Web Accessibility at Iowa

Accessible Web Forms

HTML Forms Code


Accessible forms are fully keyboard-operable, with well-labeled fields that change visually when they receive focus.  Forms also should include detection and recovery mechanisms that alert the user of invalid input, required fields, and other changes in context.

Why is this an accessibility issue?

Some users are unable to see the text that accompanies most form fields.  Without the visual text, it is impossible to tell the purpose of a form field unless there is a label that a screen reader can associate with the field. Moreover, some users cannot use a mouse. These users must be able to interact with forms using only the keyboard, or another input method. Finally, when form interactions result in new or changed content (such as error messages, confirmation requests, validation, etc.) users must be made aware of these changes in order to effectively use the form.


Forms meet accessibility guidelines if:

  • They are fully keyboard-operable
  • All fields are accompanied by meaningful <label> elements, or use the TITLE attribute
  • Error messages are interactive and navigable for users of screen readers and other AT
  • No other barriers to accessibility exist