Accessibility Testing for Rise courses

Hi there, 

I'm trying to get a handle on accessibility testing for Rise courses. I installed NVDA screen reader and am trying to through through a Rise course a colleague made. A few things I noticed:

  1. It seems really sporadic what it reads. The first time i had the course loaded (it's still in Review360), it read all the text top to bottom. Since then I can't get it to do that again. It'll read some headings, some buttons, the text on the banner image, but not just the whole page top to bottom. I'm still learning and I don't know if this is a function of the screen reader or if the Rise course is causing this.
  2.  In IE, the screen reader reads the listed items on the course outline like this: "Align left three vertical lines aligned to the left - "chapter title" - 0% complete, a circle with a coloured border representing one's progress through a lesson". Each line is read like this. Is there a setting where the user can choose to have each icon talked out like this or not?
  3. On the other hand, in Chrome, it seems to only read what you mouse over. That seems counter intuitive since if a person uses a screen reader to help with any kind of vision challenges, wouldn't it be reasonable to assume a mouse isn't being used to point at an element on the screen? 
  4. Headings are sometimes read twice for no apparent reason. 
  5. Every time I try to have the screen reader read the first page (the course description), it does it differently. Sometimes it reads only bits and pieces and sometimes it reads everything including icon descriptions, sometimes it reads font formatting but sometimes it doesn't. This is without changing settings at all. 

That's just what I found for the first page, I have yet to venture into the course itself. I'm already feeling super overwhelmed and thinking that people facing vision challenges must have real dedication to get the course content delivered to them using screen readers and Rise. I would really, really appreciate any tips and tricks you have for doing accessibility testing with screen readers.  

I recorded my experience trying to get the screen reader to read the intro page (it's not the most exciting video you've ever watched, lol!) just to show how each time I get different results. There is no editing in this video except I took out unnecessary long pauses while Rise was loading and when the reader read the recorder when I placed markers there during recording, and I added callouts trying to say what I'm trying to accomplish. 

7 Replies
Organization & Staff  Development

Hi Matthew, 

Thanks for the article, but it says: "With these latest updates, we now officially support NVDA, JAWS, VoiceOver, and TalkBack screen readers with Rise 360 courses." So i think my NVDA testing should have been more successful (again, unless i'm doing it wrong, which is possible - i'm still learning how to do accessibility testing). 

Crystal Horn

Hello! Thanks for doing the work of testing your content for accessibility.

When using a screen reader, it's best to use keyboard navigation to get from one section to another. In addition to the keyboard navigation built into Rise 360, screen readers have their own keyboard shortcuts. NVDA uses these keyboard shortcuts to focus the reader on different elements on the page.

I tested a sample course in Review 360, and using the tab key, I was able to navigate to the clickable sections. You'll notice that the tab key isn't focusing the screen reader on non-clickable text elements, and so you're missing some important context.

This is where using the screen reader shortcuts is necessary. For NVDA, you can use the up and down arrows to move from each level of text. It should call out headings and body text, reading body text in smaller chunks. If it stops reading in the middle of a paragraph, press the down arrow again to continue.

I hope that helps get you moving in the right direction with your testing!

Karen Parker-Peters

Hi, I also have a question with accessibility in Rise. Am I correct to say that not all blocks are accessible? Such as Process, Scenario, Sorting Activity, and Flashcard blocks are not accessible for all screen readers.

Also, what about Storyline blocks? Let's say I have created an SL block that uses a hover, would that be able to be read by a screen reader?


Hazel Bartolome

Hi Karen!

Yes, you are correct. The majority of our block types are fully WCAG 2.1 compliant, but those that you mentioned are not quite ready yet. More information can also be found in our Rise Accessibility Conformance Report.

If you used a Storyline block that uses Hover,  it is only partially supported. More information about that in 1.4.13 Content on Hover or Focus here.