How can I make Storyline 2 work well with SCREEN READERS?

Jul 11, 2015

I'm looking for a real guru who can teach me how to make Storyline 2 as compliant with Section 508 as possible. I know what to do for learners with hearing and mobility impairments. Looking for an expert in making Storyline 2 work as well as it can with screen readers (e.g. Jaws). THANKS!

15 Replies
Christie Pollick

Hi, Susan  -- 

While I am not an expert on 508 Compliance, this eBook on the 6 Best Practices for Designing Accessible eLearning may be of use to you. In addition, I wanted to share a few different threads that may be of assistance:

Hopefully others in the community can chime in with their expertise to assist you further!

Alicia Pennington


Happy Wednesday afternoon.  I know your post if 2 months old, but I just ran across it as I searched for information on the same topic.  

I'm getting better with accessibility/JAWS with Storyline but out never call myself an expert.  

In relation to the Creating Keyboard Navigation/Shortcuts for Users to Navigate tutorial that Christie refers to above, you have to be very careful which characters you use as keyboard shortcuts when learners will be using JAWS.  The reason is that JAWS has a lot of built-in keyboard shortcuts already.  For, example, when on a webpage using JAWS, pressing 1 will tell you about headings on the page.  So, you can't program 1 as a keyboard shortcut.  I found that the following characters did not have anything already associated with them in JAWS:  [ ] , and .  These have worked for me as keyboard shortcuts when using JAWS in the interaction I've been working on today.

I hope this helps.

Make it a great day!

Alicia Pennington

I'm glad I could help.

Can you give me a little more information about your arrows to shortcuts?
My guess is you have made the arrows into clickable buttons. If the text
on the screen tells the learner what the arrows are for, you don't have to
do anything. The screen reader will tell the learner that the arrow is a
button. However, if the screen does not have text on it letting the
learner know what the arrows are for, all alt text to the arrow so that the
person using a screen reader can hear what the arrows are for.

Let me know if the above does not make sense. Feel free to provide an
example so I might be able to give better feedback.

elish shachor

Thank You Alicia!

Your information was very important to me' but Istill stayed with my question, can I use the arrows for shortcuts? I didn't understand completely your answer.

So mybe I will explain exactly what I am trying to do.I am writing training material for web system in storyLine' I want  to enable the impaired learning to use shortcuts to make the study easier, so the most sensible way to do it, to use the arrows in the keyboard, NO?

I will be happy to hear what do you can offer me.

And again, THANK YOU!!!

Alicia Pennington

I understand now what you're asking.

I have never used the keyboard arrow keys for navigation in a course. It's
been my experience, although that is very limited, that general keyboard
navigation in SL is done using the Tab and Enter keys. That being said, I
do feel you could create a text trigger that when a learner presses a
specific key a specific action happens.


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Elish,

They'll execute whatever button the tab is highlighted on - so if you need to use the next button, tab to it and ensure it's highlighted with the yellow box and then use the enter/space bar to activate it or execute the action. If you're using things like the menu or resources, once you've opened them you can navigate with the arrow keys. 

karen forkish
Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Elish,

I would look at adding triggers to control the navigation based on other key presses. As Alicia mentioned, the tab, enter and space bar are typically what are used to navigate the Storyline player for screen readers. 

Hi Ashley,

I know this thread is two years old, but I haven't been able to find current information to solve the problem we're seeing.

We have been using the bracket keys for keyboard navigation, so a learner can press the right bracket key to move quickly to the next slide without having to tab through all of the slide elements to get to the NEXT button.

This works great in Chrome. In IE 11, pressing the bracket key will take you to the next slide the first time you press it, but it won't work again until you mouse click on the slide to reactivate it. Not an option for some folks, and doesn't pass the test for accessibility.

Is there a way around this? Do you know why this is happening? I think it used to work in IE 11, but it doesn't any more.

I am working in Storyline v3.18, and we are publishing to Flash with HTML5 fallback.

Thanks for any help you have to offer.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Karen,

Old discussion or not, we're always here and happy to help! 

I don't see any reported issues with keyboard navigation specific to IE11. I'd like to test it out, and if you can share your .story file that'll be a good start. If you can't share the file, I have a few other questions!

Do you know if this was happening with Flash, HTML5 or both? When you're testing did you publish for Web, LMS, etc. and are you uploading to those sites or testing locally? Anything specific on these slides, such as web objects, videos, etc.? 

Also, lastly I'd update to the latest version of Storyline, (Build 3.19.16600.0).

This discussion is closed. You can start a new discussion or contact Articulate Support.