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WAI: Strategies, guidelines, resources to make the Web accessible to people with disabilities

[DRAFT] Forms: concepts


To create an accessible form you will need to provide:

  • Descriptive labels: So that the user is in no doubt about what input they should provide and whether or not the field is mandatory;
  • Clear instructions: To ensure that the user is aware of indicators or formats they need to use to complete the form;
  • Understandable structure: Especially where the form is presented to the user over several pages, or there are multiple form controls covered by one single question;
  • Error prevention or help with error correction: To assure successful submission.

Who benefits

Forms can be complex and difficult to use. Accessible forms are easier to complete for everyone, including people with disabilities

  • People using speech input assistive technology: Can move the cursor into the fields they need to complete using voice commands.
  • People with shaky hands: Can use the label as a larger clickable area for selecting small controls such as radio buttons and checkboxes.
  • People using screen readers: Will have labels properly identified (including required fields and format restrictions) if labels and in-line instructions are correctly positioned and coded.

Learn more

WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria:

  • Info and Relationships SC 1.3.1: Information, structure, and relationships conveyed through presentation can be programmatically determined or are available in text. (Level A);
  • Headings and Labels SC 2.4.6: Headings and labels describe topic or purpose. (Level AA) ;
  • Labels or Instructions SC 3.3.2: Labels or instructions are provided when content requires user input. (Level A);
  • Name, Role, Value SC 4.1.2: For all user interface components (including but not limited to: form elements, links and components generated by scripts), the name and role can be programmatically determined; states, properties, and values that can be set by the user can be programmatically set; and notification of changes to these items is available to user agents, including assistive technologies. (Level A)

How people with disabilities use the web (Diversity in Web Use - Design solutions - navigating and finding content).