New Accessible Features 22/01/2020 - Can't Tab through page content

Jan 22, 2020


Am I missing something? I updated Articulate this morning and now I cannot tab to anything on the screen except navigation buttons. Also the screen reader does not seem to read out anything except the alt-text on the buttons. 

83 Replies
Lesley Mizer

Hi there,

As of August 28th, 2020, have any of you found any of the newer updates since January to work for both keyboard accessibility and screen readers?

Now that there have been several updates since January, is there a way to revert back to version 35 (December 19 - 2019)?

It doesn't show up as possibility when I look at the versions from Articulate 360 menu.

Jackie Waskewicz

Our teams are sticking with the December version. That version disappeared from the previous versions list a few months back so we reached out to Articulate support in June and they provided an executable download link. We're using that link to onboard all new designers. 

Storyline 360 (Build 3.35.21017.0) Installer  

Joe Waddington

Yes, as long as you realize that they have changed the way screen readers interact with your course. 

The tab key is mainly for keyboard accessibility, but can be used by screen reader users. The tab key only tabs to those things that are interactable - buttons, hotspots, checkboxes, etc. And the focus box will only appear on those things that can be tabbed to. The focus box is for sighted users who are navigating using the tab key, to show them where they are in the course. The screen reader will read anything that is tabbed to.

However, for Screen readers, the primary way users interact with the course is through the up and down arrow keys. The arrow keys will take them through the text boxes, images with alt text, and anything else you've left in the tab order. There is no focus box to "show" you where you are in the tab order - and this can be confusing. The only way to ensure that the screen reader is getting to read everything is to publish the course, and test it with the screen reader, navigating with the arrow keys. You can also use the "say all" command for the screen reader (Insert+down arrow), and it will read everything in your tab order.

Articulate has said they will soon allow us to label text as headings,  and I suspect that this will also help with accessibility. Screen reader users can use the H key to cycle through headings, jumping to different parts of a screen or document quickly. 

It's a change from before, but is still functional once you understand what the changes are. 

Lesley Mizer

Thanks, Joe! I appreciate you taking the time to explain how screen readers are supposed to interact with the course.

In the latest August 18th update, when I was testing for keyboard functionality without a screen reader, the content focus wasn't working as expected on quiz feedback layers. After submitting an answer, the content focus remained on the submit button. When I would press tab, instead of it going to the continue or try again button on the feedback layer, it would skip to the next button on the course player. So, I would have to shift+tab a couple of times to get to the continue or try again button.

I reached out to Articulate Support, and they suggested I rollback to the May 19th version. It worked for the keyboard accessibility.

However, the following is my experience in the May 19th version for screen reader accessibility-

I am publishing it to my LMS and testing it in that environment. I'm using the up and down arrow keys to navigate.

It doesn't appear to be consistent. For example, when I'm on quiz slides with the NVDA screen reader, sometimes it immediately reads the question and answers without stopping, and I haven't pressed anything. In the same quiz, on another slide, it'll read the first text box and stop. When I press the down arrow, it skips the text box that has the actual question and goes directly to the answer choices without reading the question text box.

My quiz slides are from a quiz bank, and they have text boxes that display the quiz name and question number. The third text box in the tab order is the actual question. So for some reason, it doesn't appear to be reading the tab order.

However, I am new to testing with NVDA. So maybe it's just me not being proficient enough?

So for now, I can either stay in the May 19th version and it be accessible to keyboard users, and have a text version in the event a person using a screen reader can't navigate the course, or do I switch to the Dec 19th version that would be keyboard accessible and somewhat accessible to our audience who is used to navigating our courses in the old way.

I appreciate your help and if there is anything I'm missing when I test, please let me know.

Joe Waddington

That's interesting. And potentially frustrating. We don't include a lot of quizzes in our courses, and half time time, I create the quiz slides from scratch. So I haven't really had a chance to test it with them, or see how it plays wit h a screen reader.

If I remember right, there was a similar problem prior to the December update, but I can't say for sure.

Now I'm going to have to go and experiment!

Suzi Stringer

December 2020 and I am experiencing major screen reader issues with nvda and jaws. 

You cannot tab to some bullet answers in questions. Tab randomly highlights wrong sections of screens. Titles are read out multiple times. Focus order seems to be missed and text is being skipped in layers; it starts at a random point in the sentence. This feature is so bad it is holding up real ease of a massive project. 

Using recommended settings, browser Is Chrome and adhering to screen reader shortcuts.

It’s practically unuseable.