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Accessibility Guide for Digital Content

Creating accessible content is not just for students with disabilities but benefits all learners. Learn how to design course content or documents to be accessible.


The Main Idea

Use headings to convey the structure of a webpage or file to people who are blind or visually impaired users of screen readers.


What's Important?

Hierarchical order is important for making a webpage or file digitally accessible. Users of screen readers rely on headings to understand the organizational structure of the page. Typically, the platform you are using, such as the Canvas learning management system or Microsoft Word, will have a means for you to create headings (or styles).

In the example below, the appearance of the heading and subheadings relies on more than just the use of boldface, a larger font, or other attributes. The author applied Heading 1, Heading 2, and Heading 3 as appropriate for the topics.


Headings on a webpage

Tool Tips

Canvas Tool Tip

To bring organizational structure to your Canvas webpage, use the toolbar, or Rich Content Editor, to create headings with one click.

Canvas webpage illustrating the use of Headings on the toolbar

See Add and Modify Text in the Rich Content Editor (Canvas) for an illustrated guide.

Microsoft Office Tool Tip

The Styles area of the toolbar, or Ribbon, is where you can apply headings in Word.

MS Word file illustrating the Styles area

See Add a Heading (MS Word) for an illustrated guide.