Accessibility and screen readers

I'm working through and testing accessiliby for screen readers for the first time in Storyline360.

There's some things that I can't make sense of. I am testing uisng NVDA, it insists on including a 'back to top' button when tabbing through - anyone know how to remove this I want to turn it off?

Another issue is with arriving on a slide and it sometime says "blank", but using the arrow keys will prompt it to read content. It also says "Clickable main landmark slide" before reading content sometimes. Anyone else get this? or know what is behind it saying that? 

23 Replies
Leslie McKerchie

Hi Angela,

Thanks for reaching out and sharing your questions about screen readers.

Anyone know how to remove the 'back to top' button when tabbing through? 

The skip navigation shortcut is enabled by default, and we recommend keeping it enabled. However, you can turn it off should you need to do so. See this user guide for details.

Arriving on a slide and it sometimes says "blank", but using the arrow keys will prompt it to read the content.

Does your slide have a title when you're hearing this? If you have an example, we'd be happy to take a look. I know this was an issue that JAWS recently addressed in their software and Lauren talks about it here.

The arrow keys are how you navigate the text on the page, so this sounds like expected behavior.

Storyline 360: Slide Content Is More Accessible

"Clickable main landmark slide" before reading content sometimes. Anyone else get this? or know what is behind it saying that? 

This is an ARIA landmark. Screen reader users are able to understand items on the screen and navigate to them using them.

Simon mentions it here:

Recent accessibility improvements in Storyline 360

Hope this helps you get started in understanding how screen readers work. Let us know if you have any additional questions.

Epilepsy Learning

Thank you. This is really helpful.

I understand that the arrow keys are used to move through the content, the thing that didn't seem right however was that it would read part of sentences and need an arrow prompt to continue. I thought it would read all of what was in a text box. It's almost like there are line breaks or something in the text. Is there a way to see or change how text is structured to stop this from happening??


Also is there more information about ARIA landmarks? Is it possible to see them / edit them for the slides?


I am new to screenreaders so anything to help me understand how they work will be helpful. Is there any training you know about?

Lauren Connelly

Hi Angela!

Great questions! 

Why does a screen reader stop reading in the middle of a sentence?

By default, NVDA will stop reading after 100 characters, and JAWS stops reading after 150 characters. If you want to change this setting in NVDA, head over to the Browse Mode settings and alter the Maximum number of characters on one line.

Here's what it looks like:

We don't currently offer a way to edit ARIA Labels and Landmarks in Storyline 360. You'll find that our current roadmap is filled with accessibility updates, and semantic structure is one of the upcoming features! 

Lastly, there are many resources out there. One of my favorites is Deque University!

Susan Khamis

Hi Team, I am finding that NVDA is reading the Storyline slide name as well as the "main landmark" which happens to be the same ie NVDA is reading the same thing twice and is becoming quite repetitive for every slide. Any ideas on how I can work around this?


NVDA first arrow click: " Slide 'Workbook and activities' "

NVDA second arrow click "Main landmark 'workbook and activities'

PS:I've also had to remove all 'Heading' configuration to text to prevent NVDA also reading these as 'Heading 1:Workbook and activitites' (which would mean reading the same thing 3 times: slide name; landmark and Heading).

I've also removed the Text Box 3 "Workbook and activities" from the focus order.


Leslie McKerchie

Hello Susan,

Thank you for reaching out and sharing what you are experiencing when using a screen reader.

With your permission, I'd like to take a look at your project file to investigate what's happening. You can share it publicly here, or send it to me privately by uploading it here. I'll delete it when I'm done troubleshooting.

Susan Khamis

Hi Leslie,  Another issue regarding the above Storyline 360 file I just privately uploaded. You can refer to slides 2.4 and 2.5 as a couple of examples.

Accessible Text Boxes: NVDA is announcing text boxes on slides as "clickable".  

The text box is just that a 'text box', and not supposed to be clickable.

It is inconsistent so not happening in every slide. Any ideas on how I can work around this?


Becca Levan

Hi Devendra,

Thanks for reaching out and letting us know you're experiencing a similar issue!

With Susan’s help, we were able to log this as a bug where: NVDA adds “clickable” when reading a regular text box.

  • We don’t see this bug in JAWS 2020, so if this affects your learners, you might recommend they use a JAWS 2020.

We’ll keep you updated here in this discussion when we release a fix. If you’d like another set of eyes on your project, feel free to connect with a Support Engineer!

Teresa Vanderpost

Hi Lauren, I see this is still an active conversation.  We completed a module for an external vendor, and they have come back saying there were a few accessibility issues when using a screen reader.  Was hoping someone may be able to give us some guidance.  We just tested in NVDA and have confirmed the issues.  We have done all the focus order, removed extraneous shapes etc within storyline, so not sure what else we should do.  

Here are a few examples of the issues we are experiencing:

- When they click on a button to see a text box, the text box is saying "blank" and you have to press the down arrow to continue to the actual text (we also have heard "clickable main landmark"
- When selecting some slide titles, the screen reader is saying "blank"
- When on slide titles in the menu, the screen reader is reading the incorrect title or "none"
- On our custom calculation slide the dynamic text is not being read for example "$ calculation"

Another issue is if you try to arrow down on the open side menu, it is not reading the slide names.

Hoping you might be able to guide us.  

Since the file was paid for by an external vendor, I was hoping I could provide you the storyline file privately. Please let me know if this is a possibility and next steps.

Ray Handley

I am getting all these issues and I'll throw a couple more into the mix.

  1. Random Yellow highlight boxes appearing when there is nothing on the slide, the slide master or feedback master (if on a layer).
  2. Screen reader (NVDA) deciding not to read any text on screen, or not reading all text. I am familiar with NVDA pausing after 100 characters (using Insert+DownArrow(twice)) it reads it all. However, on some slides it simply does not read the text, even though it is in the Focus Order.