Changes to Accessibility in Articulate Storyline 360

In January 2020, Articulate released a new version of Storyline 360 that significantly changes how screen readers and keyboards interact with courses. Some people love the changes. Some people don’t—with some folks even rolling back their installation to the old way. Good, bad, or indifferent, here’s my take on the top 5 things that have changed.

And be sure to check out our course calendar. We’ve added a new course on developing accessible courses in Articulate Storyline 360.

Diane Elkins
Diane Elkins is the co-owner of E-Learning Uncovered, as well as Artisan E-Learning, a custom eLearning development company specializing in the use of Storyline, Captivate, and Lectora. Diane has been in the eLearning industry since 2001, speaks regularly at national conferences about eLearning, and is co-author of the popular E-Learning Uncovered book series.

10 Responses to “Changes to Accessibility in Articulate Storyline 360

  • Thanks Diane. This helps to understand things a bit better! There’s a lot of discussion about this on Articulate’s community site and they haven’t responded/explained like this. I appreciate it!

  • William Beardsley
    3 months ago

    Thanks Diane, you have put an interesting perspective on these changes and I will explore this further based on your comments. We currently have a job logged with Articulate over what we perceive to be issues with this update (some of which you highlighted in your blog). They have confirmed a number of this issues as possible bugs and are working on them. I did notice that you were using a setup which has the Articulate player. We never use the player and design most of the interactions ourselves. I think this might present different problems that might be addressed when using the player options (such as the hidden tab item that appears between the last item on the screen and the Next button). I don’t think this happens when you use your own buttons for navigation.

    • Diane Elkins
      3 months ago

      Hey William, you are correct. If you are using your own player buttons, the whole skip navigation is different. We don’t ever use custom buttons on an accessible course for exactly that reason. As far as I know, Storyline doesn’t have a way to skip repetitive elements on the slide or the master. (Lectora had an option for that). How are you handling it?

  • Thank you Diane. This was fantastically helpful. A great, well-balanced overview 🙂

  • Lisa Spirko
    1 month ago

    Hi Diane! According to Articulate’s version information, they reversed course in February on the auto-reading content functionality (item #1 in your video).

    From: https://articulate.com/support/article/Storyline-360-Accessible-Slide-Content#screen-readers:

    “… in February 2020 [my note: Build 3.37.21453.0], we reversed course. Screen readers no longer auto-read slide content. Now, a screen reader announces the title of each slide and then waits for the learner to explore the content. This allows the learner to hear multimedia first. It also lets the learner control when the screen reader announces content. Learners simply use their screen reader navigation keys (e.g., the Down and Up arrows) to move through items on the slide.”

    I listened to your video twice to make sure I heard it right…. Since your video was uploaded in early March, I’m wondering… have I misunderstood what your video is conveying? Or maybe your video and the new build that fixed this were ships passing in the night?

    • Diane Elkins
      4 weeks ago

      Whoa! I had totally missed that!! You are right about the ships passing in the night. Thanks for letting me know–I was just having a conversation with a client about this yesterday. I’ll have to update her! Hope all is well!

      • Diane Elkins
        4 weeks ago

        Hey Lisa, I just updated to the latest-latest version, and the screen reader is still announcing full pages…some of the time. I’m still getting very inconsistent results. On one slide it will read just the title. On another page, it reads all the contents. And on a third, it reads title, contents, and all the player elements.

  • Eswarkumar
    1 week ago

    Thank you for sharing.

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