SurveyMonkey and SurveyGizmo Accessibility

The page below summarizes accessibility findings identified through a brief assessment of SurveyMonkey and SurveyGizmo. If you are purchasing SurveyMonkey or SurveyGizmo at CSUN, it is your responsibility to review these findings and ensure the surveys distributed by your respective area comply with accessibility guidelines. 

 Accessibility Issues 

The problems identified in this section are known accessibility concerns as reported by SurveyMonkey and SurveyGizmo. These problems will require alternative solutions and/or workarounds. For more information about these issues go to SurveyMonkey's 508 Compliance page and SurveyGizmo's Accessibility Compliance page.  


  • Keyboard Focus : Some question types may contain unclear visible keyboard focus making it difficult for keyboard users to navigate through the survey.
  • Error Validation There is no error validation of incorrect data. 
  • One Question at a Time: The survey option, "One Question at a Time" auto-advances users to the next question as soon as they select an answer. This interferes with standard keyboard navigation and prevents users from navigating through selections and changing them.
  • Ranking Questions: Ranking questions are not accessible via keyboard or by assistive devices. This question requires a response that can only be done using a computer mouse.


  • Logic Questions : Screen readers have difficulty interrupting logic questions due to the hidden questions that appear based on the user's response to the previous question. Using this feature can confuse or mislead screen reader users because it will read questions that were not intended for them.
  • One-at-a-time Survey Interaction: This survey option moves survey takers to the next question when a selection is made. However, this feature prevents keyboard users from navigating and interacting with the survey.        
  • JavaScript Questions:Several JavaScript question types are not accessible for screen reader and keyboard users:
    • Slider (Single and list)
    • Star list ranking
    • Semantic differential
    • Drag and drop
    • Image heatmap
    • Grouping (all three grouping question types: open card sort, closed cart sort & quicksort)
    • Audio and video sentiment
    • Continuous sum
    • Text highlighter
    • Signature
    • ReCAPTCHA.

  Accessibility Best Practices for Survey Creator

Because most elements in SurveyMonkey and SurveyGizmo are under the control of survey creators, it is imperative that survey creators follow accessibility best practices when developing a survey. Both SurveyMonkey and SurveyGizmo provide resources to guide survey creators in developing the most accessible survey. Failure to follow these practices will result in access barriers for survey takers with disabilities.

Survey Questions

Question Types

  • Avoid using question types that may not be accessible for survey takers with disabilities.
  • Always make sure questions with input fields are resizable.  For more information, visit SurveyGizmo: Resizing Text Fields.
  • Avoid using videos and images as part of a question. These questions may not be inclusive for survey takers with sight disabilities. Videos may also cause problems for survey takers who are deaf or hard of hearing if the video is missing captions. 
  • To ensure users with visual disabilities have full understanding of a grid question, a table summary is required.
  • If a question is required, always make sure the required question has an asterisk next to it. Do not use color only to differentiate required questions from other question types.




  • Always add headings to your survey as they help organize information and allow survey takers using screen reader technology to better navigate a survey.  
  • When emphasizing text, use the appropriate program features to bold, underline or italicize text instead of capitalizing text. Cap’s text is not understood by screen reader technology and this can prevent survey takers with disabilities from understanding important information. 
  • A page description is always needed to describe the purpose of the survey. Visit Universal Design Center: Semantic Requirements for more information.


  • Do not use color only to emphasize content
  • Always make sure there is sufficient color contrast between the foreground and background of your survey.


Mobile View

Time Limits

  • If time limits are present in a survey, a method to extend time limit should be present. Go to SurveyGizmo’s Timer Options for more information.
  • It is recommended to provide a visual countdown or display to let survey takers know how much time remains.
  • Survey takers must be warned beforehand if a survey has a time limit.

Accessibility Validation

Alternative Solutions

Departments must also have a method to let survey-takers know if alternative solutions are available. It is highly recommended to provide a statement near the top of the survey that let as a survey taker know who to contact for assistance and provide links to resources to help them. 


If you are having problems completing this form due to accessibility-related issues, contact (Department/survey creator contact information). For screen reader assistance visit SurveyMonkey’s taking a Survey with a Screen Reader.  

In addition, departments must establish alternative solutions to use if survey-takers have problems completing a survey due to accessibility barriers.  

Examples of alternative solutions for a survey include: 

  • RSVP Surveys: Provide a survey-taker another method to RSVP instead of a survey. For example, allow a survey-taker to call or email the department as an alternative.  If a survey is used to RSVP to an event, allowing users to RSVP via phone or email would be an effective alternative. 
  • Research & Climate Surveys: An alternative survey format can be made available to survey-takers who need it. Alternative formats could be a paper survey, PDF or other accessible electronic documents.
  • Classroom Polls: If a survey is used for classroom polls or instruction, an alternative method to participate in class assignments should be considered such as an alternative device or program a survey taker can use instead.