Drag and Drop with VoiceOver in a Web Browser

macOS and Mac Apps

I am currently enrolled in a biology course using Pearson Education's MasteringBiology program. I am currently using a MacBook with Mac OS HiSierra. Some of the questions in various assignments in the program require one to sort answers into various "bins". They show up with a screen-reader as lists and groups. One has to drag the answer to the correct bin and drop it in. For example, in the Orientation assignment, an apple, a banana, an avocado and a tomato had to be placed into a fruit bin, and a potato and a carrot had to be placed into the vegetable bin. All of the answers show up and are clearly labeled. However, I'm not sure how to drag and drop them correctly. When I try to do VoiceOver's Drag-and-Drop command, it acts as if it's dragging the answer, but when I get to the correct bin, it either says "Drag cancelled" or beeps. I'm not sure if I'm doing it correctly or not. If I'm not, is there any way to get these questions answered without sighted assistance? I've reached out to Pearson's Accessibility team on numerous occasions, but have never received a response. I have also attempted these types of questions on a PC, without any luck. Any help with this is greatly appreciated. I'm at my wit's end with Pearson and their entire support team.
Thank you,



Submitted by Piotr Machacz on Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Try this. I find this aproach is much more reliable than the automatic drag and drop keys.

First of all, in the navigation section of VoiceOver utility, make sure that the mouse pointer is set to follow the VoiceOver cursor. If you don't always want it doing this, you can set up an activity and set it it to only work on the website where you take the tests.

Having done this, start a test, and navigate to the thing you want to drag. Now press VO-F5 to see where the mouse is. If it's on the item you want to drag, great. If not, press vo-command-F5 to move the mouse there.

Now, press vo-command-shift-space. You should hear a click and VoiceOver should say "Mouse down on thing". Now you started dragging. Navigate to the place you want to drop the item. As long as you're dragging, you should hear a short hiss sound every time you move. When you get to where you want to drop, do what you did at the beginning. That is, press VO-F5 to verify the mouse is in the right place, if it isn't VO-Command-F5 to move it there, and finally VO-Command-Shift-Space to release the item. VoiceOver should say "Mouse up on thing" and if all went well your drag just succeeded.


Submitted by Kayla Cole on Saturday, February 3, 2018

In reply to by Piotr Machacz

Unfortunately, I emailed Pearson Education about this issue, because no method I tried or researched was working. They didn't hesitate to tell me that the questions I was attempting to answer were not accessible with any screen-reader. My homework has been modified by my instructor due to this, but this isn't the end. Pearson has been contacted and a complaint has been filed. I tried to use your method, and while it seems more straightforward and works well in other windows, I couldn't drag and drop my answers, but only because of the lack of accessibility on the part of Pearson. I appreciate the help.

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