Storyline 360 and JAWS Screen Reader Questions

Feb 06, 2020


I have 6 questions regarding the use of the JAWS screen reader.  I have already installed the latest version of Storyline 360 and the latest version of JAWS from the JAWS website, as of 2/5/20.  I have been using Storyline for many years and have authored more than 75 courses.  I have searched on JAWS and read the relevant articles.  Thanks for your guidance!

1.  Is there a way to delay the recorded voice or the JAWS voice until the other one finishes?   As is often the case, we have a voice-over that presents topics on each screen.  The voice-over begins playing as soon as the screen opens-- this is very common for eLearning courses.  With JAWS enabled, the JAWS reader also begins voicing various tags and background information when the screen opens.  Both voices are running concurrently until one of the voices runs out. We don't want to introduce a new button to launch the recorded voice-over.

2. What is the recommended Windows browser to use with Storyline and JAWS?  I have tested the JAWS screen reader with several browsers and the results vary widely, including tags being voiced, or not, background assets being voiced, or not, links being active, or not, tab order working, or not.  The variances run the full range of possibilities.  Generally (without JAWS), our courses work well with Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Safari (on Mac).  The do not work with MS Edge, as documented in other posts.

3. What is the recommended Screen Reader to use on Macintosh?  JAWS is only available for Windows.  The Macintosh has a built-in screen reader that I have tested with mixed results.

4. How do I handle Layers with JAWS?  When I open the Tab Order panel, the objects for the layers are in the same table as the objects on the base layer-- it is one tab order table for the whole screen, not one for the base layer and one for the additional layer.  The tags for the layer are voiced when the screen opens, but not re-voiced when the layer is revealed.  The button for the layer does reveal the layer, but no tags associated with objects on that layer are re-voiced.

5. Can we limit the tab order to objects in Storyline?  Each time the user begins using the tab key, the tab sequence makes a round trip through the web page interface hosting the eLearning course.  

6. Is there a way to get a graphic tag to voice without making a graphic into a button?  Pressing tab on a screen only takes the user through the clickable elements on the screen, not the full list of objects in the tab order table.  An image with a tag added in the tab order table, but without a trigger attached to it, will not be accessed by pressing the tab button.  I am annotating images with tags, so the user can get a description, but the user never hears the tag voiced unless it is a graphic with a trigger(and even with an trigger assigned, it only works in IE.)

1 Reply
Lauren Connelly

Hello Alan!

I’m happy to help answer your questions! I’ll walk through each one separately as you’ve asked them.

  1. JAWS, or any screen reader, will take priority over media. This is the case on the web too. To avoid the interruption, it’s best to use a trigger to play the media when the user clicks a button.
  2. Storyline 360 works with JAWS 16 or later with our supported browsers.
  3. VoiceOver is available for Mac users but to be honest, I haven’t heard any reviews on it. The most popular are JAWS and NVDA.
  4. Tab Order is designated for the entire slide which includes the layers. This is an interaction we are currently looking into because of the way screen readers present the layers. I hope to have more news on this soon!
  5. Tabbing through the interface of a website is specific to different browsers. One way to eliminate this is in the Browser Settings in the Player Properties. You’ll want to launch the course in a new window.
  6. There isn’t a direct way to include graphics that aren’t a button but a screen reader will still read all the content on a slide. If you want the graphic to be included in the tab order, then have you tried grouping an image and button?

I’m looking forward to hearing what other community members do to tackle these interactions that you’ve listed! If you have any more questions, we’re here to help!

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