Find guides and resources on digital accessibility and disability accommodations in Canvas

Accessibility iconCDLI Accessibility Guides


Disability Accommodations in Canvas

How do I give specific students added time for assignments in Canvas?

If you have students who have extended time on assignments as an approved accommodation, here are the steps you need to take in Canvas.

Brief Definitions

  • The Due date/time option is when the assignment/quiz is due. Students who submit after the due date will be marked as late in the Gradebook. If there is no due date defined, submissions can be made to an assignment until the course ends and will not be marked late.
  • The Available from date/time sets when students can view the assignment/quiz.
  • The Until date sets the last date/time they can submit to the assignment. If late submissions are not allowed, then set the Available Until date/time as the same as the Due date/time. This will prevent students from submitting to the assignment after the defined dates and times.
    • Note: If the Until fields are defined, it supersedes all the other due times. Hence, when the Until date/time passes, assignment submission will be unavailable, and quizzes will auto-submit even if the extended time has not expired.

Extending Time on Assignments

  • Go to your assignment and enter the edit mode by selecting the Edit button assignment.
  • Scroll down to the section titled Assign. The Assign to field defaults to Everyone. Enter the due date in the Due field.
    • If you want to limit the availability window for the assignment, enter the dates and time in the Available from and Until fields.
  • Click the +Add button just below the Assign fields.
  • Click in the new Assign to field and select the student(s) who need additional time.
  • Set the extended due date for the student. If you had defined the Available from and Until dates in the initial assignment settings, make sure to modify those fields to allow the student access up until their extended due date or define a separate available window for the student.


How do I give specific students added time for exams using "Classic Quizzes"?

If you have students who have extended time on exams as an approved accommodation, and you are delivering your exams using Canvas Quizzes, here are the steps you need to take in Canvas.

Please note: The below instructions are for "Classic Quizzes" in Canvas. If you are using "New Quizzes" instead, see the below item on how to add accommodations for a student in New Quizzes.

  1. Navigate to your Quiz and enter the edit mode selecting the Edit button for the quiz.
  2. Begin with setting the time limit that applies to all the students. Select the Time Limit checkbox under Options and enter the number of minutes students will have to complete the quiz.
  3. Enter a due date for the quiz in the Due field.
  4. In the Assign section of the Quiz detail edit page, you can add an optional availability timeframe in the Available from and Until fields. If you do this, the availability timeframe defined in your Quiz's Available from and Until fields must be long enough to accommodate your students' additional time needs. For this reason, we recommend that you use one of the options below to ensure that your students successfully receive the additional time directed by their academic accommodations:
    • Set the Canvas Quiz's availability window for the entire class to encompass the longest extended quiz time needed for any of your students. For example, if you set the time limit for the quiz to be 1 hour and you have a student with an accommodation of double time, you will need to set that the Available From and Until timeframe to be at least two hours long.
    • -OR- Create a separate availability window for just the student(s) with accommodations so they have a different, longer availability window than the rest of the class.
  5. Save your changes, then return to the quiz detail page. You will need to Publish the quiz before you can enter the Moderate This Quiz link to edit the amount of time specific students receive on the quiz. Note: If you don't want your students to be able to see the quiz when you Publish, enter a future date and time in the "Available from" date on the quiz Edit page.
  6. Select the Moderate This Quiz link in the Related Items in the sidebar of the Quiz detail page.
  7. Select the checkbox to the left to the student you want to change the time limit for, then click on the pencil icon on the far right for the selected student to "Change user extensions." If you have multiple students with the same accommodations, select the check box next to each student. Then click the link at the bottom of the list of students that reads "Change Extensions for (number of) Selected Students."
  8. Enter the amount of extended time under Extra time on every attempt and click Save.
  9. The amount of extended time the student has on the quiz will now appear under their name. You can now unpublish the quiz and change the Available From date if you like---and your Moderate Quiz settings will remain saved.


If you are using the "New Quizzes" tool in Canvas, here are the instructions for giving students who have approved disability accommodations added time for exams.

After you have created a quiz using New Quizzes, in the Assign field, make sure the availability window encompasses the extra time needed to take the exam.

For example, if you normally set the availability window for the final exam for 2 hours, but you have one or more students who have approved disability accommodations for 1.5x more time for exams, the availability window for the exam needs to be set to 3 hours to accommodate the students with disability accommodations.

If you do not wish to give the entire class a 3 hour availability window, you can give a separate due date and/or separate availability window just for the students who require extra exam time.

To go onto the next step, click the blue "Build" button at the bottom of the quiz page.

When the quiz builder opens, at the top of the screen, click over to the "Moderate" tab. For more details, see the Canvas Guide on how to use the Moderation page in New Quizzes.

Then you have two options for adding accommodations for your students: In the Accommodations column, click the pencil icon to set accommodations that will apply to all of your "New Quizzes," or click the "Moderate" button to add accommodations for just this one quiz.

Under the Accommodations column, you can select one of three options for time adjustments: give additional time (in hours and/or minutes), remove the time limit, or add a time limit multiplier. For more detailed instructions, see the Canvas Guide on assessment accommodations in New Quizzes.

If you click the "Moderate" button, you can reopen an attempt and allow a student to resume taking their exam (useful in instances where a student experiences technical difficulties while taking an exam), you can add additional attempts, or you can adjust the timer settings (give students additional time or remove the time limit). For more details, see the Canvas Guide on moderating a student's attempt in New Quizzes.

If you have additional questions about New Quizzes, see all the Canvas Guides for New Quizzes.

Canvas Accessibility Checker

The Canvas Rich Content Editor (RCE) is equipped with an accessibility checker which will alert you to accessibility issues on your page.

If you want to learn more about this tool, what it checks for and how to resolve those issues, check out the Canvas guide on the Canvas Accessibility Checker.

If you have any questions or difficulties with the Canvas Accessibility Checker, contact CDLI.

Screenshot showing accessibility checker notifications in Canvas RCE

Canvas Course Templates

At the beginning of the COVID emergency, CDLI developed several Canvas course templates for faculty to get up and running in Canvas as quickly as possible.

Since rolling out the templates, CDLI has regularly updated them to enhance and improve the functionality, design, and accessibility.

Visit the "Get a Course Template" page in Canvas to view and download any of CDLI's Canvas Course Templates.

March 2024 Template Redesign and Additional Updates

In March 2024, CDLI updated the Canvas course templates to include redesigned visual elements (including new color schemes, page banners, and other aesthetic changes), updates for accessibility (including removing tables from the home page navigational portal), updates for enhanced design and functionality for mobile users, and integrating a TILT framework for assignments, discussions and quizzes for increased transparency that helps students better understand how and why they are doing what they are doing in their course, which is in alignment with Universal Design for Learning, a framework for making your course pedagogy more accessible for all students.

November 2021 Accessibility Updates

In November 2021, CDLI's Canvas Course templates were been updated to better meet web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG) level AA. Some of the changes made to the templates include:

  • Added a caption, code updates, and adjusted color and contrast levels to make the home page table more accessible
  • Other than navigational portal on the home page, all single cell tables removed and replaced with horizontal divider lines and headings
  • Ensured all images have an appropriate "alt" description or are marked as decorative
  • Adjusted heading levels to ensure proper nesting of headings
  • Removed all-caps titles