tabs and screen readers

Jan 25, 2024

Is there any documentation on how screen readers read layers? I understand focus order, but what is read after a layer is selected? Just the layer objects are read, or also objects/text on the base layer? I am trying to understand best practices for usability for tab orders on a slide with layers. 

5 Replies
Jose Tansengco

Hello Anne,

Thanks for reaching out!

Good questions about how Storyline 360 interacts with screen readers. I've put together the following articles to help you familiarize yourself with how screen readers work, as well as some helpful tips on how to design accessible courses.

Hope this helps!

Anne Baker

Thanks for replying. I had already read all of those, am familiar with focus order arrangement, alt tags, etc., and have NVDA downloaded, but they don't answer my question on the above. 1.) what storyline elements are considered "interactive" and thus gotten to by tabbing instead of arrow keys in something like NVDA? Anything with a trigger?  2.) If both layers and dialogues are accessible, what is best practice / ie, what makes for best screen reader experience?

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Anne!

I'm happy to dive into each of your original questions.

  1. Is there documentation on how screen readers read layers?
    You control the focus order for the base layer and slide layers.
    Storyline 360: Customizing the Focus Order of Slide Objects
  2. What is read after a layer is selected?
    When a layer is opened, the content will be read as it's listed in the focus order.
    Making Layers Accessible
  3. What elements are considered interactive?
    Triggers are certainly a good indication of interactivity. Check out this list from our Storyline 360 User Guide:
    Storyline 360: Adding Interactive Objects
    Arrow keys will allow learners to navigate all content, including interactive objects and text, while tabbing jumps to interactive objects only.
    Storyline 360: Slide Content Is More Accessible
  4. What is the best practice between layers and dialog layers?
    Dialog layers are accessible by default, which is the biggest advantage. Otherwise, it's user preference. This may be what you're looking for:
    Standard Layer or Dialog Layer: Which One Should You Use?

Please let us know if you're having difficulty with something in particular. I hope these resources help.