About accessible surveys at SmartSurvey

August 2021

SmartSurvey’s vision is to create a fully accessible survey platform which allows everyone to ask and answer questions.

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.

SmartSurvey take an inclusive design approach to accessibility by considering the needs of disabled users throughout the design process. We invite expert users with access needs to give us feedback on a regular basis.

We are currently working with an independent accessibility specialist to help us reach this goal.

Create customisable accessible surveys

An accessible survey can be created using our accessible survey theme. The theme can easily be used with custom survey or our survey templates.

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 windows high contrast mode
  • 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
  • Likert
  • Net Promoter® score
  • Customer satisfaction score (CSAT)
  • Customer effort score (CES)
  • Continuous sun
  • File upload
  • Save and continue
  • Searchable dropdown

Question types 70-90% compliant

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

Inaccessible question types

  • Slider scale
  • Ranking
  • Semantic differential

We plan to improve these question types in future releases.

WCAG 2.1 survey themes fails

The following accessibility issues occur with the survey theme:

Automated testing tools such as Wave and AXE may highlight errors due to legacy codebase. We have checked these to ensure they have minimal impact on users.

Future accessibility goals

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

We also plan to improve the accessibility of our standard survey themes.

Completing our surveys

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. 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.

Before you begin

Each survey is divided into pages. The number of questions on each page may vary.

Skip through questions using headings shortcut keys

At the start of every page we recommend skipping through all of the questions first before answering using headings shortcuts. This will alert you to what information you will need to provide and avoid quirks with the screen reader when in forms or focus mode.

Survey structure and shortcuts

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.

NVDA

  • Firefox – most compatible
  • Chrome

JAWS

  • 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. Layout tables are also used for date and time questions. We plan to remove all layout tables when we update our code base.

Date

You must enter dates manually. The date format is DD/MM/YYYY. For example: 31/12/2020.

The date question has a pop up calendar which is currently not accessible via screen reader or keyboard.

Calculation questions (Continuous sum)

This type of question will automatically calculate the total sum of numbers entered. The total is announced by the screen reader as numbers are entered. It can also be checked manually.

This information is also included at the beginning of this type of question.

Internet Explorer 11 with Jaws

The total amount in this question is not announced. Please exit forms mode and use your arrow keys in browse mode to access the total amount.

Android Talkback

Unfortunately, the total amount is not accessible using Android Talkback screen reader. We hope to improve this in the future.

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.

Mobile screen readers

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

Error messages are not announced correctly using Voiceover or TalkBack.

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

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.

Searchable dropdown question type issues identified with IOS iPad. The question works well with IOS iPad. We are currently investigating this (August 2021).

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

Guidance

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.

Survey platform accessibility

At SmartSurvey it’s our goal to create a platform which allows everybody to ask questions regardless of their access needs.

We are currently focussing on our survey platform beginning with survey results.

Analysing Survey Results – Configuring Charts and Data

The following accessibility features have been added:

  • Keyboard accessible
  • Accessible colour
    • Charts can be viewed without colour
    • Good colour contrast
  • Charts are screen reader accessible
  • Zoom supported to 200%.

We are aware that further improvements need to be made. We would be happy to offer assistance to anyone who can’t use our survey platform due to an accessibility barrier.

We are also engaging expert users with access needs to give us feedback on our progress.

Website accessibility

We are aware our website currently has many accessibility barriers. We are working on improving the experience for keyboard only and screen reader users. We will also be enhancing colours so they are easier to see.

We apologise to customers who have had difficulties due to these issues.

Help us improve

If you have an access need or disability and would like to get involved with testing improvements to our survey builder please contact us.

If you have a question about SmartSurvey please contact us on accessibility@smartsurvey.co.uk.

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