tutorial on 508 compliance?

Jun 22, 2012

I would love (love!) to see a tutorial on how to use the 508 features in the new Storyline software. All the video tutorials you folks post are really helpful and since Storyline is said to be 508 compliant, you would be doing some of us a big favor if you showed us how to use it in making 508-compliant e-learning courses, from interactivity, accessibility tags, quizzes, etc.

This is a really important topic for those of us who provide e-learning to federal agencies or would like to do so. I think the trend will be for other agencies, state, private, etc, to move toward accessibility for users in the future.

I don't agree with the regulations, i.e., everybody has to be able to use all training materials even if they would be unable to perform the job for which the training is provided. But I, and others, have to live with them.

Tutorials would be a huge, huge help. (Did I state that strongly enough?)   

62 Replies
Jon DeMartino

Got it. Thanks.

I tried pulling in a previously created engage slide and it worked fine when published (not as a preview, but when published). I was not able to get to the next or previous slide however. The previous and next buttons didn't appear and my settings for the slide triggers using the left and right arrow keys didn't work. I'm stuck on the Engage slide. What did I do wrong?

Also, I assume these type slides are not able to be adjusted in any way that would make them 508 compliant, right, even if I can get them to advance properly?

And, how about placing a menu at the left that shows the slide titles? I tried the tab key with a menu and it seems it would go through each title on every slide. So are menus "out" for 508?

Alicia Pennington

I want to thank you ALL, Jon, Steve, Jeanette, and Laura for starting and working on this topic. 

Jon, thanks for starting it and continuing to "push" for more knowledge in 508 as it relates to Storyline.

Steve, thanks for all the information about 508 and its "real" intent.

Jeanette, thanks for the tutorials and specific how-tos.  I so appreciate your tutorials!!!!

Laura, thanks for your additional questions/needs.

I have bookmarked this page and have a feeling I'll be visiting it again.

Make it a great day!


Jeanette Brooks

Hey Jon! Re: your question about imported Engage content, yeah, since those are treated as web objects when you import them into Storyline, there isn't really a way for screen readers or tab navigation to pick up that content. Probably best to rebuild the content in Storyline if you need the interaction to be accessible. Or, if the interaction is simple, you might consider this approach instead: add a shape or button on top of your web object, and add Alt Text to describe the interaction content. The object won't be visible to sighted learners, since web objects cover up slide content - but it should still get picked up by the screen reader. 

Regarding your question about the sidebar menu - yeah, having that visible for every slide could get cumbersome to someone using a screen reader, since it will be read for every slide. If you need to show a menu, you might instead consider building it manually on a separate slide, and then create a trigger that enables learners to use a hot key to jump to the menu if they need it. (Of course you'd need to tell them up front about the hot key so they know it's available.)

Jon DeMartino

Thanks, Jeanette. That helps; it's always good to have options.

Yesterday I tried to add a "next" button to the interactive slide, on the bottom margin but the button didn't show up at all when I published it, so I'm not sure how to add an alt-text button on the slide. I did add such an item on a regular slide, slide, a drag and drop, to explain the action, which seems okay to me. But I can't seem to get a button or shape to "stick" on the interactive slide.

The reason I was trying to add a "next" button is that the framework doesn't appear under the interactive slides and I am "stuck" there when published. If I immediately use the rt-arrow key, I move to the next slide. But if I mouse-click on a tab of the slide, the rt-arrow key then moves me through the tabs and I can't get off the slide. 

So I guess those are two separate questions-

How do I add a button or shape on top of the Engage slide?

How do I get the "previous" and "next" buttons to appear under the interactive slide?(Or otherwise move off that slide.)

Jeanette Brooks

Jon if you're wanting to add a button on top of an imported Engage interaction, unfortunately that doesn't work well -- it won't be visible to the learner, since the imported Engage interaction (which is actually a web object) will always appear on top of any other slide objects when you publish your course. However, you should be able to turn on the built-in Prev/Next buttons on your player, though, by clicking the gear icon on your base layer to open the Slide Properties, and then select Prev and Next:

Jeanette Brooks

Hi Jon, on that first screenshot, it looks like maybe you're viewing the content as published from Engage (?) rather than the published output from Storyline. Could that be the case? if you are indeed publishing the imported interaction from Storyline, does the Storyline player appear for all slides except the Engage interaction slide? (I haven't seen that behavior before so I'm really puzzled!) Another possibility is that if your system's DPI is set to something other than 96, this can sometimes cause elements of your published output to appear skewed or missing. 

If none of that info helps, would you mind submitting your project to our support team for a bit more troubleshooting? Thanks!

Jon DeMartino

Thanks for the response. I am publishing in Storyline, after importing the interactive slide from my "assets" file. I checked and my DPI is set at the default setting of 100%. I had originally imported an entire PowerPoint that I had used in an Articulate project, just to see how it would look in Storyline. There were several Engage slides in that one. When the slide didn't work with the player, I deleted it and imported the Engage slide alone, from my assets folder from the other course. It still doesn't work properly.

I'll submit the project for troubleshooting. I probably have something set incorrectly. I usually find my mistakes once I post a question, ironically enough, but this time I can't figure out what I did wrong.


