Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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F37: Failure of Success Criterion 3.2.2 due to launching a new window without prior warning when the status of a radio button, check box or select list is changed



This failure relates to:

User Agent and Assistive Technology Support Notes

Internet Explorer 6 also triggers the onclick event when a radio button with onclick receives focus; adding other event handlers (onxxx attributes) to prevent this does not work.


This document describes a failure that occurs when changing the status of a radio button, a check box or an item in a select list causes a new window to open. It is possible to use scripting to create an input element that causes a change of context (submit the form, open a new page, a new window) when the element is selected. Developers can instead use a submit button (see G80: Providing a submit button to initiate a change of context) or clearly indicate the expected action.


Failure Example 1:

The example below fails the Success Criterion because it processes the form when a radio button is selected instead of using a submit button.

Example Code:

<script type="text/JavaScript"> 
  function goToMirror(theInput) {
   var mirrorSite = "http://download." + theInput.value + "/";; 
<form name="mirror_form" id="mirror_form" action="" method="get">
       <p>Please select a mirror download site:</p> 
       <input type="radio" onclick="goToMirror(this);" name="mirror" 
       id="mirror_belnet" value="" /> 
       <label for="mirror_belnet">belnet (<abbr>BE</abbr>)</label><br /> 
       <input type="radio" onclick="goToMirror(this);" name="mirror" 
       id="mirror_surfnet" value="" /> 
       <label for="mirror_surfnet">surfnet (<abbr>NL</abbr>)</label><br /> 
       <input type="radio" onclick="goToMirror(this);" name="mirror" 
       id="mirror_puzzle" value="" /> 
       <label for="mirror_puzzle">puzzle (<abbr>CH</abbr>)</label><br /> 
       <input type="radio" onclick="goToMirror(this);" name="mirror" 
       id="mirror_voxel" value="" /> 
       <label for="mirror_voxel">voxel (<abbr>US</abbr>)</label><br /> 


No resources available for this technique.

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  1. Find each form in a page.

  2. For each form control that is a radio button, check box or an item in a select list, check if changing the status of the control launches a new window.

  3. For each new window resulting from step 2, check if the user is warned in advance.

Expected Results

If step #3 is false, then this failure condition applies and content fails the Success Criterion.