Seeking feedback: Accessibility and videos in Storyline 360

Here's my dilemma:

A few years back we started using external video services because of Storyline's lack of captioning. This ended up working really well for the following reasons:

  1. Reduces the load on the LMS by serving videos from a CDN
  2. No need to republish the course when a video needs to change
  3. Captioning worked
  4. Adjusts video quality to suit user's bandwidth

Unfortunately, I knew that this wasn't a good experience for visually-impaired learners as screen readers couldn't "tab into" the videos to control the video. With the revision of the 508 standards and the subsequent adherence to WCAG, we now risk failing sections of the VPAT because of the lack of keyboard controls to the videos.

So, now we're looking at re-embedding all the videos. This technically works because Storyline now includes captioning, but we're losing the benefits of #1, #2, and #4 that I listed earlier.

So, has anyone managed to use external videos (YouTube, Vimeo, JWPlayer, etc.) and stay keyboard accessible?

I did see that using YouTube in a web object allowed the tabbing within YouTube to work, but there's so much other stuff on the YouTube page that you end up tabbing through a lot of other things before the tab gets back to the Storyline player. We use Vimeo and I was unable to tab into the Vimeo page when I inserted it as a web object.

I tried "hacking" the Storyline HTML5 player and was able to substitute in my Vimeo videos by editing the data.js and app.min.js files so that videos that I embedded while authoring the course were replaced by external videos when the course ran. This worked for desktop browsing, but I had troubles with mobile. Plus, a workaround like this can lead to other unforeseen issues later, so I'm uneasy about pursuing that solution.

Any solutions, leads, advice you can offer is appreciated. Thanks!

11 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Erich,

Sorry you haven't heard from folks in the community yet. I'd also suggest reaching out in the Building Better Courses side of ELH and see if there is anyone who can help! That side tends to focus more on design and how to and ways to modify the published output.

Those topics are all areas where we can't offer support so the ELH community is the best resource!

Jessica Moscrop

Same problem here too.

I am using embedded YouTube clips and require JAWs screen reader accessibility. Our tester is not able to exit the video successfully to navigate to the Back and Next buttons. For some reason they are reverted to the browser outside the slide the video sits on despite the tab order of the slide indicating the next tabbing option after the video would be Back and Next buttons.

Does anyone know if there is a way past this issue?

Leslie McKerchie

Hello Kathy and Jessica,

Thanks for reaching out and letting us know that you're running into a similar issue.

Are you using a YouTube video embedded as a web object as well?

Storyline can select the entire web object container, but there isn't a way to force the focus inside web object since we're relying on the hosting site for video controls.

Vincent Scoma

Hi Jenny,

Our team is currently looking into this issue and we will be sure to provide any updates as soon as we can! 

In the meantime, a workflow that might help is to include one of the built-in player controls

We have found that adding just one of the Player Controls (like the volume button for example), you are able to tab through the course without getting stuck on the Vimeo web object.