Using Screenreader with Storyline 360 content, issues to resolve

May 11, 2020


I was tasked nearly a year ago to make a course for our state government users that would by necessity be ADA compliant.  I am finding that Articulate may have potential for ADA use, but it requires many workarounds or waitarounds, and I am not arriving at a truly good ADA compliance, despite hours and weeks of effort and very little use of included functions.

After much trial and error, this is the place where I am.

1. No player, created navigation buttons.  Even if the player tabs and lets the user know where they are, it is a lot for the user to go through, and opt out when testing was easily missed or did not work.  Would prefer being able to create my own default on that setting. 

2. Use of Tab Order, then removing anything that isn't needed, then adding the alt text to the right in that function so it will be read by the screen reader.

3. Newest version would not react to the tab key at all and did not test consistent with the screen reader hot keys, so we determined to revert back to an older version, Dec 2019, so that at least if we instructed users they could use the tab, shift tab, space bar and shift space bar keys to navigate.  

We have these issues:

*Edge requires double click on the space bar for the buttons, or space bar +enter.

*The filename of the course zip file is read by the screenreader at every slide; not sure if this is the courseware or the LMS.

*The visually disabled users would prefer use of the hot keys, not sure where this is at in Storyline versioning.  At this point the tab and space bar work, except as described before in Edge.

*It has occurred that the initial slide reads the text box with the title as a button, and when space bar is used as instructed, it goes directly to Next, and that would be for every slide from that point.  Doesn't happen every time.

If anyone has successfully created a course that fills ADA compliance requirements including ease of navigation, please let me know and inform if you used the player as is, used latest version or reverted to the older version and stuck with the tab and space bar options, and any other helpful information. 

LMS is Cornerstone.

Thank you.



1 Reply
Lauren Connelly

Hello Gail!

I’m happy to address the snags you’re running into.

Edge requires a double click on the space bar for the buttons or space bar + enter.

Unfortunately, I’m not seeing the same behavior on my end with Edge. To click (or activate) a button on a slide, you should only need to press the space bar once. If you have to press the space bar twice, then there might be additional states on an object.

The filename of the course is read by the screen reader on every slide.

I’ve noticed this on my end as well! Our team is looking into this as it seems like the screen readers should only read the course title on the first slide of the project. I’ll add this discussion to our current report so that we can notify you when we have more information.

The visually impaired users would prefer to use hot keys. Can this be changed in Storyline?

We do have a trigger for “When user presses key” but since keyboard accessibility is standard across the board, we don’t recommend making these changes in courses. However, you will find that each browser has its quirks for specific keyboard interactions. 

The initial slide reads the text box with the title as a button, and when the space bar is used as instructed, it goes directly to Next, and that would be for every slide from that point.

This sounds specific to Storyline 360 using Update 35 and earlier. We released the Accessible Player in Update 36 and have continued releasing accessibility bug fixes in Update 37, 38, and 39. Unfortunately, if you’re using Update 35 it is no longer up to date to meet the new accessibility guidelines. For example, tabbing to each element in order for a screen reader to read the object doesn’t meet the current standards. 

I’m not familiar with Cornerstone’s approach to accessibility so it might be worth reaching out to see what is expected behavior on their end. 

I’ll leave it up to our community members to share insight on creating these courses!

This discussion is closed. You can start a new discussion or contact Articulate Support.