ACCESSIBLE FORMS: Avoid the Automatic Submit

Cartoon Illustration of HTML Forms

Forms are frequently designed so that they submit automatically when the user has filled in all the fields, or when focus leaves the last field.

From an accessibility standpoint, this causes two problems:

1) A disabled user who needs more context may move focus away from the field to the directions on how to fill in the form, or to other text, accidentally submitting the form.

2) With some form elements (such as a select menu), the value of the field changes as each item is navigated with the keyboard, again accidentally submitting the form.

Best Practice

Better to rely on the standard form behavior of the submit button and enter key.

Form Submit Code That Is Not Accessible

<form method=”get” id=”form1″>
<input type=”text” name=”text1″ size=”3″ maxlength=”3″>
<input type=”text” name=”text2″ size=”3″ maxlength=”3″>
<input type=”text” name=”text3″ size=”4″ maxlength=”4″ onchange=”form1.submit();”>

Form Select Menu Code That Is Not Accessible

<form method=”get” id=”form2″>
<input type=”text” name=”text1″>
<select name=”select1″ onchange=”form2.submit();”>



Read More Accessible Website Design Advice: Accessible Best Practice: Don’t Use Color As Part of Your Instructional Content


WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos