FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release Date: 
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Category: 
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)

National Federation of the Blind Nonvisual Accessibility Web Certification Granted to Instructure Learning Management System

 System Certified as Equally Accessible to Blind and Sighted Users

Baltimore, Maryland (September 29, 2010): The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), the nation’s leading advocate for Internet access by blind Americans, has awarded the Gold Level NFB-NVA Certification to Instructure for its learning management system, “Canvas.” The NFB applauds Instructure’s commitment to ensuring equal access to its Web-based learning management system for blind students and commends the company for its leadership in Web accessibility.

Instructure’s Canvas is a new learning management system (LMS) that takes usability to a whole new level, and saves instructors time, providing more freedom for curriculum development and working with students.  Since communication is key to the learning process, Canvas incorporates up-to-date multimedia and social media tools for reaching way beyond classroom discussions and e-mail to creating a collaborative learning environment.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “The Internet has become integrated into every aspect of life, including education. As more and more institutions of higher learning employ online learning platforms, it is crucial to ensure that blind students have equal access to these systems so that they are not placed at a serious disadvantage relative to their sighted peers. We commend Instructure for making its online learning management system fully accessible and therefore giving blind students and teachers independent access to Instructure’s services.”

Anne Taylor, director of access technology for the National Federation of the Blind, said: “It has been a pleasure working with Instructure to make its Web site and learning management system accessible to all blind users. We appreciate the Instructure team’s hard work and congratulate them on achieving Gold Level NFB-NVA Certification.”

Cory Reid, vice president of Instructure, said: “Accessibility has been a priority since our inception, and we are committed to providing all students and teachers with the same innovative platform. We’re honored to be working with the NFB, and are grateful for their pioneering work in accessibility, and their foundational contributions to education.”

The NFB Nonvisual Accessibility Web Certification Program connects Web site and application developers with leading experts on blindness and accessibility to ensure that their Internet sites or applications are fully accessible to and usable by blind people employing screen access software. Applicants go through a rigorous evaluation and testing procedure and, if they choose to, work with a web accessibility consultant (WAC) to address any accessibility issues discovered during the evaluation. Once the site or application has addressed all accessibility issues, it is granted the right to display an NFB-NVA certification seal on its site. Sites are continuously monitored to ensure that they remain compliant with certification criteria. If a site remains accessible, its certification is renewed on an annual or a version basis. If accessibility issues arise, the National Federation of the Blind and the WAC will work with the site developers to remedy them.

For more information on the NFB-NVA Certification, please visit http://www.nfb.org/certification-intro. To learn more about the National Federation of the Blind, please visit www.nfb.org.