Forms can be visually and cognitively complex and challenging to use. Accessible forms are easier to use for everyone, including people with disabilities.
People with cognitive disabilities can better understand the form and how to complete it, as making forms accessible improves the layout structure, instructions, and feedback.
People using speech input can use the labels via voice commands to activate controls and move the focus to the fields that they have to complete.
People with limited dexterity benefit from large clickable areas that include the labels, especially for smaller controls, such as radio buttons and checkboxes.
People using screen readers can identify and understand form controls more easily because they are associated with labels, fieldsets, and other structural elements.
Best practices and tutorials
- Keep forms simple. Only ask users to enter what is needed to complete the transaction or process; if irrelevant or excessive data is requested, users are more likely to abandon the form.
- If possible, forms should not be subject to a time limit to allow users to complete the form at their pace. If a time limit needs to be in place, for example, for security reasons, the user should have the option to turn it off or extend it.
- Understand forms labeling and controls.
- Forms Concepts tutorial, W3C WAI
- Creating Accessible Forms, webaim.org
- Electronic Signatures
Resources for State of Colorado Agencies
Siteimprove: Siteimprove’s software helps to improve State website usability and accessibility by automating the process of finding errors and problems. Siteimprove alone will not make websites accessible but is part of a holistic approach to managing web services.
For questions about using Siteimprove, please contact the Technology Accessibility Program at OIT_Accessibility@state.co.us.
Don't have access to Siteimprove? Use these free browser extensions:
State of Colorado Accessibility Statement
§24-85-103, C.R.S. - "Accessibility standards for individuals with a disability", (PDF)
TS-OEA-001: Technology Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities, (PDF)
TS-OEA-002: Technology Accessibility for Web Content and Applications, (PDF)
Section 508 of the U.S. Rehabilitation Act of 1973, section508.gov