Jan 27, 2021

Hello I have a module I am adapting for 508 compliance. (a topic to which I'm quite new).

The request is to leave text boxes visible in the focus order, but without any alternate text. I have deleted the alternate text OVER AND OVER (using both the accessibility tab and the focus order tab), and everytime I save an reopen the course, the alternate text appears again.

This doesnt happen for all text boxes, but for most of them.

Anyone has any idea why this is happening?

16 Replies
Lauren Connelly

Hi Angie!

I'm happy to help! By default, the Alternate Text in the Focus Order is blank. The Alternate Text in the Accessibility pop-up includes the text in the text box. If you don't want the Alternate Text to appear in the Accessibility pop-up, you can erase the text and add a space.

However, most accessibility guidelines encourage alternate text, even with text boxes. When using text boxes, the alternate text is generally the text in the text box. 

Please let me know if you have additional questions!

Daniel Segura

Hello Lauren, 

If you erase and add a space in the the alt text, the screen reader will read it as blank. I gave up on erasing Alt Text.
I have been trying to make my states work with the screen reader, but for some reason I get different results using the same format as I did previously using Alt text. Even though I have an alt text for my start button, it only shows as "start" in the screen reader and does not change to resume or review state, when it is used or I am done with the section. I feel like there is a major bug with the focus order regarding alt text and states. Could you help me with this?

Thank you,



Lauren Connelly

Hello Kara!

I'm happy to help! I understand that you want the alt text field to be blank. Is this an object that can be ignored by a screen reader? If it's not essential for understanding the purpose of the content, then I'd hide it from assistive technology by unchecking the Object is visible to accessibility tools box.

Please let me know if you have additional questions!

Maria Costa-Stienstra

Hi, Valerie.

Since different topics are being discussed here, I'd like to understand what you're experiencing.

As Lauren mentioned, the Alternate Text in the Focus Order is blank by default. If you type a word in that field but then decide to remove it, it should still stay blank after saving the file and re-opening it. 

Is that not happening in your project?

valerie ryan

Hi Maria, 

In some instances, if we remove the Alt Text from the focus order, it may still appear. This happens on Multiple Response question types (and it may happen in other instances). W had to open each individual item with a right click for Accessibility and uncheck the Alt Text 'Object is visible to accessibility tools'. However, this doesn't help as a work around if you change the distractor. You have to completely remove it (delete it) and rebuild it  to show the Alt Text for the changed text. Does that help to clarify?

Kara Roche

I need the object to be read by a screen reader. It happens on my answer choices in a custom “pick many” question. I’ve attached my Storyline file. There are 5 answer choices. If you view the alt text for each, you see other phrases because I duplicated the question. On normal text boxes, if I duplicate the element and delete the alt text, the field stays blank and it knows to grab the text from the text field itself. On these answer choices, if I delete the alt text, the previously saved text returns. This happen both by right-clicking on the element and selecting ‘Accessibility’ or when I try to delete the text from the Focus Order menu.

Maria Costa-Stienstra

Hello, Valerie and Kara.

Thank you for clarifying and for the additional information!

I was able to reproduce what you described above when using checkboxes and radio buttons, so I logged it as a possible software bug to our team and linked this discussion to the report.

I'll come back to update you when I have any news to share!

Pamela Timke

Hello, I am having this same issue.

There is a text, that should be read by a screen reader.

Due to the fact, that the screen reader refuses to read the complete text in an object (I don't know why), I tried to put the whole text into the alt text. But this did not improve this problem.

And now, I'm not able to delete the alt text.

Andrea Koehntop

Hi Pamela, and welcome to the E-Learning Heroes community! ✨

I apologize for the issues you are having with alt text, and I'm happy to help you work through this.

I want to ask you some questions to begin troubleshooting:

Also, here's an article that may be helpful for you in using screen readers in your Storyline course

I look forward to your answers, Pamela! 

Diego Naves

Bumping with a solution in case someone with the same issue comes across this:

Select the element that the alt-text keeps coming back after deleting it.

Click on Edit States and make sure the Normal State is selected.

Right-click the element and select Accessibility

Delete the alt-text and hit Close.

In the focus order, the alt-text will be empty now.