Skip to Main Content
Go to Penn Libraries homepage   Go to Guides homepage
Banner: RDDS; Research Data & Digital Scholarship displayed between 3D mesh surfaces

Creating Inclusive Surveys

General Guidelines

Whatever software your using to create your survey likely has some accessibility guidelines. Some of the popular ones are linked below in the Resources section.

Question Types

Inaccessible question types to avoid:

  • Questions that refer to or are asked in images or videos, including hot spot type questions and map location selection
  • Most matrix questions (except rank order, constant sum, text entry, and profile)
  • Drag and drop rank order
  • Slider questions
  • Questions asking participants to highlight words or phrases
  • Any questions that can only be answered using a mouse like a drawing or signature

Format and Layout

  • Include alt text for all images used
  • Use headers to organize information
  • Use proper color contrast for text and background, other elements. Default themes are often accessible.
  • Use asterisks (*) to denote required questions. Note that you're using asterisks this way at the beginning of the survey.
  • Use bold, underlined, or italicized text to give emphasis when needed
  • Number survey questions and provide an indication of how many more questions remain
  • Allow participants to return to the survey later
  • Don't make questions or the survey timed, or allow participants to extend the time they have
  • Use clear language for question instructions and error messages


Resources and Guidelines

Accessibility Information for Specific Software

Penn Libraries Home Franklin Home
(215) 898-7555