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Accessible (508) HTML Forms

[x] Standard 

[x] Accessibility/508


HHS web forms must be Section 508 compliant, ensuring that:

  • Assistive technology devices will read the form in same order it is meant to be filled in.
  • The relationship between the form field and the form title must be clear.
  • The form is navigable via the keyboard with or without assistive technology.
  • Forms must be laid out using either Explicit Labels or through the use of tables.
  • Defined tab order, using the “Tabindex” attribute, is acceptible but not required.  See example in the Code Library


The compliant form will provide persons using assistive technologies the ability to interpret information and navigate the form functionality required for the completion and submission of the form. Forms using explicit labels or table layouts will associate the form fields with the titles for users of assistive technology.


There are two methods that may be used when creating HTML forms:

  • Using Explicit Labels:  Explicit labels include the “for” attribute in the “Label” element and the “Id” attribute in the “Input” element. See example in the Code Library
  • Using tables for Form layout:  When using tables for form layout, both the title and the form field must be in the same table cell. See example in the Code Library

HHS prefers the method using “Explicit Labels” and defined tab order (See example in the Code Library).

Related Standards:

Accessibility (Section 508) and Email

Skip Navigation (Accessibility/508)

Use Text for Links

Accessible (508) PDF Forms

Related Guidelines: N/A

HTML Forms must be Section 508 compliant.