Welcome to our June issue of the Accessibility Minute Newsletter! This newsletter is produced by the CU Boulder Digital Accessibility Office and covers one accessibility skill or topic per month. Please visit the DAO website to access past newsletters. As always, thank you for taking a minute (or two!) to read.

Creating Accessible Surveys

This month, we will focus on the importance of designing accessible surveys and provide valuable tips to ensure inclusivity in your survey creation process. A well-designed survey is easier for all respondents to complete, and while some surveying platforms and templates may comply with accessibility regulations, it is still crucial to ensure that the structure and content of your surveys are accessible, inclusive, and effective. Below we offer guidance on how to make your surveys more accessible.

State Survey Instructions Clearly

At the beginning of your survey, provide clear instructions on how to take it, what it is about, and how many questions are included. This helps respondents understand the purpose and expectations upfront.

Number Questions and Include a Progress Indicator

Numbering your survey questions and incorporating an accessible progress indicator makes it easier for respondents to track their progress and understand how much of the survey is left.

Allow Saving and Returning

If your survey is long or spans multiple pages, allow respondents to save their progress and return to it later. This feature is especially helpful for individuals who may require more time or need to take breaks.

Avoid Time Limits

Whenever possible, avoid imposing time limits on surveys. If a time limit is necessary, we recommend:

  • Warning participants in advance that the survey will be timed.
  • Providing a method to extend the time limit if needed.
  • Making the timer easily findable and not invasive so that it interrupts speech.

Make Questions and Input Fields Resizable

Ensure that survey questions and input fields can be resized. Verify the layout and readability on mobile devices, as many surveying tools now offer a mobile view option.

Optimize for Mobile

For better mobile accessibility, organize multiple-choice questions in a vertical layout. This helps prevent questions from being cut off the screen or read out of order.

Use Accessibility Assessment Tools with Caution

If your surveying platform provides a built-in accessibility assessment tool or checker, use it as guidance. However, like all automated checkers, use them with caution as they have not proven to be totally accurate. Follow our content accessibility fundamentals guidance to help you create accessible surveys.

Use Accessible Question Types

Refer to platform-specific guidance below for additional information on inaccessible question types, survey creation/facilitation recommendations, and more.

Clearly Designate Required Questions

Indicate that a question is required in the question’s text or tag it as required in the survey creation platform. Also, avoid using color alone to differentiate the required questions.

Keep Questions Simple and Positive

Use simple language that is easy to understand. This benefits individuals with disabilities and those who are taking the survey in a language that is not their primary language. However, it is understood that there may be instances where specific jargon is necessary for the survey.

Avoid negative questions that can cause confusion or require respondents to answer "yes" to confirm a negative. Try using phrases like, “Do you have any questions?” instead of negative questions like, “What don't you understand?”

Check Focus Order

You can check the focus order of your survey by navigating through it using the Tab key. This can give you insight into the flow and order of your content and may help identify any accessibility issues. Please note that this process will not give you a full picture of the accessibility of your survey. We recommend that you consult with experts within your organization for more information and support.

June Challenge

  • Explore how you or your organization creates surveys. Refer to the accessibility summaries if you or your organization utilize any previously linked platforms.
  • Review active surveys within your organization and determine if you need to edit for accessibility.

DAO News

Follow the DAO on LinkedIn! By following us, you'll get access to behind-the-scenes insight into our office, information about our services, applicable accessibility tips posted every Tuesday, resources, upcoming event information, and more.

DAO Office Hours are now the 4th Tuesday of every month from 1-2 pm MT. Our next office hours will be held on Tuesday, June 27th.

Your Thoughts

We want to hear from you! If you have any questions or comments, please send us your thoughts on this month’s topic.

If you have questions, comments, or would like support with accessibility, please contact us at DigitalAccessibility@Colorado.EDU.