Any updates on Accessibility and Section 508 Compliance?

Are there any updates on Accessibility and Section 508 Compliance for simple items produced with Articulate Presenter?

Recent testing of a typical Articulate Presenter product with the JAWS screen reader (typical approved US government application) resulted in a complete inability to perform basic navigation via Tab key or keyboard.  An experienced JAWs user got stuck on the page multiple times and was unable to advance.

I had thought Articulate was going do something to make the published products more accessible (remove or label hidden buttons, provide labels for visible buttons, set up meaningful tabbing order, etc.).  Is there an update available that addresses the issues of basic navigation with a screen reader?

I know that we could provide an alternate version of the course that is readable by a screen reader (HTML or PDF - providing that users can access the Attachments via a screen reader),  but I am looking for an update on basic navigation with screen readers.  Both Adobe Presenter and Adobe Captivate produced output that was accessible with JAWS, so I wondered if I was just missing something with Articulate Presenter.

This is not a new requirement for anyone doing work with the Federal government or large commercial organizations, so I am hoping that there is a checkbox or update that I am missing.

17 Replies
Brian Batt

Hi Dan & welcome to Heroes,

There are certain things you can do to make your published output meet 508 compliance. For example: 

1) Ensure that keyboard shortcuts are activated: 

http://www.articulate.com/support/presenter09/?p=31 

2) Use presenter notes or a script to launch in a new window 

http://www.articulate.com/blog/script-as-html/

http://www.articulate.com/blog/escriptionistcom/

3) Our software meet certain parts of Section 508 compliance: 

Presenter '09: 

http://www.articulate.com/support/presenter09/kb/?p=162 

Quizmaker '09: 

http://www.articulate.com/support/quizmaker09/kb/?p=57 

Engage '09: 

http://www.articulate.com/support/engage09/kb/?p=59 

...but are not JAWS reader compatible. 

====== 

You can also create alternate versions of your content that is accessible by following the methods described in this blog article: 

http://www.articulate.com/blog/heres-how-to-achieve-rapid-section-508-compliance/ 

Note: This article provides guidance on how to create a Section 508 compliant course. However, full compliance of Section 508 will vary by organization. Thus, additional steps beyond what this article provides may be necessary (e.g., accounting for video captioning, interactive scenarios, etc.).

If you'd like to see better support for accessibility in the future, please submit a feature request to us by using the link below:

http://www.articulate.com/support/contact/feature/

Dan Bliton


Short answer - Not JAWS reader compatible for even basic navigation such as next page. 



RE: If you'd like to see better support for accessibility in the future, please submit a feature request


 Pretty disappointing that Presenter wasn’t made screen reader compatible in 2009. I, like others, will continue to elect to use other products like Adobe Presenter, Captivate, and Flash.  I was under the impression, based on the Articulate VPAT that navigation would be possible.



RE: (c) A well-defined on-screen indication of the current focus shall be provided that moves among interactive interface elements as the input focus changes. The focus shall be programmatically exposed so that Assistive Technology can track focus and focus changes.



Articulate statement: Supports with Exceptions (e.g. basic navigation)



Christy Elson

I wish I had the answer. We are working now to try and make Adobe Presenter 508 compliant and it doesn't work.  The most difficult is you try and create your eLearning course with hyperlinks, animation, etc....but they say to use very little of this for visually impaired. We have put alt-text, etc. and when we publish to pdf (that is how our customer wants it)...we lose all of that.

If anyone knows how to make Adobe Presenter 508 compliant...I would so grateful.

Jason Carroll

Brian, the link referencing launching presenter notes isn't working.  Could you re-post?  I am actually having the opposite problem... I created notes to launch with a course a few months ago.  I've now created a new course and am using the same template.  For some reason the notes from the last course are launching with the new course.  I can't remember how to disable it.

Thanks!

Brian Batt

Jason Carroll said:

Brian, the link referencing launching presenter notes isn't working.  Could you re-post?  I am actually having the opposite problem... I created notes to launch with a course a few months ago.  I've now created a new course and am using the same template.  For some reason the notes from the last course are launching with the new course.  I can't remember how to disable it.

Thanks!


Sorry about that.  I updated the links in my original response.  Let me know if they don't work for you.

Dan Bliton

Mike B. said:

I for one would love to know if Storyline (Articulate's upcoming new authoring tool), will address these issues.


Can anyone answer Mike B's question?

Added functionality for Section 508 compliance was requested to be part of Studio 2009 version, but that didn't happen.. It would be nice if the next version or tool could be used for government projects without making an alternate version of the entire course.

Dan Bliton

RE: We typically don't announce features in future products.

There were numerious requests for basic accessibility and Section 508 compliance prior to the last release (Studio 09).  I think a lot of us assumed that we didn't need to submit a feature request for things that had been already requested (and are considered basic requirements for many projects). If basic accessibility is not an already planned feature in the future product, then I will submit a request. But I was hoping that you would have been able to say although you missed the target for accessibility with Presenter 09 (after multiple requests and discussions), that you guys were all over it for the next release.

Justin Wilcox

Hey Dan,

The player didn't change much between 5 and '09 which is why this is not something that was addressed. If you had a chance to look at Storyline, you would see that we have a brand new player that was built from the ground up so I wouldn't look at the past as any indication of what we have planned in the future.

Craig Wiggins


Dan Bliton
 said:

I was hoping that you would have been able to say although you missed the target for accessibility with Presenter 09 (after multiple requests and discussions), that you guys were all over it for the next release.


co-signed.

i'm sorry that i missed this conversation.

Justin Wilcox said:

Hey Dan,

If you had a chance to look at Storyline


have the betas started yet, or are you referring to the conference tour sightings?

Lawrence Tagrin

I have an acquisition in process for Articulate Studio (15 copies) for a Federal agency and am now thinking that maybe I should stop the acquisition and consider another venue, if we're not going to have JAWS compatible 508 courses any time in the future.  As much as I like the product, if I can't make it work with the universally acceptable assistive software, it's just going to be an expensive item on the shelf.

Alice Jefferson

Is there a way to covert Quizmaker to HTML?   I read this article but it not clear how to run the html from the quiz or player files.

You can also create alternate versions of your content that is accessible by following the methods described in this blog article: 

http://www.articulate.com/blog/heres-how-to-achieve-rapid-section-508-compliance/