About accessible surveys at SmartSurvey

February 2021

SmartSurvey are committed to improving our products so that they’re easy for everyone to use. We take an inclusive design approach to accessibility. This means we go beyond box ticking and provide great experiences for all of our users regardless of impairment.

SmartSurvey are working towards WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.1 AA compliance. The WCAG guidelines are the widely accepted standard for web accessibility. Our compliance claim is the result of stringent, manual testing.

We also invite expert users with access needs to give us feedback on a regular basis.

Accessibility Statement for the Accessible Survey Theme

This statement covers our accessible survey theme, which is accessed via the theme library in the Accessible Themes section. Our standard themes are not covered by this statement.

Our accessible theme supports the following accessibility features:

  • Compatible with widely used screen readers
  • Usable with keyboard only
  • Accessible colour:
    • Colour blind friendly
    • Good colour contrast
  • Supports browser zoom up to 400% with some minor issues.

WCAG 2.1 compliance

Most question types in this theme are approximately 85 to 90% WCAG 2.1 AA compliant.

Question types 90% compliant

  • Single text box
  • Comment / essay box
  • Multiple text boxes
  • Multiple choice (all variations)
  • Time
  • Matrix of choices (excluding multiple choice questions)
  • Likert
  • Net Promoter® score
  • Customer satisfaction score (CSAT)
  • Customer effort score (CES)
  • File upload
  • Save and continue

Question types 70-90% compliant

  • Date (date can be entered manually but calendar widget is not keyboard or screen reader accessible)

Inaccessible question types

  • Ranking
  • Continuous sum
  • Semantic differential

We plan to address issues with the Ranking and Continuous Sum question types in future releases.

WCAG 2.1 survey themes fails

The following issues are across all survey themes:

Though the accessible theme does not support text scaling, browser zoom to 400% is supported. We plan to support text scaling in future releases.

Our next major release of the codebase will be fully WCAG 2.1 AA compliant.

Accessibility for screen reader users

We take accessibility seriously and want to provide a great experience for all our users.

We follow accessibility guidelines and have conducted testing with an expert screen reader user.

If you encounter an issue, please contact us at accessibility@smartsurvey.co.uk.

Accessibility improvements

We know there are some issues with our survey product for screen readers which can make completing a survey more difficult.

We are continuously making accessibility improvements to our surveys. Your comments and suggestions will help us plan our fixes.

Completing a survey using a screen reader

Finding your way around

You can quickly scan through every question on the page by pressing the H or 3 shortcut key. This is a good way of orientating yourself before you answer any questions.

Survey structure and shortcuts:

Shortcut Survey content
1 or H Page/survey title
2 or H Progress bar
3 or H Question
F Cycle through form controls
B Next, previous buttons etc.

Save your information

If you’re completing a large survey, we suggest using the Save and Continue feature to save your information. This link can be found near the end of each page before the next button.

Forms/focus mode

If your screen reader uses forms or focus mode (e.g. NVDA or JAWS) you should be able to fill out questions in this mode.

Occasionally, the screen reader may miss content in focus mode so you may need to exit and use arrow keys to access content in detail.

Screen reader support

We have tested our accessible survey with a range of commonly used screen readers and browsers. Wherever possible, we also follow web standards so our survey tool should work on a range of devices.


  • Firefox – most compatible
  • Chrome


  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Internet Explorer 11

Voiceover IOS (iPhone)

  • Safari

Talkback Android (Native Android phone)

  • Chrome

If you encounter an issue and you’re using a screen reader not listed here please contact us at accessibility@smartsurvey.co.uk.

Known issues for desktop screen readers

Due to limitations of the current codebase you may encounter some screen reader quirks. These are not barriers but unfortunately, they make completing the survey more difficult.

Layout tables

You may come across layout tables on question types which use large groups of radio buttons or checkboxes etc

  • Date and time
  • Some rating scales

The screen reader may behave erratically when navigating controls laid out in a table. For example, it may skip groups of form controls such as radio buttons. Use the arrow keys to navigate the question if content is skipped.


You must enter dates manually. The date question has a pop up calendar which is currently not accessible via screen reader or keyboard.

Fixing errors

Survey errors have been coded to be compatible with screen readers. However, it may be difficult to find multiple errors in a page.

Errors are highlighted using ARIA and by adding the word “Error” to the beginning of each question or statement.

Shortcuts to identify errors

  • Find on page (Command F – add more)
  • F to cycle form inputs

Mobile screen readers

The accessible survey template works well with both Voiceover (IOS) and Talkback (Android) but there are some known issues.

Swipe or arrow between questions and form controls so content is not missed. Content may be missed when navigating from one form control to the next.

We recommend using a desktop screen reader for longer surveys.

Known issues for mobile screen reader users

Swiping through the questions announces content logically. However, groups of controls such as radio buttons or checkboxes do not associate multiple labels when navigating between form controls.

Error messages are not announced correctly using Voiceover or TalkBack.

Other assistive technologies

We are planning to expand our accessibility testing to include:

  • Further testing with expert users
  • Speech recognition.

If you are an assistive technology user, we welcome your feedback on our survey tools. Please contact us at accessibility@smartsurvey.co.uk.

Our commitment to accessibility

We plan to improve the accessibility of our products and services in line with WCAG guidance and other accessibility principles. We are currently working with an independent accessibility specialist to help us reach this goal.

Please contact us if you have any issues using our product or would like to give feedback at accessibility@smartsurvey.co.uk


It’s important that you create your survey with accessibility in mind. To this end, we will also be providing accessibility guidance for survey creators via our help pages, starting with advice on creating an accessible survey and choosing accessible questions.