Alt-Text/Screen Reader Issues

Hi everybody,

I'm running into some super weird issues with Storyline 360 and updating an existing course. 

I've got an existing course (ironically on accessibility from 2012). The published one from 2017 (in 360) works exactly as planned.

Now, when I publish it today, each of the oval buttons is only read as "oval 6". Absolutely nothing changed on the slide (i.e., all Alt tags remain the same). In the timeline the ovals have been renamed according to their respective years.  I can only assume they all read Oval 6 because I copied and pasted the first one - I have no idea it was so long ago. The weirder part is when I insert a new oval, add the same alt text and trigger (show layer) it works just fine. It's a matter of existing tags going wonky. 

Another oddity, when you select the oval the alt text gets read. So, you tab to it and the screen reader reads "oval 6". Hit the spacebar and it reads the correct alt text.

The videos are recorded using the MAC OS built-in screen reader in Chrome and Safari. I've tested them in Windows, JAWS, Edge with the same result.

I've updated Storyline to the latest update. 

I've tested it on my MacBook pro with Windows 10/Parallels.

A hackintosh, Windows 7/Parallels.

And pure Windows 10 desktop. That's publishing and viewing from all three.

I've tried importing just the slide into a new project, no better.

My main client requires everything to be accessible to it would a huge pain in the ass if they ever come back for updates. Anyone experiencing this?

15 Replies
Ryan Blanc

I have a similar issue. I insert a shape, add it to my tab order and customize the alt text, but JAWS screen reader reads "Button. To activate use the space bar" instead of reading the alt text.

Also, sometimes these shapes I inserted and added triggers to lose their transform bounding boxes when they are selected on the timeline, which results in them losing the yellow tab box when tabbing to them.

Matthew Bibby
Ryan Blanc


Also, sometimes these shapes I inserted and added triggers to lose their transform bounding boxes when they are selected on the timeline, which results in them losing the yellow tab box when tabbing to them.

Yes, I've noticed this happening as well. It seems to occur when I'm messing around with the contents of the shapes states. 

Katie Riggio

Hi, Ryan. Sorry you've hit these roadblocks.

We found an issue where JAWS doesn't read a button's alt-text correctly. Instead, it reads the default alt-text – exactly as in your example. I'm tagging this discussion in our report so I can circle back with any new information!

I haven't heard cases of the other behavior, but this is something we'll want to investigate further! If you're able to share a troublesome .story file, that would be gold. You can send it privately to us by using this link. We'll let you know what we find, and will delete it after troubleshooting!

Kristin Hatcher

I am also having trouble with JAWS reading alt text. I've set alt text in both the space provided when setting tab order, as well as checking the "Accessibility" section for a given item. Alt text exists, but JAWS 2018 does not see it or recognize it. Additionally, although I have a tab order set on every page, our automated tools do not see that a tab order has been set. 

Any update on this topic or the ticket that was opened?

Lauren Connelly

Hi Kristin!

As you can see from this discussion, we've noticed this bug on our end too! It's definitely a disturbance, but I'm happy to report that this bug is on its way to being fixed.

We are working on more accessibility features that will make it easier to build accessible courses and give learners a better way to take these courses using accessibility devices. 

We aren't quite ready to share a timeline or roadmap on this project, but you can stay up to date using the What's New page. Trust me, I'm just as excited as everyone to roll out what we are working on!

Kristin Hatcher

Thank you Lauren. I'm assuming the bug won't be fixed before the end of the year. I know often software companies are loathe to give a target release date since dates can slip, but any information you can provide will be helpful. 

I've got a course due on the 20th of this month, and it simply won't be ready due to not being 508 compliant. Our tester can't even test the course because he is blind, and since JAWS won't read the screen he can't take the course. This is deeply problematic, and while I realize my situation is not your personal problem, I really need to be able to give my leadership something. 

Lauren Connelly

Hi everyone!

Good news, we just released Update 36 (Build 3.36.21213.0) for Storyline 360! This update includes many accessibility features and bug fixes. One fix is that a button's alternative text entered in Tab Order is now read correctly by JAWS!

To receive the newest features and bug fixes, you'll want to update Storyline 360!

Lauren Connelly

Hello Rachel!

There hasn't been a change to this recently, and all graphics should be introduced using the alt text assigned to it. 

I've recorded a quick 2-minute tutorial to show you what this behavior looks like on my end. If you see something different, you can share your project with us in this public discussion or privately in a support case.