Accessibility Options for Users with Visual Disabilities

In order to provide an equivalent experience for users with visual disabilities, Skillsoft’s newest compliance courses include audio description where it is needed. Older courses and non-video courses, provide text alternatives for informational static images. These are available to the user as required. In addition, transcripts are provided. Transcripts contain the text of the course narration, with any audio description, text alternatives, or more detailed descriptions, as required.

Audio Description

Skillsoft’s newest video courses contain audio description (AD) where required. Audio description is supplemental narration that describes important information that is visually presented in a video, but is not called out in the natural course of the narration. It is announced by a different voice than the main narrator.

You can turn the audio description on and off with the icon located in the lower right of the navigation bar.

White button with capital letters "A" and "D" and an "X" in the lower right corner Turn Audio Description Off - indicates audio description is on.

White button with capital letters "A" and "D" Turn Audio Description On - indicates audio description is off.

The icon includes the following states:

  • Default is OFF in both Standard Accessibility and Mode.
  • Persists for the entire course session.
  • Hidden if the entire course has no AD.
  • Disabled if the current page does not support AD.
  • Accessible via the Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl + Alt + D.

Text Alternatives

Text alternatives are used in older courses to describe informational visual content in static images and videos. The text alternative can be read by screen reader software. Skillsoft supports the JAWS screen reader.

To access text alternatives while using JAWS:

  1. Launch a course as normal.
  2. Disable Video in the General Settings section of the player.

    The course will present as a series of static images with audio narration.

  3. Pause the narration whenever you want to access the text alternative by navigating to the Pause button and pressing Enter.
  4. Navigate to the Main region of the Player and go to the static image. For example, in JAWS v16, v17, or v18, do the following:
    1. Navigate to the Main region of the page by pressing "r" three or four times (depending on whether the General Settings menu is still open).
    2. Arrow down twice to reach the static image.

    JAWS will read the text alternative (if any) associated with that image.

  5. Return to the Navigation region to continue course playback.


Courses also contain transcripts. The transcript contains the text of the course narration, with any audio description and text alternatives that may be present in the course. In addition, transcripts may contain more detailed descriptions of complex content such as software coding which would not be appropriate to provide in the audio description or text alternative. Where these are provided, the audio description alerts the user that they are available in the transcript if needed.

Users can access a transcript of the current topic, or of the complete course. If the course contains audio description, it is presented inline in the transcript. If the course contains just text alternatives, these are also presented inline, and at 90 second intervals for video based courses.

To open a transcript:

  1. Launch a course as normal.
  2. Go to the navigation toolbar.
  3. Select the Transcript button.
  4. Choose either Topic Transcript or Course Transcript.