Accessibility Compliance

Can your WordPress forms serve the visually impaired? Are your forms screen-reader friendly? Make sure your form builder follows modern accessibility standards.

If you wonder why you should care, think about this for a moment: One in four people in the United States has a disability. For many, technology built with accessibility in mind makes things easier. For people with disabilities, technology makes things possible. 

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The most important document to consider are the Web Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These guidelines and Success Criteria are organized around the following four principles, which lay the foundation necessary for anyone to access and use Web content.

Anyone who wants to use the Web must have content that is:

1. Perceivable – Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.

This means that users must be able to perceive the information being presented (it can’t be invisible to all of their senses). For our forms that means we should use plain text for field labeling and user choices. Of course it can be nice to look at if you let people should choose by clicking on a picture or icon, but that will get you in conflict with this principle.

2. Operable – User interface components and navigation must be operable.

This means that users must be able to operate the interface. All functional elements in Web content that operate with a mouse must also operate with a keyboard. So the user must be able to navigate the form with his or her keyboard, too.

3. Understandable – Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.

This means that users (and screen readers) must be able to understand the information as well as the operation of the user interface (the content or operation cannot be beyond their understanding). Use simple, consistent, predictable navigation elements throughout a website.

4. Robust – Content must be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.

This means that users must be able to access the content as technologies advance (as technologies and user agents evolve, the content should remain accessible). This generally means using technology to standard. Web browsers and assistive technologies base their development around standards such as HTML, and are able to interpret content that is created in a standard way. When content varies from the standard, assistive technologies often have trouble interpreting it. 

If any of these are not true, users with disabilities will not be able to use the Web. So our advice is to make sure you choose a form builder that will hold up to today’s Accessibility standards.

Which forms builders are accessible (WCAG compliant)?

The website Accessibility Roadmap has published a list of form builders which they have tested for accessibility. Last updated in June 2020, this is what they found:

  • Gravity Forms: Mostly Compliant
  • Formidable Forms: Mostly Compliant
  • Forminator Forms: Mostly Compliant
  • Ninja Forms: Not Compliant, but On the Roadmap
  • WPForms: Not Compliant
  • WPEverest: Unclear

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From: Accessibility Compliance