Accessibility Reading Order

hiramk Community Member Posts: 3

Here's an excerpt from an Accessibility Guide my group has been developing on how to make courses Section 508 compliant with Lectora (it's not cleared for public use yet but I can give you an excerpt!):

"Traditionally, screen readers read content on the screen from top to bottom and from left to right. Lectora, however, provides an easy method to control screen reading order. Objects on the left panel, or the course organization pane, are read from the top down, unless other factors impact that reading order. The position and location of the items on the screen, therefore, have no effect on reading order.

So, what affects Lectora's screen-reader reading order? 

If you have an object set with an empty ALT tag, the object will not be detected by the screen reader.

In the Object Properties dialog boxes, there is an option to have the object Always on Top. Selecting Always on Top will move the object to the top of the viewing order and the screen reader’s reading order.

Objects that are placed at a level higher than the Page Level are read before other items on the page. "

I wish I could insert an image to show you visually, but hopefully the description above will help you some.  Essentiall what it means is that JAWS will begin readiing a page from Lectora based first on what has been designated as "always on top", then what is at the title level, then what is at the chapter level, then what is at the section level, then finally what is at the page level.  It reads from the top down in your left hand organization pane.  You can move the items to be in a different order on a page - you aren't stuck with what order you created them. 

Hope this helps!

hiramk said:I am trying to apply what I know about HTML accessibility to Lectora version 9. Basically, I want a heading before certain areas. For example, I would like a heading “Navigation” before the navigation buttons and “Content” before the content on each page.

After playing with version 9, it appears that the product creates the objects in the order they were created, not where they are in the title tree. Here is what I did so you can reproduce the results:

1.     Create a title based on the Reflection template. Call it test99. Take all the defaults.
2.     Add a text item to the tree. Rename it “Navigation”. In properties make it an H2. Drag it before the exit button in the tree. In theory, the “Navigation” heading should be created before the exit button.
3.     Open the page in the browser of your choice. In my case I am using Firefox so I can use the WAVE accessibility toolbar. When I view the reading order I get it as item number 17 to be read. The exit button is number 2. I would have thought that the new heading would be 2 since it appears BEFORE the exit button in the tree. I have also verified this in JAWS and it is the 17th thing to be read.

Am I doing this right?

And if anyone is interested, I like the WAVE accessibility tool bar for Firefox to view the reading order. You can find it at if you are interested.