About “Check Survey Accessibility”
When you have respondents who use third-party screen readers (like JAWS) and you need to meet accessibility standards, it’s important to make sure your survey is as accessible as possible. Our Check Survey Accessibility feature diagnoses your survey, indicates which questions are inaccessible, and gives other recommendations for increased accessibility to help you work towards WCAG 2.0 AA (and Section 508) compliant surveys.
Question Type Accessibility
Not every question is accessible to screen-reading programs. Below are lists detailing which question types are accessible and which are not.
These questions are WCAG 2.0 AA compliant and are recognized as such by the Survey Checker tool.
- Descriptive Text
- Multiple Choice (all types)
- Net Promoter® Score
- Matrix (only Rank Order, Constant Sum, Text Entry, and Profile)
Attention: If your Matrix Table is set to Mobile Friendly, your question will not be compliant.
- Text Entry (all types)
- Rank Order (only Text Box, Graphic, and Radio Buttons)
- Side by Side
- Constant Sum (only Choices, a.k.a text entry)
- Drill Down
- Meta Info
- Captcha Verification (V2)
- File Upload
These questions do not meet WCAG 2.0 AA Compliance, and are flagged as such by the Survey Checker tool.
- Matrix (Likert, Bipolar, and MaxDiff, as well as any Matrix Table that is Drag and Drop)
Qtip: The Likert Matrix Question is not WCAG 2.0 AA compliant, but it meets other standards of compliance, including 508. Because it is not WCAG 2.0 AA compliant, Expert Review will flag this question type as non-compliant.Attention: If your Matrix Table is set to Mobile Friendly, your question will not be compliant.
- Rank Order (Drag and Drop and Select Box)
- Constant Sum (Sliders and Bars)
- Pick Group and Rank
- Hot Spot
- Heat Map
- Graphic Slider
- Org Hierarchy (EX)
In addition to being careful about the question types you use for your survey, there are a few other options you should include in an accessible survey.
- Make sure you are using a recent theme or one from the Qualtrics library. Any accessibility issues with your theme should be forwarded to the themes team through your Brand Administrator.
Attention: In order to have an accessible survey (with a visible focus indicator that is not only indicated by color), you must use a Dynamic theme with the “Classic” layout. You will also need to ensure that your primary theme color has a high enough contrast with the focus indicator in the Classic layout. If it doesn’t, you will either need to change your theme’s primary color or use custom code to change the indicator color.
- Add “Alt” text to the images within your survey. This allows screen readers to be able to “read” your images. The alt text should be a very short description of what is in the image. You can find instructions for this in the Image Properties section of the Insert a Graphic page.
- Include a header in your Look & Feel, and wrap the following HTML around your header text:
- If you are using a dropdown question type (such as a Multiple Choice dropdown or a Drill Down), you must include a description of the number of possible choices in the question text.
- Always double-check the contrast, color schemes, and font size in your Rich Content Editor or Look & Feel when taking color-blind and other visually impaired respondents into account. For example, red font on a green background would be unreadable to respondents with red-green colorblindness, and a light gray text on a white background can be difficult for other visually-impaired respondents to detect without a screen-reader. Make sure that the colors of your theme create contrast between the font and the background, and that your font size isn’t too small.
Common Survey Accessibility Suggestions
The Check Survey Accessibility tool will look for these issues and flag them if it detects them in your survey.
- Number your survey questions using the Auto-Number feature and show them to your respondents. To show these numbers, go to Survey Options and turn on Show Question Numbers. The Survey Accessibility Checker calls this suggestion “Enable survey option to show export tags,” since “export tags” is another term for “question numbers.”
- Change the default survey navigation buttons to something more readable than ‘>>’. The default navigation button text is “>>” and “<<“, but words like “next” and “back” are better because screen readers can read them out loud to visually impaired respondents.
- Change the default Survey Title, which is the text that displays on the browser tab for survey respondents.
Using the Check Survey Accessibility Tool
- In the Survey tab, click Tools.
- Select Review.
- Click Check Survey Accessibility.
- Examine the list of potential problems and the recommendations for making your survey more accessible.
Qtip: This list is scrollable.
- Click directly on the suggestion in the list to have the system jump you to the location in your survey that needs to be changed.
- Select Done or Recheck when you are finished with your edits.
Requiring Accessible Surveys
Most organizations in Qualtrics are set up to allow survey builders to create non-accessible surveys. An Allow Non-Accessible Surveys permission is enabled by default, but a Brand Administrator can disable it, forcing every survey to be accessible before it can be distributed.
If this permission is disabled for your account, then you may see a red banner above your survey that reads, “This survey does not meet web accessibility standards.”
If you try to publish, activate, or distribute the survey without revising inaccessible features, you may get the message, “This survey has questions that are not accessible for all users. Use the “Check Survey Accessibility” tool (found in the “Tools” menu of the survey editor), then try activating the survey again.” This means you have to make changes to your survey before you can activate, publish, or distribute the survey.