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Canvas Studio - Accessibility

Service Overview

Canvas Studio is an interactive media tool that is available to both instructors and students. Canvas Studio allows users to record video and audio content through a screen capture or a webcam capture, and those recordings can then be added to a Canvas course in multiple ways. Comments can be left on Studio media, allowing direct feedback and questions. Canvas Studio can also be used to create video quizzes for students to interact with. The accessibility of Canvas Studio is based on the accessibility of the media creation/editing interface, as well as the content that is produced, so content creators should strive to follow accessibility best practices when producing Studio content.

Canvas Studio Accessibility Status

Canvas Studio’s quiz taking functionality is accessible, users are able to understand when questions appear within the video and the questions can be accessed and answered with relatively low effort.

The recording features within Canvas Studio presented multiple issues that would make it impossible or extremely difficult for a screen reader user or keyboard only user to utilize.  The screen capture tool is completely inaccessible. In addition, recording and embedding videos has proven cumbersome and time-consuming.

Statements on this page about the accessibility of Canvas Studio are based on accessibility testing done in September 2020, and may no longer represent the current status of the software. All functionality for students was tested; please note that the accessibility of creating a quiz was not assessed.

Information for Users with Disabilities

There are multiple features within Canvas Studio that are inaccessible:

  • Screen capture uses an overlay that cannot be resized with the keyboard, nor are any of the screen capture controls accessible to a screen reader.  
  • Screen readers do not detect comment markers within the actual video, rather comments can only be accessed in the comments area below the video player frame. 

Some users will encounter cumbersome navigation issues when attempting to interact with comments and video controls; needing to complete multiple navigational steps to interact with the player and the comments.

There are multiple issues with element labels: 

  • When making comments, the way to save a created comment is to activate the “Comment at [timestamp location]” button.
  • There are duplicate buttons that allow a user to start the video: “get started” and “play.”
  • When adding media, the filter list boxes do not indicate what item is currently active in the list box. Additionally, users must ensure they force their screen reader into forms/focus mode in order to interact with these list boxes.  
  • The “add collection” button is only read as “collection.” 
  • When attempting to record (via screen capture or webcam capture) the “record” element is a menu and therefore presents multiple options for recording.

There is a consistent lack of audible alerts when interacting with Canvas Studio: when a page is loading and when recording is about to start.

Embedding videos is not easily accomplished without sighted assistance:

  • There is inconsistent focus handling, lack of structural cues, and extra navigation required to locate the embed feature in the rich content editor within Canvas.
  • Attempting to locate and embed a video is nearly impossible, as the screen reader does not read the “view” or “select” designations for the videos.

Information for Instructors

If you will be providing videos through Canvas Studio, please consult the “Information for Content Creators” section below. Additionally, if your students will be creating content in Canvas Studio, encourage them to follow the accessibility best practices identified in that section.

We also recommend reviewing the “Information for Users with Disabilities” section above to have an understanding of the accessibility issues that your students may encounter. In particular, know that students who use screen readers and students who only use a keyboard should not be asked to record videos using the tool. An accessible alternative would be to have students record their videos using Zoom.

Information for Content Creators

Please review and follow the guidance on making accessible videos. In particular, you can use the automated captioning tool in Canvas Studio to create captions, which then should be corrected for accuracy. Additionally, please review the guidance on providing spoken descriptions of visual content. Ensure that all important visual content is described verbally, including content in any post-production overlays.

Get Help or Provide Feedback

If you need assistance, please contact the IT Service Center at or at 303-735-4357.

We want to hear from you about this service. If you’re having problems using this service or you have more information about the accessibility of this service that we should share with others on this webpage, please let us know by contacting the IT Service Center at or at 303-735-4357.