Forms and Surveys

Whether web-based or document-based, fillable electronic forms must be accessible to people with disabilities who may be using assistive technologies such as screen readers, screen magnifiers, or who may use an input device other than a mouse.

The following guide provides accessibility guidelines and best practices for forms and surveys in general. For instructions specific to your form authoring tool, consult the documentation:


  • Text must have a minimum contrast ratio of 4.5:1 for small text and 3:1 for large (18px+) text.
  • Graphical object such as buttons, form controls, and focus indicators must have a minimum contrast ratio of 3:1.
  • For more information regarding color contrast, visit WebAIM: Contrast and Color Accessibility
  • Check the contrast between your text and background colors using the WebAIM Contrast Checker.


  • The page is readable and functional when zoomed to 200%.
  • No loss of content or functionality occurs when content is viewed on a mobile device.
  • The form has a descriptive title.
  • Question numbers or an accessible progress bar are provided.
  • Navigation elements are identified consistently and accurately (Previous, Next, Submit, etc.)

Keyboard Access

  • All functionality is available using a keyboard alone.
  • No keyboard traps are present (keyboard trap = unable to navigate away from a form element, pop-up, or dialog box without using a mouse).
  • Tab order of links and form elements is logical and intuitive.
  • It is visually apparent which form element has current keyboard focus (keyboard focus = which form element, button, checkbox, etc. are you currently on when you tab around the form?).

Form Fields

  • Form inputs have associated text labels (no placeholder text used as a label).
  • Text labels are programmatically associated with form input elements.
  • If the form component (button) contains text its programmatic label must match the visible text.
  • Related form elements (checkboxes and radio buttons) must be grouped using HTML fieldset/legend.

Error Handling

  • Required form elements are indicated by some means other than color alone.
  • Form elements that require a specific format, value, or length must provide this information in the visible and programmatic labels.
  • If an error is detected, the error is clearly identified for the user, quick access to the problematic element is provided, and the user can easily fix the error and proceed.
  • If the form allows the user to modify legal, financial, or test data, the changes/deletions can be reversed, verified, or confirmed prior to form submission.