[thelist] accessible way to indicate that a form field is required

Julian Rickards julian.rickards at gmail.com
Fri Nov 17 12:14:34 CST 2006

I would use an image that appears to be an asterisk with alt="Required" so
that the screen reader would hear "First Name Required". As others have
said, I would add a statement at the top explaining such so that visual
users know what the image signifies.

On 17/11/06, Barney Carroll <barney at textmatters.com> wrote:
> Max Schwanekamp wrote:
> > True enough, but how does a screen reader treat an asterisk?  I'd think
> > it would be irritating to hear "asterisk" after all the required fields.
> >   "Fields marked with an asterisk (asterisk) are required.  First Name
> > asterisk...Last Name asterisk...Email asterisk..." etc.
> Perhaps - and whereas I agree that the word 'asterisk' is aesthetically
> more ugly than 'bold'... It's just as much of an obstacle to what would
> be relatively human speech. An invisible entry of '- this field is
> required' would be the alternative to using 'non-speech' denotation.
> I can see this conversation deteriorating (or ascending) into a
> combination of pure philosophy and idle speculation about the behaviour
> of screen readers - which I have stoked on many discussion lists and
> boards, and most of which were pretty reasonably closed by admin because
> of their vague and OT nature. I did make contact with somebody who you
> might find useful, one Steve Green who directs Test Partners Ltd, an
> accessibility testing company. They regularly run seminars open to the
> public during which partial and non- sighted people surf sites using JAWS.
> www.testpartners.co.uk
> Regards,
> Barney
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Website: http://jrickards.ca
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