We want to empower people to live better lives. As part of that mission, we’re focused on giving authors the tools to easily create e-learning courses that are truly accessible for all learners. We recently introduced the accessible player for Storyline 360, which makes player navigation much easier for screen reader users and keyboard-only users. And now we’re releasing a series of enhancements to make slide content more accessible.
You don’t have to do any extra work to take advantage of these accessibility enhancements. They’re built right into your published courses. You only need to install Storyline 360 build 3.36.21213.0 or later.
Previously, learners tabbed to each object on a slide for screen readers to read it. That method was accessible, but it wasn’t the best experience. So we optimized slide navigation to require fewer keystrokes for screen reader users and keyboard-only users.
Now, the tab order that you define for each slide in Storyline 360 controls the reading order of text and images for screen readers as well as the navigation order of interactive elements, such as buttons, hotspots, and data-entry fields. Here’s how the new experience works.
Screen Reader Users
Text and images are read immediately by screen readers (unless this behavior is turned off in your screen reader settings), so you don’t have to press any keys to hear the slide content. Objects are read in the tab order you defined in Storyline.
Use your screen reader's navigation keys (e.g., Down and Up arrow keys) to move through the objects on the slide.
Use Tab and Shift+Tab when you want to jump from one interactive object to another, skipping text and images.
Press the spacebar or the Enter key to activate an interactive object, such as a button or hotspot.
Learners who use keyboard-only navigation without a screen reader for mobility reasons press Tab and Shift+Tab to move from one interactive object to another on the slide. Press the spacebar or the Enter key to activate an item.
Since keyboard-only users can see text and images, these objects get skipped when tabbing through the slide content, reducing the number of keystrokes needed to navigate the slide.
Accessible Slide Objects
Every object that you add to a slide is now rendered as a complete, semantic HTML element that follows best practices for web accessibility. This means learners can use assistive technologies, such as screen readers, to navigate your courses much the same way they browse web pages. It’s a familiar experience based on recognized standards.
Here are the latest improvements learners will notice:
- Text is treated as normal document text by screen readers.
- Interactive objects are correctly identified to assistive technologies and function as expected. For example, screen readers properly announce radio buttons with their labels and current states.
- Hotspots and drop-down lists are now keyboard-accessible so learners can activate them without using a mouse.
- Video controls work as expected, allowing learners to play, pause, seek, and adjust the volume.
- Slide layers and lightboxes work reliably with screen readers.
- Modal dialogs that require learner interaction automatically receive focus.