United States Department of Veterans Affairs
VHA Office of Health Information

Training for Testing Software for 508 Compliance

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Testing for §1194.21 (l): Electronic Forms

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Testing with AT

To test whether electronic forms are compliant, perform the following tasks and confirm that the keys work as they are supposed to:

  • Complete the form using only the keyboard.
  • Use the Tab and Shift Tab keys to move between controls.
  • Use the up and down arrow keys to scroll through controls such as selection lists and radio buttons.
  • Use the spacebar to toggle or activate controls such as checkboxes and buttons.
  • Use a screen reader to assure that labels and control types are announced correctly as you move through them using the keyboard.


Use these criteria to make your evaluation of the related checkpoints:


Pass if all these criteria are met:

  • Each form control can receive the focus when navigating with the keyboard.
  • Each form control can be manipulated using the keyboard. Selections and control states change appropriately.
  • The tab order when navigating with the keyboard matches the expected flow of the electronic form. The controls receive the focus in a logical order.
  • The form object with focus is identifiable.
  • A screen reader correctly identifies the label, role, value and state of each control that receives focus.
  • It is clear to a user what kind of input is expected and which fields are required.
  • A screen reader clearly reads error messages.
  • When timeout warnings are presented, they can be read and dismissed while using a screen reader.


Fail if any one of the above conditions is not met.

Select Next for information about testing electronic forms without using AT.

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