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37th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference Has Concluded

To Err(or) is Human: Inclusive Error Handling Approaches

Date & Time
Thursday, March 17, 2022 - 4:20 PM PST  
Orange County  

Now more than ever, vast amounts of information are being captured on the web in simple and complex fillable forms. Web users are looking to complete these forms and address errors as quickly and efficiently as possible. We feel providing error messaging in "real-time" rather than after the user has attempted to submit the form can play a part in the user’s efficiency in completing the task they came to the site to accomplish. During this session, we will explore some common error handling techniques, including inline and top of the page error messaging, and when each is appropriate to use.

CGI's first goal for this session is to assist attendees in meeting the WCAG 2.0 Guideline 3.3, which states, "Everyone makes mistakes." However, people with some disabilities have more difficulty creating error-free input. In addition, it may be harder for them to detect that they have made an error. Typical error indication methods may not be obvious to them of a limited field of view, limited color perception, or use of assistive technology. This guideline seeks to reduce the number of serious or irreversible errors that are made, increase the likelihood that the user will notice all errors, and help users understand what they should do to correct an error." We will focus primarily on three success criteria: SC 3.3.1, SC 3.3.2, and SC 3.3.3.

Our next goal is to provide a sound approach for inline error handling and how to leverage Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) markup to ensure all users can succeed in submitting information on the web. While initially conducting research and assisting project teams within our organization in implementing inline messaging, we found limited information available. CGI will share demonstrations of accessible inline and top-of-page collection of errors to assist attendees in determining the best approach for their website and their users.

Our third goal is to review some of the pitfalls of inaccessible error handling and provide best practices and tips for avoiding these pitfalls. As with any new implementations, there are considerations to be made along the way and lessons to be learned regarding what works and what needs to be tweaked to provide the best user experience.

Our final goal is to assist attendees in deciding the best approach to utilize on their website by providing a decision tree for future reference. The decision tree combined with practical examples and tips will prepare attendees to make informed decisions and be prepared during error handling conversations within their organizations.

This Presentation Link (PPTX) is provided by the Presenter(s) and not hosted by the Center on Disabilities at CSUN. The Center on Disabilities has confirmed, as of April 1, 2022, content linked is relevant to the presentation, but has not been reviewed for accessibility nor will the Center on Disabilities attempt to remediate any accessibility issues in the linked content. Please contact the Presenter(s) with any accessibility concerns.

  • Information & Communications Technology
  • Government
Audience Level
Session Summary (Abstract)
CGI will take you on an exploration of error handling for web content. We will provide demonstrations and technical details on implementing some common types of error techniques (including inline and top of the page errors), discuss potential accessibility barriers, and share best practices for inclusive error handling.  
Session Type
General Track  
  • Blind/Low Vision
  • Development
  • Digital Accessibility
  • Information & Communications Technology (ICT)
  • Web


  • Karen Herndon
  • Eric Watts

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