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Chapter 10. Forms of Participation: Desi... > Interactivity and the Use of Forms

Interactivity and the Use of Forms

Forms are a Web developer’s most important tool for gathering information from users. E-commerce sites use forms to find out what people want to buy, where they want their purchases delivered, and how they’re going to pay. Distance- and e-learning sites use forms for a variety of purposes. Students complete a form when they register or when they provide a profile to introduce themselves to other members of the class. Forms are at the heart of message boards, too. When a student contributes a message to a class discussion forum, she or he enters the text in a form. And when students take tests online, they usually use a form to record and submit their responses.

Forms are powerful tools. But they can pose significant accessibility barriers, especially for people who use screen readers, talking browsers, or refreshable Braille displays. In order for these assistive technology devices to work correctly, the form controls (text input fields, buttons, and so on) must be labeled in such a way that the assistive technology can associate the correct label with the form control.


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