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

Sarah Adams mr.sanders at geekjock.ca
Thu Nov 16 12:24:14 CST 2006

I've read that using a different label colour or making a label bold to
indicate that a form field is required leads to poor accessibility,
because the different colour might not be obvious to someone who is
colour blind and wouldn't be at all apparent to someone using a
screenreader, and that making the label bold would also not be apparent
using a screenreader.

The suggestion then is usually to add an asterisk inside the label to
indicate that the field is required. But I think that would also be a
bad choice for a screenreader. What do other people think? Is the
asterisk a good idea, or would adding <strong> or <em> tags inside the
label work just as well? I would think this would force the screenreader
to emphasize the label, without having to actually read out the word
"asterisk". Thoughts?

sarah adams
web developer & programmer
portfolio: http://sarah.designshift.com
blog: http://hardedge.ca

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