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California State University, Long Beach
Bob Murphy ACCESS Center
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What are forms?

Forms are scripts that relay information from the end user to the server, or from the server to the end user. There are many types of form scripts but the most common are CGI (common gateway interface), PHP (hypertext preprocessor), and javascripts.

Forms are used to gather information from the end user. After the end user completes the form, they electronically send it into the server, where the scripts within the form process the information. Web based forms are a method used to communicate, rely information, and receive information to and from the client-side and the server.

What is the big deal about forms?

An electronic form is an effective way to gather information from the end user viewing the web page. End users can submit an application, request specific information be sent to them via email, fill-in a survey. Forms that do not conform to electronic formats will not be accessible to the end user who uses a screen reader as an interface with the web site.

How do I fix this problem?

Making a web-based form accessible can be accomplished using various HTML attributes that associates the query with the form field elements. Care must be taken, however, when creating forms within tables used for presentation purposes. Navigation needs to proceed from the lowest tab index value to the next greater tab index value. Test the form to make sure all fields can be accessed from the keyboard, rather than a mouse interface.


Below is an example of a from that allows the end user know exactly what is needed to be filled out. This form is descriptive in its format.

Is the information about forms helpful?

* For an expanded explanation on this procedure, view W3C Guideline 9: Design for device-independence.

* More W3C guidelines for HTML forms.

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