Accessibility Guidelines for Web Site Forms

The following are some of the guidelines that should be validated for accessibility compliance for all Web site forms:

Change of Context

Ensure that changing the setting of any user interface does not automatically cause a change of context.

For example, avoid using an active dropdown control that changes the page or page content as soon as an item is selected.

WCAG Guidelines referenced:



Error Handling

When an error is detected, provide clear error text near the problem field, and make sure the focus is on the error text.

WCAG Guidelines referenced:

  • Guideline 3.3 Input Assistance: Help users avoid and correct mistakes.
    • 3.3.1 Error Identification: If an input error is automatically detected, the item that is in error is identified and the error is described to the user in text. (Level A)

    • 3.3.3 Error Suggestion: If an input error is automatically detected and suggestions for correction are known, then the suggestions are provided to the user, unless it would jeopardize the security or purpose of the content. (Level AA)

    • 3.3.4 Error Prevention (Legal, Financial, Data): For Web pages that cause legal commitments or financial transactions for the user to occur, that modify or delete user-controllable data in data storage systems, or that submit user test responses, at least one of the following is true: (Level AA)

      Reversible: Submissions are reversible.

      Checked: Data entered by the user is checked for input errors and the user is provided an opportunity to correct them.

      Confirmed: A mechanism is available for reviewing, confirming, and correcting information before finalizing the submission.




Use properly tagged labels for all form fields.

Place labels so they are near their associated field. You can right-align the labels to make it easier for users to understand what each field is for.

WCAG Guidelines referenced:



Logical Sequence

Place fields in a single column in a logical sequence.

This helps users work through the form in a clear, logical manner. Minimize white space and avoid using layout tables to lay out the form.

WCAG Guidelines referenced: