HTML5 and Section 508

Feb 05, 2014

I know that it is much easier to make HTML5 products 508 compliant than it is to address the issue in Flash.  I don't know that standard Storyline output (Flash-based) will ever be fully 508 compliant.  That's why I was eager to get Storyline when I saw that it also supported HTML5.  Here's the issue:

I want the SCORM file to run the HTML5 version, NOT the standard version, even if the student computer has the Flash player resident.  I have looked at the Story.html file in the SCORM output and it seems that it would be an easy fix to direct it to run the HTML5 version no matter if the Shock player were resident or not.  Any ideas on what edits would need to be made?


8 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Lawrence and welcome to Heroes! 

Storyline's Flash based output is 508 compliant as described here, and you'll see the note at the bottom of the article that "Content published for HTML5 and the Articulate Mobile Player is not 508 compliant."

By default when you point to the story.html file, Storyline determines which version (Flash, HTML5 or launch mobile player) to show the user as described here. 

Lawrence Tagrin

Not all of the Flash output is 508 compliant, especially if you are using videos.

Be that aside, you CAN make HTML output 508 compliant far easier than some aspects of Flash.  

Now I am aware that when you execute the story.html file the programming in the html file (NOT the Storyline software) determines if there is a Flash player on the system and, if it is not available, will run the HTML5 version.  Now my original question was on how to alter the story.html file in order to have it execute the HTML5 version of the course even if there is a Flash player present.  I know it can be done, but was wondering if anyone had worked it out.  I've looked at the source for story.html and it does not look too difficult to manage.

Most of my users are on Windows 7 machines inside our office.  However, there is a possibility that Flash may be removed in various offices due to security concerns.  So I'm trying to prepare my options.

Steve Flowers

Hi Lawrence, 

If you modify the imsmanifest.xml file to point to the story_html5.html file instead of the story.html file, it'll bypass the autodetection and force launch of the HTML5 output. You could also place a document.location.href="story_html5.html" (haven't tested this) at the top of the story.html file to cause it to automatically forward to the story_html5.html file. What I don't know is if this will cause other issues (it should not) with LMSAPI communication.

Steve Flowers

One aside - the HTML5 output is not 508 compliant. As in, not at all. HTML5 slides are drawn to canvas and don't really have page elements. While HTML is easy to make 508 compliant (Flash can be as well - though the SL output leaves a few gaps), the way content is drawn in SL's HTML output doesn't lend itself to accommodating vision impairments.

Lawrence Tagrin

The entire subject of Section 508 compliance is a major gap in Storyline documentation and training.  We need a major piece of documentation so that when some 508 compliance officer decides to challenge my work, I can properly respond.  While 508 compliance is targeted at Federal uses, more and more state will require it and even some major corporations that have Federal customers.  We need a point-by-point document that goes over all of the 508 requirements and itemizes how to make the Storyline output compliant.  For those elements (drag/drop, etc..) that simply cannot be made compliant, we need them identified so we avoid using them and avoid allowing our contractors to use them.

Alfred Low

I hope Articulate's focus on accessibility can expand beyond Section 508 to include statements on how it complies with WCAG2.0 requirements.

Having said that, it would be great if Articulate could come up with statements about how accessible their output of their products are.

I have a feeling that they have skirted the issue altogether by omitting any accessibility statement (last time I looked) altogether.

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Lawrence and Alfred, 

The documentation on Storyline' section 508 compliance is available here, where element such as the drag and drop are indicated as not 508 compliant. As you scroll down in that documentation, you'll also see that a number of the elements are author controlled in terms of what you add to the course and how you set up navigation. For further information on the 508 compliance, you may also want to read through Storyline's VPAT here. 

If you're looking to see additional support for such items as WCAG2.0 requirements please share your thoughts in the form of a feature request. 

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