Checkboxes/Radio Buttons Improperly Labeled

Short Description

Radio button/check box either lacks a label or is inappropriately labeled

Long Description

    Tabbing from input field to input field is an efficient way to navigate through forms with a screen reader. Check boxes/radio buttons need to be properly labeled in order to make this work.

  • If a user could not deduce the question from the possible answers, it is important to group the answers with the question. For example, answers such as “male,” “female,” “other,” indicate the question asked about the user’s sex. On the other hand, answers such as “yes” and “no” give no hint as to the original question. When the question and answers are grouped, a screen reader will say something along the lines of “Do you want to be added to our mailing list? Yes,” or “Do you want to be added to our mailing list? No.”
  • Depending on the format of improperly labeled check boxes/radio boxes, the entry field might appear either above or below the related text. This makes deciding which possible answer goes with which entry field ambiguous. A screen reader user frequently has to go through the list at least a couple times to decide if the proper field is above or below the text. Plus, it adds some uncertainty as to whether or not the user selected the correct one.

  • When there is only one possible answer, such as to the statement “I agree with the above terms,” the accompanying entry field should be a check box, not a radio button. It is difficult to uncheck a radio button if a user changes their mind.

Example of Issue


  • Every input field should have a label.
  • The fieldset and legend tags create a group. The group assists the screen reader in knowing what information to associate with each input field.
  • A screen reader will generally read the legend tag along with every input field in a group. It should be concise and meaningful.



Impacted Assistive Technology

Screen Reader

Impacted Type of Device