JAWs Reader is not reading ALT Text

Nov 25, 2013

I am testing the accessibility features on a storyline file using JAWs 14.0 demo version. I am using IE 10 to open the published HTML file. The JAWs reader is not reading my ALT text for my images. It is reading the file name in the timeline instead. I have selected to have the object visible to accessibility tools and have entered a description. What could be causing the JAWs reader to ignore my description and just read the file name?

49 Replies
Jason Kramer

Was really hoping this newest update would deal with the Alt Txt + States issue. According to the version history it doesn't look like it was addressed for this version.

This bug makes it so you have add the alt txt in two places: 1) In the Tab Order, and 2) within the accessibility tab of the object state.

Hoping it is still being looked at.



Arin O'Boyle

Hello, We had 30+ training modules in Rise, and I am in the process of learning Storyline to transfer them to Storyline for Accessibility purposes-

I am trying to make sure I am up to speed on everything in Storyline that is Accessible/508 Compliant, and where there are bugs/issues that I should be aware of on the front end until we are able to get a screen reader to check our modules as we go-

Has this issue in this thread been resolved? Just wondering as I am making a list and I didn't see a final comment, but I wasn't sure if  that was typical or not and I just wanted to check, thank you!

Alyssa Gomez

Hello, Arin! 

Accessibility is important to us, and we still have more to do in Rise. We're working hard to add features that will meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). So far, we’ve increased the contrast for built-in course features, added alt text for images, and added keyboard-accessible navigation. And we’re currently working on full screen reader support. 

Now, let's focus on Storyline. The bug Leslie referenced earlier in this conversation relates to custom buttons. When you add alternate text to a custom button, JAWS doesn't read that correctly. Instead, it reads the default alternate text. 

For example, JAWS will say "Buton 2 button, to activate press spacebar". Pressing spacebar will make JAWS read the alternate text entered in the Tab Order window or Accessibility menu.

Let me know if you have any more questions about that bug, or other Storyline accessibility questions. I'm here to help!

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Paul,

Yes - any bug fixes you see rolled out to Storyline 360 will also make their way to Storyline 3. Updates are delivered with less frequency to Storyline 3, but we'll let folks know in the forums when one is ready and we also update the Storyline 3, build number (currently 3.5.16548.0) and version history page.

Peter Johnson

I'm running the newest version of Storyline 360 and have had similar issues.

Here is a workaround:

  1. Open up and edit the States for the button/image.
  2. Select Make sure the Normal state is selected.
  3. Right-mouse click on the object and select Accessibility.
  4. Type in the Alternate text.
  5. Click on "Done Editing Status" in the States panel.

From my experiments it seems like using Tab Order doesn't always associate the alt text with the Normal State.

I don't have JAWS and only tested this with NVDA. By the way I discovered I can test each slide with NVDA using the Preview option without having to Publish the file.

  1. Preview a single slide
  2. Run NVDA
  3. Tab through the slide to double-check how alt text and tab order is responding.


Jackie Waskewicz

Hi Lauren,

We are using JAWS 2019. For a button with the built-in states, we put Alt Text on the built-in VISITED state, the text simply says 'you have already visited this section.' We then trigger the Visited state change with the button press. When revisiting the button with JAWS after the Visited state is triggered, the Normal state alt text is read.

If we do the exact same steps, but create a new Done state (add the same alt text, trigger, etc.) the Done state alt text is read by JAWS.

Lauren Connelly

Hi Jackie!

I appreciate you describing the specifics! We've logged a bug where JAWS only reads the alt text for a normal state, which is exactly what you're running into!

It's hard to nail down a timeline to share since we have an in-depth process in place for tackling bugs. What I can do is add your comments to the report and since you're already subscribed to this discussion, you'll be notified when we do release a fix!

Vincent Scoma

Hi Everyone,

I am happy to share that we just released the newest version of Storyline 360 Build 3.37.21453.0, which fixed the issue where screen readers would only read the alt text for the normal state of an object.

The next step is to update Storyline 360 by heading to your Articulate 360 desktop app and clicking "Update" next to Storyline 360. 

As always, we are happy to answer any questions you have by posting in this discussion, or you can contact our Support Engineers directly.

Emily McDonell

Hi there! I have just updated JAWS and Storyline 3, and am testing a published course. JAWS is not reading the image alt-text at all. Currently there are no states other than Normal on any of the images, object is visible to accessibility tools, and alt-text is set. Still, when I arrow to the image, all I get from JAWS is "graphic." Any suggestions? TIA!

Lauren Connelly

Hi Emily!

The JAWS screen reader adds graphic or button to object descriptions when it's narrating a published course. This is how JAWS is designed to operate for accessibility support.

For example, JAWS adds graphic to descriptions of pictures, screenshots, and characters, since these elements are graphics. Similarly, JAWS adds button to descriptions of buttons and objects with click triggers.

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Melissa,

I was able to take a look at Emily's case and see that it was specific to Storyline 3. It looks like you are using Storyline 360. 

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 upload it to me privately. I'll delete it when troubleshooting is complete.

Maria Costa-Stienstra

Hi, Jayant. 

I'm happy to help!

Can you expand on what you're experiencing when using JAWS? Is this happening with every object that has alt text? 

If you can share a screen recording or the .story file, it would help us troubleshoot your specific scenario. You can share it privately through a support case if you prefer.