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  4.  — UDOIT accessibility assistant for Canvas

UDOIT accessibility assistant for Canvas

UDOIT scans your Canvas courses, identifies issues, and provides guidance to improve accessibility.

Students and staff have differing abilities and talents. Improved usability and inclusive design in our Canvas courses helps all students, not just those with physical impairments or neuro diversity.

The UDOIT tool supports the University’s commitment to inclusivity and compliance with accessibility standards. It meets the requirements of the and Disability Action Plan—a programme of work to address accessibility gaps in Canvas and develop minimum requirements for digital content, based upon principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

To help teachers master the UDOIT Accessibility Assistant, Cidi Labs has created a sequence of on-demand training videos. Watch the training series to help ensure your course content is accessible to all.

Why is web accessibility important? A short video from the New Zealand Government’s Web Accessibility Guidance Project.

How does it work?

UDOIT is accessed via the Canvas menu. This menu item is not visible to students.

UDOIT (you do it) menu in Canvas

When you launch UDOIT, it takes a few seconds to scan your Canvas course for potential accessibility issues.

The scan identifies things can pose a problem to no/low-vision users who rely on assistive technology. For example:

  • Images that don’t have descriptive alternative (alt) text.
  • Vague text links.
  • Poor contrast between text and background colours.
  • Headings that don’t contribute to the page ‘structure’.
  • A lack of table headings.

Step one: UDOIT home page

The UDOIT Home tab reports the results of the course scan. It collates:

  1. A count of the issues found within both page content and uploaded files, and how many have been resolved.
  2. A summary of the types of issues found.
  3. Suggestions that may not be errors, but are worth checking.
  4. A panel to filter the issues found and to start reviewing them.
UDOIT's (you do it's) home tab shows reported accessibility issues

Video: Overview of the UDOIT home page.

Step two: UFIXIT panel

Clicking Get Started opens the UFIXIT review panel. Click each issue to view details and a suggested fix.

UDOIT's (you do it's) you fix it tab lists accessibility issues

Video: Using the UFIXIT panel

Step three: Accessibility issue and suggested fix

Each issue found has a page describing the problem. For example, the issue in this screenshot describes the use of pale grey text on a white background, which does not have enough contrast for low-vision users.

  1. Sometimes there is an option to fix the problem ‘in situ’.
  2. Before moving on to the next one.
UDOIT's (you do it's) accessibility issue window shows issues such as low contrast text

Step four: Review and fix files

Some items cannot be examined by UDOIT. These include external documents and some videos/audio files for captioning or transcripts. UDOIT will list these items on the Review files tab and ask you to confirm that the item is accessible (e.g., that a PDF contains text rather than scanned images, or that videos include closed captions).
UDOIT's (you do it's) Review files tab provides a list of files to review

If you are comfortable that the file is accessible, you can mark it as reviewed and it will ‘drop off’ the list.

Step five: Request an accessible version of a file

Opening a file’s Review page allows you to convert a file to an accessible format. For example:

  1. Convert a file into a Canvas Page (i.e., an HTML version of the file) or a tagged PDF version of, say, a Word document.
  2. This can take several minutes but you don’t have to stay on the page while the process completes.
UDOIT's (you do it's) file review panel allows you to convert a file into an accessible format

Video: Making files accessible with UDOIT

IMPORTANT: Reading lists – items required for students as part of their course readings should be made available on the Talis reading list, rather than directly in Canvas. If accessible copies of reading list items are needed for students with a print disability, they should make a request through Ratonga Hauātanga Tauira, Student Disability Services. For questions relating to copyright and course readings, please Ask Us.

Frequently asked questions

UDOIT won't load for my Canvas course

The first time you launch UDOIT, it asks you to connect it with your Canvas course (a ‘handshake’). If you have refused to allow it to connect, or it has lost an earlier connection, you will receive an error when the tool tries to launch.

In this case, try clearing your browser cookies and reload the page. This may reset the tool whereby it asks you to connect again.

Instructions for deleting cookies


If this fails, please .

Note: if you only want to delete an individual browser cookie rather than all stored cookies, try going to your browser settings > Third Party Cookies > See all Site Data and Permissions.* Delete the cookie and refresh the page.

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See also

Design for accessibility

Describing the most common content accessibility issues and how to avoid them.

User guide and FAQs

Review the user guide and FAQs provided by the developers, Cidi Labs.

Page updated 01/12/2023 (added faqs)

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