Arrow keys not navigating in JAWS with Storyline 3

Oct 31, 2018

I had a course audited for WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) Level AA compliance that I build in Storyline 3. It failed the audit because the arrow keys in JAWS failed to navigate through the course properly, missing text and not reading Alt text. Some of the short cut keys also didn’t work while using JAWS.

Is there a way to allow the course to be fully compatible with JAWS software, other than just using the Tab key?

3 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Dylan, 

Our team designed the accessibility and navigation elements based on the ARIA standards outlined here.

Currently, the Tab key allows you to navigate around the player and slide, and then within something like a menu, resources list, or even the answer choices on question slide the learner can use an arrow key to navigate within those items.

We've been consulting extensively with our customers and have identified a range of improvements we could make to serve customers with accessibility needs. The current player architecture allows us to deliver incremental improvements, but we want to aim higher.

Our current active development work focuses on upgrading the overall architecture and structure of the player to enable us to deliver industry-leading accessibility support for Storyline customers that complies with the latest accessibility standards across a broader range of screen readers and web browsers.

We'll keep folks posted as we have more updates to share! 

Shiv Naresh


My client is facing an issue with Storyline 3 (latest update 11) output. We have developed a customized course (without default Menu, top and navigation pannel). Client has raised the following issues:

1. Tab order is not reading the text boxes but only the buttons.
2. Arrow keys are inoperable when using screen reader.
3. Small blue boxes are coming to focus not the content areas.

For me in chrome the screen reader is reading the page, but in Edge and IE it is not working

Lauren Connelly

Hi Shiv!

I'm happy to help! Using the Tab key, you can access interactive elements like buttons, hotspots, text entry fields, etc. To access the text boxes, you'll use the up/down arrows on your keyboard.

Would you mind explaining what you mean by "Arrow keys are inoperable when using a screen reader?" In most screen readers like JAWS and NVDA, arrow keys are used to navigate the text. For example, the right arrow key is used to hear each letter of text. The down arrow is used to read the line below, and the up arrow reads the line above. The left arrow is used to read the previous letters. If you've added any triggers to move to the next slide using keyboard navigation, you'll want to use keys that aren't already used by screen readers.

Lastly, I think you're referring to the Focus Rectangle. This is a setting in JAWS and NVDA used to highlight interactive objects like buttons, hotspots, and images. If text is being read off, the Focus Rectangle might stay at the top portion of the slide.

Let me know if you have additional questions!

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