Accessibility and Online Surveys

Because “COMPANY NAME doesn’t want input from people with disabilities” is a crappy headline that is SUPER avoidable

Sheri Byrne-Haber, CPACC
4 min readApr 23, 2020


Cartoon individuals holding paper surveys and with a voting box in the cener of the image

Authors note: Because of Medium’s refusal to address its accessibility issues for both authors and readers, I’ve moved my last three years of blogs to Substack. Please sign up there for notices of all new articles. Also, I will be updating older articles (like this one) and the updates will only be published on Substack. Thank you for your continued readership and support.

Accessible surveys come from combining an accessible survey builder with an accessible survey

Surveys are like design systems. Even if you have an accessible design system, it is still possible to implement an inaccessible website. The same is true for surveys. Even if the survey builder is accessible, there are two more places that accessibility can go wrong:

  • The infrastructure of the generated survey (provided by the survey builder). That can include radio buttons, checkboxes, headers, table structure that the user does not have control over and expand/collapse behavior
  • The content in the generated survey (provided by the user). That can include low contrast color, font, multimedia, or language choices that will result in an inaccessible survey.

The WCAG criteria most relevant to accessible surveys are located here.

Accessible survey builders

I have built very accessible surveys using the following tools.

  • Microsoft Forms
  • Google Forms
  • SurveyMonkey
  • SurveyGizmo
  • Qualtrics

So if you choose one of those and make sure that the content *you* provide is accessible, you should be good to go.

UX Tools that include Surveys are Rarely Fully Accessible

Surveys that are part of overall UX tools are typically not accessible. This includes tools such as Hotjar and Dovetail. Apptentive is accessible, but it is a mobile-only…



Sheri Byrne-Haber, CPACC

LinkedIn Top Voice for Social Impact 2022. UX Collective Author of the Year 2020. Disability Inclusion SME. Sr Staff Accessibility Architect @ VMware.