New in Articulate 360: More Accessibility Features and Enhancements

We’re proud to share some more big strides in our accessibility journey. Below is an overview of the latest accessibility enhancements in Rise 360 and Storyline 360, along with some links you can explore to expand your knowledge on the topic of accessibility. 

Rise 360

Now you can reach an even wider audience with Rise 360. That’s because Rise 360 adheres to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Level AA.

To learn more about our WCAG support (including our VPAT), check out this collection of accessibility resources.

Storyline 360

In Storyline 360, you’ll find a mix of features and enhancements to give course authors more options for creating accessible courses and to give learners with accessibility needs more control over their learning experience. 

Accessible Text Styles

The text styles feature in Storyline 360 makes it easier for course authors to create a more cohesive design for their project. And now we’ve enhanced text styles to be accessible as well. With accessible text styles, your Storyline 360 content is easier for screen readers to parse and navigate. 

You can take a quick look at this feature, below:

 

Semantic Formatting

With semantic formatting in Storyline 360, now screen reader users can understand and explore your content more easily. 

But what is semantic formatting? Simply put, people using assistive technologies, such as screen readers, rely on a website’s semantic formatting (aka its source code) to paint a mental picture of the content that sighted users get by visually scanning the page. The same applies to e-learning. That’s why we’ve made sure that Storyline 360 publishes your courses with the appropriate semantic formatting for headings, links, lists, and other elements. 

 

Hyperlink States

Not only can you define styles of text, but now you can also define styles for hyperlink states (e.g., normal, hover, active, and visited). Defining hyperlink states can give your course a consistent design and help you provide clear visual distinction for learners with low vision. Customize the text color and decoration for each state and Storyline 360 will update all the links in your project instantly. 

Here’s a quick GIF showing the new hyperlink states feature in action:

 

Accessible Text

So far, we’ve covered features and enhancements that give course authors more control over the appearance and accessibility of their courses. But the best kind of accessible course design also gives learners the power to personalize their learning experience according to their needs and preferences. 

That’s why we’ve added an assortment of new learner-focused features and enhancements to Storyline 360, like accessible text. With accessible text, learners can change the visual appearance of text to make it more readable in your published courses. 

Check out this feature in action, below. And to learn more about the why and how of accessible text, read this comprehensive article from our Knowledge Base.

 

Accessible Player Controls

One more step in the direction of a customized learning experience is giving learners with accessibility needs more control over the course player. 

To that end, we’ve made some important improvements to player controls so learners can use keyboard shortcuts to access them. Additionally, we’ve made player controls a bit easier to navigate, by rearranging them to mirror other web experiences.

Here’s another GIF to give you a better sense of how the accessible player controls work:

 

Adjust Player Settings

We’ve also added new accessibility controls that allow learners to change the zoom mode, turn accessible text on or off, and toggle keyboard shortcuts.

You can see these new controls in action, below. 

We’re so grateful to have you with us on this accessibility journey. In the year ahead, we’re looking forward to delivering more features that empower you and your learners—and make everyone’s lives a little easier.

To keep up on all the latest Articulate 360 features, visit and bookmark our What’s New page and come back to E-Learning Heroes regularly. 

2 Replies
Rebecca Evens

hi! Please can you tell me if support for the built in Microsoft accessibility tools such as the read aloud function in Edge, and the Narrator voice over will be introduced into Storyline and Rise? We have followed the accessibility guidelines to develop our content, but all of our company uses Microsoft software and they are heavily promoting the accessibility features in Windows 10, and our Articulate content just doesn't work - none of the text in the courses can be detected by the tools. 

Lauren Connelly

Hello Rebecca!

Great question! The most popular screen readers are NVDA, JAWS, VoiceOver, and TalkBack, so that is where we are currently putting our focus. The read-aloud function in Microsoft Edge doesn't allow for keyboard shortcuts. It's simply a tool that will read what is on the page from top to bottom rather than letting the user control where the focus is.  Unfortunately, Narrator has limited features compared to NVDA, JAWS, VoiceOver, and TalkBack. Through our testing, we haven't noticed many learners use Narrator over the other screen readers listed previously.

Both JAWS and NVDA offer a free version if you're interested in checking it out!