Accessibility Advice Series: Labeling Form Controls

11 July 2023

Tech & Innovation

A close up of a keyboard featuring 3 particular keys depicting Blind Deaf and Disabled logos.

Properly labeling form controls is essential for ensuring the accessibility of any website or application. Without properly labeled form controls, users with visual impairments may have difficulty understanding the purpose of each control, leading to confusion and frustration.

Mislabeled form controls can occur for a variety of reasons, including lack of awareness about the importance of accessibility, lack of understanding about how to properly label form controls, or simply oversight.

To properly label a form control, developers need to use the appropriate HTML element for the control. For example, a text input should be labeled using the <label> element, while a checkbox should be labeled using the <legend> element. By using the correct HTML element to label each form control, developers can ensure that screen reader software can accurately interpret the purpose of each control.

In addition to using the correct HTML element to label form controls, developers also need to ensure that the labels themselves are properly formatted and positioned. The labels should be clear and concise, and should accurately describe the purpose of the form control. They should also be positioned close to the control itself, so that users can easily associate the label with the correct form control.

Overall, properly labeling form controls is crucial for ensuring the accessibility of any website or application. By using the appropriate HTML elements and formatting the labels correctly, developers can make it easier for users with visual impairments to understand and interact with the form controls on the page. This will improve the overall accessibility of the website or application, and will enhance the user experience for all users.


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