Queen's Accessibility Hub

 

Accessibility Hub

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Accessible Forms (Word and PDF's)

Creating accessible Word or PDF forms can be intimidating at first but like everything else, it becomes much easier after doing it once or twice. Forms are unavoidable within Queen's and are a big part of information gathering within most groups, departments, and faculties. Learning how to create forms that are accessible by persons with disabilities is not only necessary under the AODA but it ensures that every user has an easier time filling out the forms.

Like all documents though, electronic forms are not automatically accessible. Key considerations when creating an electronic interactive form are:

  1. Labels and prompts must be explicitly associated with the fields they represent. Otherwise, users who can’t see the form may be unable to tell which labels and prompts accompany which fields.
  2. The tab order must be logical. As users navigate through a form using the keyboard, they typically press tab to jump to the next field. Ensuring proper tab sequence helps the user to focus on filling out the form rather than struggling to find their place after losing it.

Tutorials

There are a few detailed resources to assist you in developing accessible forms in Word or PDF:

  1. Freedom Scientific: Creating Accessible Forms in Microsoft Word
  2. Adobe's Acrobat XI Pro Accessible Forms and Interactive Documents (PDF 2.58 MB)
  3. Adobe LiveCycle ES3 Creating Accessible Forms
  4. WebAim: Accessible Forms in Acrobat XI