Design tips for authoring forms for screen readers
To provide an accessible
form, you need to understand how screen readers work. You also need
to know how to use the Designer Accessibility palette to specify information
that the screen reader will speak for the objects on forms. Keep
in mind these considerations related to implementing accessible
forms that can support screen readers:
Introduce the form to tell the users what form is open
and how to proceed with its completion. When a form opens, the screen
reader will generally read through an entire page, including any
text and image objects. When the user begins to tab through the
form, the screen reader reads text for each object as it becomes
Establish a logical tabbing order that includes all text,
fields, buttons, and images to make it easier for users with visual
impairment to navigate. Setting the tabbing order is important because
PDF screen reader tags are ordered by default from top-to-bottom,
Announce to users any special keystrokes they need to make
in order to perform a function. Such keystrokes include actions
such as pressing the spacebar to select a button, or the Down Arrow
key to select an item from a list box.
Announce the names of buttons and fields, as well as their
purpose, when the user tabs into them.
Announce the state of check boxes and radio buttons.
In list boxes and drop-down lists, announce the default item
selected in the list. Be sure that the user knows to use the Up
Arrow and Down Arrow keys to move through the list items. Pressing
the Tab key or the Enter or Return key will select the item in the
list. Using scripting, you can set the object's Change event to
announce which item is selected from the list.