eLearning Accessibility: Keyboard Focus and Adobe Captivate
by JoAnne Juett
One important eLearning accessibility requirement is keyboard focus visibility. Users of visible keyboard focus may include people with low vision and people with motor or cognitive disabilities, and they will often only use the tab button to move through the interactive elements on each slide. As the user tabs through the slide, a focus indicator should appear around each interactive element.
Captivate conveniently defaults to a yellow focus indicator around each interactive element. If this indicator does not appear, be sure that no object is obstructing the interactive element. Prior to publishing as HTML5, display Captivate's Publish Settings (via File > Publish Settings) and ensure Hide Selection Rectangle For Slide Items in HTML5 is unchecked.
The trick remains, then, to ensure the user tabs through the focus indicator boxes in a meaningful sequence (per WCAG 2.0 guideline 2.4.3). You can do this by placing the interactive elements in order of appearance bottom to top on the Captivate Timeline. The learner will then be able to see focus indicators in the descending order on the XY axis, and the user can loop back through these indicators as needed but will not be able to skip any element in the sequence.
Note: Keyboard focus when using a screen reader may sometimes be in random order and cannot be controlled by the Timeline. Hopefully later versions of screen readers and Captivate will be more compatible.