Is using JavaScript to submit a form WCAG 2.0 compliant?

11 Feb 2009 - 2:33am
7 years ago
2 replies
3264 reads
Marcus Coghlan

Hi all,

I'm about to go into a series of form redesigns within a section of
my company's corporate site. We've mandated that any new forms or
form redesigns should comply with WCAG 2.0 AA recommendations.

Most of the 2.0 criterion and techniques seem reasonably clear and
I'm not finding it too difficult to find examples of their
application, but I can't seem to locate a clear rule around the use
of JavaScript to submit a form. Requirement 4 states that "4.
Accessibility-Supported Technologies Only: Only accessibility
supported technologies are relied upon to satisfy the success
criteria. Any information or functionality that is implemented in
technologies that are not accessibility supported are also be
available via technologies that are accessibility supported." I've
read that because most assistive technologies, as well as browsers,
now support JavaScript, its appropriate use shouldn't be a barrier
to satisfying the requirement. Indeed, the 2.0 guidlines include a
number of techniques to achieve compliance based on client side
script - see

And criterion 2.1.1 makes it pretty clear that a form submit would
need to be accessible from the keyboard, not just a pointing device -

But I can't find a clear call on whether a form that uses JavaScript
to perform the submit would be acceptable for AA compliance.

Can anyone help me on this one?

Thanks, Marcus


11 Feb 2009 - 4:04pm
Marcus Coghlan

Thanks Mike. That was how I was reading it, too.
"By all means, use js to enhance accessibility. Here are some
techniques to help you on your way and a couple of points to watch
out for. Just make sure things don't break without it."
I'll head over to and have a look around.

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11 Feb 2009 - 5:12pm

Hi Marcus

I did some training a few years ago with the RNIB. One of the ladies
there (she was a screen reader user) said that most screen reader
users turn off Javascript for browsing because there is so much bad
stuff out there they frequently end up in an unpleasant and
unescapable loop. If they knew the site was okay, then they would
have it turned on... that was the jist of it anyway. This was about 3
years ago so would be good to know if this is still valid, or indeed
if I have accurately remembed what she said!! You can contact her on
the RNIB blog - her name is Bim Egan

Maybe these page can get you started?


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