Teaching & Learning Resource Center

Five Ways to Improve Accessibility in Your Carmen Course

Want to make some big improvements to the accessibility of your CarmenCanvas course? It might be easier than you think! Below are five basic and highly impactful ways to improve accessibility in old courses and start out on the right foot with new courses!

In addition to what's shared below, check out Accessibility in Canvas

1. Add accessible course content

There are several common ways to add content to Carmen:

Following these best practices for adding content will get you quite far in making your course usable by all! Check out the video below for short demonstrations of basic steps to take to ensure content is accessible.

2. Add alternate text for images

Images add to a rich and engaging online course. However, students with vision disabilities rely on a screen reader to describe images to them so that they can gather the same meaning and context as sighted students. Carmen has several ways to add images to course content. Check out the video below for some easy ways to add alternate (alt) text to images depending on the method you use for uploading and adding images to the course.


3. Use descriptive hyperlinks

While it's easy just to copy and paste a link, this is not an accessible (or super helpful) way to link students to additional content. Check out the video below for a demonstration of how to add hyperlinks in a way that is accessible and usable by all. In addition, check out the article Links and Hyperlinks from WebAim.

4. Setup accessible tables

While more complex diagrams and tables might require alternative content or long descriptions, basic tables can easily be made accessible in Carmen. Check out the video below for a short demonstration. In addition, check out the Canvas guide Creating Accessible Tables in the Rich Content Editor.

5. Add captions to video content

While captions are necessary for students with hearing disabilities, they improve the experience for many including: 

  • ESL students
  • Students who are new to terminology
  • Students who may have trouble understanding an instructor
  • Anyone who can't listen to a video with sound on their device

 Adding captions will make your videos more usable and future proof. Check out this video for a brief explanation of some of the captioning options available.