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Re: Using Form Elements for Pages only Intended for Printing

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2002 08:31:40 +0000
Message-ID: <3C3D516C.4040204@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Geoff Deering wrote:

> Quite often sites will produce pages whose only intention is for you to be
> able to print the form, fill it in, and either fax or post it.  Maybe this
> is an accessibility issue in itself.

I think I've seen this more for PDF forms.  For HTML forms, this is
often the result of misuse of JavaScript on a online form.

Especially for PDF, but also for HTML, using form elements makes the
form more accessible to the blind and those who have difficulty using
a pen.  By allowing the use of pulldown lists they may help those who
have difficulty understanding the form to make suitable choices 
(although they are often restrictive).

Reasons for using offline forms would include security (no data
transmitted - e.g. a new e-business that doesn't have SSL, or
someone who wants to work with non-SSL browsers (SSL had patent
problems until recently)), obtaining a signature for legal reasons,
and minimising development costs (especially if the main input is
still on pre-printed forms).

The common alternative is the PDF file of the standard paper form,
at least for official forms, and that tends to be considered a bad
Received on Thursday, 10 January 2002 17:15:20 UTC

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