Is there a clear guide on using NVDA screen reader with Storyline output?

Nov 16, 2021

Does there exist anywhere a clear guide on using NVDA with Storyline output? No matter how simple I make the storyline screen, I do not find the experience of NVDA screen reader to storyline html output one that is fit for purpose.

I won't do a long list of things that don't work, but let's say you set up a simple screen with just a text box in it, nothing else, that doesn't even work. When you come into the screen it reads the title (a few times). When it is done doing that what are you supposed to do next? Down arrow to the content? NVDA key + down arrow to the content? I find it just selects the background (there is no background in the screen) with down arrow. Or starts saying "blank" a few times. After like many down arrow presses it may (if lucky) pick up the text box and start reading it.

You can't hover over text and the screen reader read the text out, like on a normal webpage where it does. It just simply doesn't read it out.

Does there exist a clear set of instructions as to what you press to successfully use NVDA with a storyline screen after the screen loads? I find it just doesn't read stuff out, or starts cycling through all elements on screen, including all open tabs and titles. The worst is when it hits that odd "Back to top" button which bizarrely suddenly appears from nowhere on the screen, which doesn't seem to actually do anything.

If anyone can help out with any instructions on how to successfully use NVDA screen reader on storyline screens, I would be very grateful. Thanks.

6 Replies
Leslie McKerchie

Hi Rupert,

We do not have a specific article on what you're asking. I can share our documentation on slide content:

Storyline 360: Slide Content Is More Accessible

I want to take a look at your project file to investigate what's happening with your permission. You can share it publicly here or send it to me privately by uploading it here. I'll delete it when troubleshooting is complete.

Rupert Abel

Thanks Matt, that is very helpful. In fact from one of those links there is a downloadable pdf guide of basic commands. I think that will be very useful for people rather than googling and looking at the very long NVDA user guide or some other website. Thanks.

Thanks Leslie, SL file attached. This morning it is doing something different. Now in NVDA  it automatically reads the entire screen text out which is an improvement. I did though read an article here on the website saying it doesn't automatically read text out. However it still seems to hit some mystery "back to top" button which I don't believe is in the actual file.

Leslie McKerchie

Thanks, Rupert.

When publishing your file, the text is not read automatically for me, but I can arrow down for NVDA to read the content.

Here's a link to the published output I used to test. I did not make any adjustments to your file. I published and uploaded it to TempShare.

You also mentioned the 'Back to Top' button, a player feature that allows learners to skip the navigation if needed. We do not recommend disabling this feature as it pertains to WCAG criterion 2.4.1, but here is some documentation:

Disable the Skip Navigation Shortcut

Fiona Macelli

Hi Rupert, I have the same issue when testing, which I think relates to the ability to get "into" the right landmark for the screen reader in the first place (out of the browser "shell" if that makes sense, and into the Storyline page content). Once I can get it reading it seems to work fairly consistently as long as I don't switch to using the mouse, or switch up between using the NVDA commands to navigate and using the Tab key to navigate. I understand that Articulate made the difference between tab and arrow key on purpose a few years ago, supposedly to help the experience for sighted keyboard users, but I'm hoping unsighted screen reader users (who I guess we can assume are super users of their screen reader) are finding it easier to get going than I am with my limited NVDA familiarity.