NVDA won't read items in focus order

Mar 22, 2023


I have a Storyline file with groups in the focus order that the NVDA screen reader is not reading. I have triple-checked, and the groups have appropriate Alt text and are in the correct order, but the screen reader skips right over them. 

21 Replies
John Morgan

Hi Ariauna,

Thanks for reaching out! I understand that the groups in your file aren't being read by the NVDA screen reader. I’m happy to get this sorted out with you! I have a follow-up question regarding the groups so I can understand what you are experiencing a little better.

Are the groups visible to the accessibility tools? You can follow these steps to find the "Object is visible to accessibility tools setting.

  1. Right-click on the group
  2. Click Accessibility
  3. Check the box next to "Object is visible to accessibility tools".

Here is a screenshot highlighting the setting.

Also, would you be willing to share your file here or with our support engineers privately in a support case so we can help troubleshoot?

Thanks for reaching out and I look forward to your response!

Melanie Amrich

Hi John, 

I had a similar question to Ariauna and figured it might be easier to piggyback on this discussion rather than start a new one. I am currently working on a storyline 360 project and have added each text item in the focus order as I have been taught to and selected the "Object is visible to accessibility tools" box. When I activate the NVDA, it doesn't read what I have identified in the focus order. Any help would be appreciated. 



John Morgan

Hi Melanie,

Great question! I understand that NVDA isn't reading your objects even though they are marked as visible in the accessibility tools box. I'd be happy to work with you to figure out what is going on! I have a couple of follow-up questions regarding the situation so I can better understand your experience.

  • What type of objects aren't being read by the screen reader?
  • How are you navigating the course? Are you using the arrow keys for text and the TAB key for buttons?

Also, would you be willing to share your file here or with our support engineers privately in a support case so we can troubleshoot the issue?

Thanks for reaching out!

Melanie Amrich

Hi! Here is the AWS link - https://melanieamricheportfolio.s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/Amrich+Tab+Interaction/story.html

Since I have an issue with two projects - here is the easiest one first.

For this particular project, I changed the order of the words on the tab interaction but the NVDA is still reading the original order. The first diet on the updated one is Atkins but the NVDA is still reading Paleo from the original. I know I must be doing something wrong! 

Melanie Amrich

Thank you so much!

Here is the AWS link: https://melanieamrichprojects.s3.amazonaws.com/Amrich+Drag+and+Drop+Now+Accessible/story.html

My goal was to create an accessible drag and drop which works but once more the NVDA isn't reading what I have on the focus order. I have attached the focus order for slide 1.2 - all the others are identical. 

Amy Keating

I have often wondered if the issues we have NVDA skipping things when testing has to do with how SL does not carry over the alt text for all items in the timeline to the Focus Tab. I have sporadic results too, but one time, the screen reader said for my text boxes, "blank" "blank" then read the alt text for the next item, which was generally a button.  If the focus order tab is what screen readers use, why is SL not automatically carrying over the alt text from the time line for us to the Focus Order tab when it is a text box? 

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Amy!

I'm glad that Phil was able to pop in and help you here.

As he mentioned, screen readers read text boxes without customizing the alt text. Be sure that you're navigating in Browse mode via arrow keys. Tabbing through content in Focus mode will not read the text boxes since these are not interactive.

We'd be happy to look at your project file if you're still experiencing issues with this or run into sporadic results in the future.