JAWS not reading bullet list

We ran across an issue with JAWS not reading bulleted lists in Storyline. I just did a quick test on it. If I hard code a bullet character and place it in my text block, JAWS reads it as "bullet". If I use Storyline's built in bullet formatting, JAWS ignores the bullet characters. It apparently does the same thing with numbered lists as well. We received the same comment from a section 508 test group on numbered lists.

10 Replies
Lauren Connelly

Hi Bob,

First, I'd want to confirm that you're working on local project files as described here and testing the published output within the intended environment. Next, I believe JAWS only supports the latest release (Version 16 I believe) and to be used in the latest version of Internet Explorer (IE11). 

If you're testing under those conditions, and still having difficulty could you share your sample file in the forums or send the file here so that we could see how you've set up the bulleted text and any other settings? 

Bob O'Donnell

Hi Lauren, I wrote back earlier but it looks like it didn't go through. Anyway.... We're using the latest version of Storyline and the latest version of JAWS. I've saved the file locally, however that should have nothing to do with this issue.

The test file has a couple of text boxes on it formatted using Storyline's paragraph tools. Using the default setup, JAWS does not read bullets or numbers in a list. The third text box on screen was set up by using the keypad option (alt+0149) to hard set the bullet character. JAWS reads those fine.

File attached and published version here:


Lauren Connelly

Hi Bob!

Thanks for the clarification, and providing the .story file. I tested the file with JAWS and saw exactly how each paragraph is reading. 

I see what you are saying about JAWS not reading the numbers or "bullet" unless you type that in the alt text. I've passed this information along to our team. The workaround is adding the words/numbers in the alt text section. We'll keep you updated in this discussion! 

Here's an accessibility update to bookmark!

Jackie W

We've seen this back through all versions of Storyline 360, even into last year as well. Our team has had to adjust the alt text or add punctuation to ordered and unordered (bulleted) lists to at least get the reader to pause when cycling through.

While we didn't see it specifically called out on the roadmap, we're hopeful as Storyline updates to read semantic markup it will be able to identify lists better. It's also hard when a screen reader user presses the L or I had hears "there are no lists on this page."

Karin Carlson

I put every paragraph into its own text box, to the list items I added in
(1 of 3) , and then put and objects on top so they would be visually hidden
but still receive tabbing and screen reader. I then removed the original
bulleted list box from the screen reader's view and tab order. The
usability is pretty good. If they fix this, will just need to delete some
objects and make sure that the original text box is available to the screen
reader again. I didn't put anything different in the alts text because the
text that the screen reader will be reading is the visible text, which has
something on top of it like a rectangle the same colour as the rest of the
slide. A little less cumbersome to copy edit and troubleshoot later.