Though Adobe documentation certifies compatibility using JAWS and Fire Fox, it is not practical, or financially feasible in many cases, to expect screen reader users to switch their standard browser / screen reader combinations in accordance with each application they need. NVDA with FF is among the top screen reader and browser combinations used by persons with visual disabilities, running head-to-head with JAWS https://webaim.org/projects/screenreadersurvey7/. These are just two of the accessibility issues reported by the AUL. They just happen to be the most significant and important.
Recently the University of Colorado Boulder’s Accessibility and Usability Lab (AUL) identified several issues with our online courses created using Adobe Captivate 2019 (22.214.171.1246). Though the Instructional Designer (ID), using accessibility best practices with Captivate, can address many of the issues, two significant issues however, were identified that appear to be inherent in Captivate 2019 but were not seen in Captivate 2017 (10.0.1.285) projects. (View a 10 minute YouTube demonstration of the issues)
First Issue: “graphic” repetition
First, when previewing or publishing Captivate 2019 projects as HTML5 using the NVDA or JAWS screen-readers, the word “graphic” continually announces each text or image content layer and/or every 125 characters of the layer.
Not only is this very annoying to screen-reader users it can also lead to misunderstanding the lesson context. During my testing, this occurs in both the JAWS and NVDA screen-readers in IE, FF, and Chrome. When previewing or publishing in CP 2017 as HTML5 the screen content reads as expected.
Second Issue: Repetition of Text Surrounding Links
The second significant issue revolves around the linking feature of captivate when using the Modify Hyperlink Dialog to apply a link to a URL, file, advanced action or other feature. (I’ve only tested URL, and Advanced Actions but the issue was present in both cases)
- With NVDA and FF the link is announced only at the very end, and more importantly, after the associated text block(s) are repeated multiple times (at least 5 or more times depending on the text and how many links are on the page: the more links, the more times the text blocks are randomly repeated.)
I’ve only identified one practical work-around thus far: break the text apart and define each link as a button with the accessibility name defined as “web link”, for instance. Even then, careful attention must be applied to the layer stacking order.
- NVDA and IE11 or NVDA and Chrome do not report the link at all and do not appear in the accessibility tree (Insert plus F7)
- U key works for unvisited link, if at the top of the page. If past the link then user can use Shift + U presuming they know a link exists.
- V key (visited link) does not work in any browser / screen reader combination.