Section 508 compliance and drag and drop/matching questions

Jan 31, 2019

There is another thread on this topic, but it is several years old. Have any advances been made in making drag and drop/matching questions accessible (fully responsive via keyboard command)?

5 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Louis,

Have you taken a look at our article on designing an accessible course with Storyline 360, there's a specific section on drag and drops included below:

The following drag-and-drop and hotspot interactions require a mouse for navigation, making them difficult or impossible to use for mobility-impaired learners. If you add them to your course, provide text-based or keyboard-controlled alternatives.

Form-Based Interactions:

  • Matching drag-and-drop
  • Sequence drag-and-drop
  • Ranking drag-and-drop
  • Word bank/which word
  • Hotspot

Freeform Interactions:

  • Drag-and-drop
  • Hotspot

Here are a few examples of alternatives:

  • Rather than a matching drag-and-drop interaction, consider using a matching drop-down interaction instead since it’s keyboard-accessible.
  • You could add a link that opens a layer with a text-based alternative for a freeform drag-and-drop interaction.
  • You might let learners choose a slider alternative for a hotspot interaction, since sliders respond to the arrow keys on your keyboard.

I hope those alternative ideas help, and I'd love to hear what other ideas folks in the community have come up with! 

Andrew Lloyd



I have just come across this and am keen to know what is appropriate, when looking for alternatives to D&D items.


When you say in your second bullet about a layer with a 'text-based alternative' what does that mean? Until now, my company has been using text-based descriptions of the drag and drop, which just explains to the user what the interaction is about. The learner is not offered a means of performing the interaction themselves.


Is that what you meant and if so, is that ADA compliant?





Lauren Connelly

Hi Andrew!

Great question! For a course to be compliant, you'll need text-based alternatives for visual elements. A few examples of this would be ALT text for graphics or transcripts for audio and video. This part of the guidelines supports visually-impaired learners who rely on a screen reader or other assistive technology that announces elements on the screen. The easiest way to stay compliant with this guideline is by asking yourself, "Are screen reader users receiving the same experience as sighted users?"

Let us know if you have additional questions!

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Robyn,

I haven't seen too many examples, but a quick search of the E-Learning Heroes community pointed me to this discussion: 

Keyboard Accessible Drag and Drop

Some of the folks in there posted quite some time ago, but the files should still work if upgraded to Storyline 360. Also, feel free to connect with individuals there using the "Contact Me" option on their profile if you'd like! 

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