Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Online Course

Hello all,

We have been informed by CDC that we are not permitted to use Storyline to build online courses for projects funded by grants from that agency. They claim that they CDC 508 compliance office will not approve any course developed in Storyline to be cleared. They are requiring that we use either Lectora or Captivate. 

Here are excerpts from the email we received.

"The Articulate Storyline software is on the CDC Level III Software list, so that may confuse some people into thinking that just because it is approved, it can be used to develop online courses. 

 So, I just want to clarify, Articulate software cannot be used to develop online courses for CDC because the software is not accessible, therefore it is not 508 compliant per the CDC 508 Policy."

"As to the accessibility, I noticed they are using Articulate, which unless they are using Flash (old technology and not supported on many devices), the output will not be accessible, per Articulate.


Has anyone else had recent experience with this? Seems like a big problem if the feds will not allow any federally funded courses to be developed in Storyline. My team (university based, 100% federally funded) has spent a lot of resources learning and using Storyline to build our online courses in the past few years. I'm concerned that all our time has been wasted. Yikes!

Any advice is appreciated.


Laurie (stressed out in the MidWest)

5 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Laurie, 

Our Flash based output is set to be 508 compliant as you'll see in that article you linked to - and you can read more from the VPAT here for Storyline 2 (the article you linked to is Storyline 1, and Storyline 2 does include more accessibility features).  In regards to the specific of Flash, it means that the mobile deployment is not accessible, but users can still access the course on mobile devices if  you publish for HTML5 or the mobile player. You'll also want to make sure that users are accessing your course in one of the supported browsers here. 

I know that we have a number of users here in the forums who create accessible courses and I imagine some are also associated with government organizations, so I'll let them weigh in on the specifics of what they've done. 

Matt Cherry

Yay! I am not alone on this one. We were just informed by the CDC that we had to make our course 508-compliant. The course was already built in Storyline and we were not made aware of making it compliant until after development was completed. 

Laurie, did you find out anymore information about this? I am going to spend tomorrow trying to track down information, CDC contacts, other contractors to see if I can get a clearer picture of what needs to be done. I will post any information that I find here.

I'm really hoping I can get some clarity around whether Storyline is officially blacklisted by the CDC, and if not...figure out what the requirements are for making it compliant.


Ann Godmere


I am wondering if there is an update from above. I am preparing a bid for a potential client. They are a partner with the CDC and the course will be delivered to the CDC when complete. Is there any update on this given Storyline 2 is 508 compliant? Is the CDC now accepting Storyline courses? Does anybody know what the CDC uses to play the courses? What LMS?

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Ann,

This forum discussion is a bit older so I'm not certain if folks are still subscribed here to weigh in on the connection with using Storyline for CDC projects. You could message folks using the "contact me" button on their profile to see if they're able to offer some additional ideas and insight.