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.
Known Accessibility Problems
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.
|Feature||Problem||Alternative or Workaround|
|Keyboard Focus||Some question types may contain unclear visible keyboard focus making it difficult for keyboard users to navigate through the survey.||There is no workaround for this inaccessible feature. SurveyMonkey is working to fix critical accessibility issues in their system. No estimated timeline to when this will be fixed. Departments can help ease barriers related to keyboard focus by ensuring color contrast barriers are limited and using survey monkeys standard themes for which have been vetted for accessibility.|
|Error Validation||There is no error validation of incorrect data.||No workaround is available to address these barriers. If survey takers cannot complete the survey due to these barriers, departments should provide the alternative methods to complete the survey.|
|One Question at a Time||The survey option, "One Question at a Time" option is not accessible and makes it difficult for keyboard users to answer questions. The option moves survey takers to the next question when a selection is made. However, this action interferes with standard keyboard navigation and prevents keyboard users from navigating through selections.||Avoid using this feature because of the barrier it will create for keyboard users.|
|Ranking Questions||Ranking questions are not accessible via keyboard or by assistive devices. This question type requires survey takers to use a keyboard mouse to drag and rank options, making it difficult for keyboard or assistive technology users to interact with it. Keyboard users cannot drag options and may have problems ranking the options using the drop-down associated with each option due to inconsistencies in the system. Additionally, if the ranking question has an “N/A” column, the column is not accessible with a keyboard.||Avoid using this feature. We recommend using similar question types such as a matrix/rating scale questions. However, if ranking questions are required, there should be clear instructions letting survey takers know to rank options in reverse chronological order if they are using a keyboard.|
|Feature||Problem||Alternative or Workaround|
|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. Screen readers are unable to understand the difference between live and hidden questions.||Avoid using logic questions because of its inaccessibility to screen reader users. Using this feature can confuse or mislead screen reader users because it will read questions that were not intended for them. Visit SurveyGizmo’s Logic Question for more information.|
|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.||Avoid using this feature to prevent inaccessibility to keyboard users.|
Surveygizmo recommends not using these question types. Not including these questions will enhance the ease of access in a survey and therefore increase its accessibility. Alternative question types should be used in place of these questions. Specific recommendations for some of the question types are below:
If these question types are used, methods must be in place to assist survey takers who experience problems due to accessibility and/or alternative formats should be available. If these question types are used, it is also recommended to not make them required so that users can skip these questions if needed.
Visit SurveyGizmo's Avoid Question Types That Are Not Accessible for more information.
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.
- 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 provide instructions to questions to ensure users with disabilities will fully understand how to navigate the survey or question. For more information visit SurveyGizmo Text/Instruction Elements or SurveyMonkey: Changing the Question Layout.
- Provide clear and descriptive error messages for survey takers to receive when they input incorrect data. The error message should clearly describe the error and explain how to fix it.
- Always be mindful of the language in your survey. Avoid using text that can be difficult to understand or can be taken out of context. For more guidance, go to Survey Gizmo’s: Use People-First Language and UDC’s Readability Page.
- 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.
- Use the recommended accessible layouts and themes in SurveyMonkey and SurveyGizmo for your survey.
- If a survey is long, it is recommended to break the survey into multiple pages and enable question and page numbering to let users know the length of the survey.For more information visit SurveyMonkey: Page and Question Numbering and SurveyGizmo: Insert Page Breaks and Page Numbers.
- Do not use the One-At-A-Time survey interaction feature in SurveyMonkey and SurveyGizmo as it interferes with screen reader technology’s ability to interpret information. For more information, go to SurveyMonkey’s: Accessibility Best Practices and SurveyGizmo’s: One-at-a-Time Survey Interaction section.
- Make sure survey questions and input fields are resizable. For more information visit SurveyGizmo: Resizing Text Fields.
- For better mobile layout, always organize multiple choice questions in a vertical layout.
- Use SurveyGizmo: Building Mobile-Friendly Surveys and SurveyMonkey: Mobile Optimization for guidance in making mobile responsive surveys.
- 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.
- Use an accessibility checker to determine the accessibility of your survey. Use the WAVE Validation Tool can run a more in-depth accessibility check.
- Review the color contrast of your survey by testing it with a color contrast checker. Recommended tool is WebAIM: Color Contrast Checker
- If using SurveyGizmo, use the SurveyGizmo: Diagnostics tool to identify your surveys accessibility score.
- Use SurveyGizmo’s: Accessible Survey Test as a guide to develop a accessible survey in SurveyGizmo.
- If using SurveyMonkey, validate screen reader accessibility by using SurveyMonkey’s Taking a Survey with a Screen Reader page.
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.