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Synopsis

Google Forms is a tool used to create accessible forms and quizzes. It is part of the Google Office suite. It’s free for anyone to use, but requires a Google Account. For more information and assistance, Google has a Get Started with Forms page.

Note: Google Forms is on a platform which is not officially supported by Penn State and there may be privacy or security issues to consider. There are options in other cases to restrict forms to Penn State users, like Microsoft Forms.

Forms created from are accessible and can be completed using a screen reader or by a sighted person on a keyboard. In some cases, a person a screen reader or keyboard may also be able to edit or create a form.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Google has a page on Keyboard Shortcuts for Google Forms which also includes information for users on a screen reader. Note that some keyboard shortcuts may different from what some users may use.

You can also see additional information how to create and edit Forms with a Screen Reader.

Form Field Accessibility

Form Field Types

The output for basic fields such as textboxes, check boxes or radio buttons are accessible. However, the output for more complex layouts such as the Date field type or grids should be verified for accessibility.

Form Field Labels

All form fields should have meaningful labels and they should include short instructions. Although more information can be entered below the label, that information may not be read aloud by default. See the example below.

Example Label

Penn Sate Access ID (e.g. xyz123)

Note that the example xyz123 provides additional information on what is expected in the Access ID field.

Uploading Images and Videos

If images, videos or other files are embedded in a form question, then that object should also be accessible. Examples of media would include:

  • Adding ALT Text to any added images.
  • Making sure all added video has captions.

Add ALT Text

If you embed an image into a Google Form, you should also add a text caption to the image. This caption will become the image ALT text.

Creating Forms on a Screen Reader or Keyboard

For users with a screen reader, Google has a page onHow to Create and Edit Forms with a Screen Reader.

Access Form Results

By default results are displayed in a way that is not screen reader friendly. As a workaround, the form creator can save and export the forms’ results and responses a file usable in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets for better accessibility.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Similarly to Google Drive, Google Forms has some specific accessibility commands that may or may not be obvious to the user. Google has a page on Keyboard Shortcuts and information on How to Create and Edit Forms with a Screen Reader.

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