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

See User Agent Support Notes for F37.


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 /> 


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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.

Techniques are Informative

Techniques are informative—that means they are not required. The basis for determining conformance to WCAG 2.0 is the success criteria from the WCAG 2.0 standard—not the techniques. For important information about techniques, please see the Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria section of Understanding WCAG 2.0.