Jon DeMartino

Problem solved by Vira the Storyline guru. Vira sent me a link to the course posted online and it was fine. For those of you who may find yourself in the same tiny boat some day, here's the explanation:

Engage slides placed in Storyline are web objects and may not appear properly when viewed on the local drive. I don't have access to a website or an LMS to post the course and see if it works, being just a small fish here. So Vira suggested  I publish it as a CD and everything looks fine now.

Sooo....I'll have to "test" my courses in CD mode if I add any Engage slides, and then send the first draft off to the client's LMS, where I think I can assume it will work. If not, I'll hear about it soon enough. It all worked fine in preview mode and also when Vira put it online, so I think these slides will be okay on the LMS.

Thanks Vira!


Laura Davies


Finally I feel like I have something worthy to share on here! You mentioned that you don't have access to an LMS for testing your course....  try Scorm Cloud  -  http://scorm.com/scorm-solved/scorm-cloud-features/  

You can start out and try it for free (and upload a limited number of courses to store in your 'library'), or there are monthly pricing plans.  

Once you are registered, and log in, you can upload a LMS published version of your course (that has been zipped), and then 'launch' the course to test it in the ScormCloud LMS. When you finish viewing the course, a reporting page will appear to verify you completed the course and give other diagnostic information.

You can also send an email invite with a link for someone else to test the course this way. 

We have found in MOST cases that courses in ScormCloud  perform almost exactly like they do in our LMS.

Hope that helps.

Jon DeMartino

Well, I'm back. ...and still looking for that elusive tutorial on 508 compliance. I've been working on some non-compliant projects so haven't been able to do much more in investigating ways to use storyline...I'm using Articuate for my current project.

 I had downloaded a free trial of Lectora, which seems to be a popular software with 508 folks, but never got time to try it out. But I am somehow still on their email list and got an invitation to a free webinar this week on some 508-compliance tricks of the trade using that software. It wasn't a lot of help but I was impressed that Lectora is at least putting out some info for those who have to work under the 508 constraints.  

I understand that different agencies interpret the rules differently and some prefer certain ways of doing things while others have a different preference. (Things like captioning in various ways, I think.) So it would be difficult for the gurus to do a complete tutorial on all the options the federal agencies may prefer.

But couldn't a series be put together that shows how to do the basics to meet 508 requirements.  Just having some tutorials all under the heading of 508 would be very helpful to a lot of us. We would know to start with what we had to do and could work right through a project. Storyline was advertised to be 508 compliant and some of us purchased it with that in mind.

So where does the tutorial stand at this point?  You folks are really good at this stuff and I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.



Jon DeMartino

Thanks, Jeanette-

We appreciate it.

The downside of having such cool, user-friendly products is that they're attractive to people like me, who have no background in instructional design or Information technology but still need to create e-learning. 

In public health, for instance, 508 requirements are becoming more common since federal funding is many times involved and this adds another layer of complexity for us "non-techies" when we are askd to create e-learning for this audience. Actually, I guess I am a "techie" but only when it comes to blood tests and bacteria...not software.

Again, thanks for your continued interest in this issue. 



Rebecca Fleisch Cordeiro


I've been watching this thread and others in the community around the accessibility topic. I also am hoping for a tutorial that helps SL developers to understand how to make the output accessible to a diverse audience.

As I read through various threads here, I do see many developers struggling to make courses compliant. Some of this may be due to difficulty finding the right SL tweak to make it all good. Some of it may be due to something currently lacking in SL. Tutorials would helps us parse the difference.

Naga sivaji

could any one please help i have an image in storyline story view in some position i want move that image that position to another  position for instance(img x and y(200,200) after moving (150,200) i want move that image please help how we do in articulate storyline please help me regarding on this issue.....

Jeanette Brooks

Hi Naga, to move an image to a different place in Storyline, you'll need to be in Normal View. If you're in Story View, just double-click the slide that contains the image, and this will switch you to Normal View.

Once you're in Normal View, you can either click and drag the image to a different location on your slide ...OR ... select the image, click the Format, tab, then click in the corner of the "Size" area of the menu. This opens the Size and Position window, where you can click the Position tab at the left to set an exact location for the object, as shown below: 

Naga sivaji

Sorry jeannete not changing position of an image what i mean to say is  when we are previewing I want animate image from starting point some other place either 50 pixel left or right as like fly in .In fly in we have options either fly in from left,right,top,bottom and corners but i wish to animate image from particular position to some other position.Is it possible please help me.

Jeanette Brooks

Naga, it sounds like what you are interested in is a motion-path animation which animates an object from one place to another on the slide. Currently, Storyline doesn't offer a motion path animation, but I encourage you to submit a feature request for that. In the meantime, check out the ideas shared in this post; perhaps that approach can come close to what you want.

Kriss Laber

Coming into this discussion late, but I recently saw a great presentation at ASTD TechKnowledge conference. For slides like drag and drop that just don't work with assistive technology, the presenter put an invisible hyperlink at the top of the slide that said "screen readers click here"  and branched it to a screen with a simplified equivalent. Only screen readers or people tabbing would even be aware of it.

That said, I too would love a tutorial or webinar on best practices when anticipating a course will be read by screen readers. Any update on that?  

Alicia Pennington


Thanks for the tip.  I have an interactive Storyline e-learning course about answering common interview questions that I'm working on making a little more accessible.  I have already started working on a "hidden" place that only screen readers can "see," but I had not thought about putting a button for an alternative activity.

Make it a great day!