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 Non-visual 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 www.nfb.org/nfb/certification_intro.asp. To learn more about the National Federation of the Blind, please visit www.nfb.org.
About the National Federation of the Blind -With more than 50,000 members, the National Federation of the Blind is the largest and most influential membership organization of blind people in the United States. The NFB improves blind people's lives through advocacy, education, research, technology, and programs encouraging independence and self-confidence. It is the leading force in the blindness field today and the voice of the nation's blind. In January 2004 the NFB opened the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, the first research and training center in the United States for the blind led by the blind.
About Instructure -Instructure set out to build a whole new kind of learning management system by carefully listening to educators, students, and administrators. This user-driven approach to design produced Canvas, a fully-hosted web-based LMS with a level of usability never seen before in a collaborative learning environment. Canvas is used at numerous colleges, universities, and schools across the US, with students in 27 countries. www.instructure.com