines), some motor disabilities, and learning disabilities like dyslexia. Students with low vision, for example, can easily increase the font size of a digital text, which is not the case with a printed text. Digital texts may also provide significant value to students who are learning English.

  • When selecting your texts, seek out books that are available online or in accessible e-book format
  • Digital articles in the Library’s Orbis system typically meet some accessibility standards, and are recommended over creating your own scans from paper copies
  • Learn how to create more accessible Word documents, PPT presentations, and web pages

Tips for using external digital resources for coursework

  • If you require students to use an online learning environment as part of course activities, it’s a good idea to perform a basic accessibility audit to anticipate challenges some students may face in that environment. We recommend that you schedule a consultation to discuss any external platforms used in your courses.
  • Plan alternative learning paths when using non-accessible technologies. Students cannot be excluded from full participation in required course activities, so if you choose to adopt technologies that cannot accommodate the needs of students with disabilities, you will need to work with the Resource Office on Disabilities to provide these students with appropriate alternatives for engaging with the activity.