HTML5 Screenreader Issues with Text

Started experiencing some issues today with how my screenreader was handling text frames. Don't recall encountering them previously, so I'm curious if anyone else has..?

In IE, it reads them as "grouping".

In Chrome, it adds "section" to the end of all.

In FF, there's a long delay before it reads text (no delay when reading objects' alt text), and then it adds "section" to the end of all.

14 Replies
Douglas Harriman

Hi Alyssa,

I'm using Storyline 3, Update 2.

By text frames I meant text boxes, so any slide title or content box that is part of a slide template, or any text box you add through Insert > Text Box. I'm also encountering this with shapes that have text in them.

In Chrome, HTML5, my screenreader is also reading "application" and the course title at the start of every slide, which isn't something I recall encountering with Storyline 2 or Flash outputs.

Sample slide and published zip attached.


Alyssa Gomez

Thanks for those details, Douglas.

What screen reader are you using? Storyline 3 HTML5 output is compatible with JAWS 16 or later with Internet Explorer 10 or later, Google Chrome (latest version), Firefox (latest version).

I tested in each of those browsers, and didn't hear the words "section" or "grouping" there. Let me know if you're still hearing the problem using JAWS 16 in those browsers, and we'll keep digging!

Douglas Harriman

Hi Alyssa,

I'm using NVDA. I work closely with a lot of JAWS users & testers and am
yet to encounter a difference with how the two screenreaders treat
Storyline outputs. Maybe this is a first... I'll be forwarding these
samples along to some of our other University of California testers to see
what they experience.


Douglas Harriman

Hi Alyssa,

Yep, just downloaded a JAWS 16 trial, and the experience with that reader
is consistent with both my expectations and Articulate's.

Thankfully many of the screen reader users in my organization (University
of California) are JAWS users, but we also have a pretty large NVDA user
group (since NVDA's price tag, or lack thereof ;) , is a little more suited
to students' budgets than JAWS's). This is the first time my JAWS and NVDA
experiences differ with an Articulate product (was not an issue with
Storyline 2's Flash output), so while I appreciate and applaud Articulate's
efforts to produce an accessible product, I really hope the development
team can expand the screen reader compatibility functionality and have NVDA
be a viable reader again.


Kelly Jack

Hi all, I see this is an old thread, but I want to clarify something. I am having the exact issue Douglas brought forward (I'm using Storyline 360). I guess I'm curious why this is still an issue. Does Articulate have any intent to fix this? If not, I'm curious why. It has created an unnecessary burden on me as a developer as I've literally spent an entire week finding work-arounds for screen reader issues because of the way Storyline is designed. This has been mostly around quiz slides and text boxes that read as "grouping."

I really love Storyline, but I've had lots of accessibility issues since I started using it. I work for the government, which requires all courses to be 508 compliant. JAWS is expensive, so I'm unable to acquire it.  I'm guessing there are other users who can't afford JAWS and may be in this same situation. 

Just wanted to see where Articulate is at with this and if there are any fixes available. Thank you.


Katie (Gokhshteyn) Riggio

Hello, Kelly. I replied to your post here, so we can also continue the conversation there if you'd like!

Just want to add here that we appreciate the valuable context you shared. We're hard at work on accessibility improvements so do keep an eye out! I've also documented your request for more screen reader support like NVDA, so we can keep you updated on any new developments on this front. 

Thank you for being so dedicated! 😊

Sasha Malone

Hi Katie,

Thanks for sharing this information.  It would also mean a lot to us for Storyline to be compatible with NVDA for cost reasons.  I work for the government as well and are facing huge ongoing budget cuts and have to legally provide accessible content.  Our accessibility lead is encouraging us to go to other software but that would be a real shame if you are so close to becoming WCAG compliant. Our whole team were hired based on their Storyline experience and to change authoring software now would mean a costly and time consuming process having to start from scratch again.

One of the other bugs that would be really helpful to fix is the alt text not working if a state has been applied to a custom button.  It has meant a huge amount of work to fix this issue in our current courses.

Thanks for your ongoing work with all the improvements

Katie (Gokhshteyn) Riggio

Hello there!

I'm excited to share that we just released Update 34 for Storyline 360. It addresses the issue where JAWS did not read the alt text from Tab Order for objects with multiple states.

To see all the enhancements this version has to offer, follow these steps to update your software!