Accessibility and frevvo

Accessible forms/workflows can assist users with visual and motor impairments. frevvo can be used to build accessible forms/workflows that meet Section 508 and WCAG 2.1 accessibility standards. Note that of course, you can also build forms/workflows that do not take advantage of frevvo accessibility features. For example, form controls that are missing informative labels and help/hint text will not pass accessibility certification.

Form designers are responsible for testing their own forms/workflows to verify that they pass their own certification process.

  • frevvo supports accessibility for use mode forms/workflows only
  • Accessibility will not be supported in this release for mobile devices, Task List and Portals  
  • frevvo follows the WCAG AA standard, and uses tools (ARC Toolkit, Axe) that certify applications to this standard

Assistive technology communicates the labels of form controls, the current value of the control, help text, and any hint text.    


Using forms/workflows

Form users must understand the following information in order to interact with accessible forms/workflows.

Keyboard Functions:

The following keyboard combinations are used when a user is not using a screen reader. If you are using a screen reader please read the documentation specific to your screen reader and see the topic Using Assistive Technology below.

Key CombinationFunction

tab/shift tab

  • navigate forward/backward between controls
  • move through different tabs in a tab control, grid cells in a table, a signature lightbox
  • cycle through options in a checkbox, move through the lightbox for an upload control.
  • cycle through the controls in a section. When the last control in a section is in focus, the cursor advances to the next control in the form when you hit the tab key again.  

Note: If a section is expanded, tabbing will take you directly into the section's controls. Tabbing puts the focus on each tab of a tab control. If a tab is selected, it becomes the active tab, and its contents will be in the natural tab order.

Enter key or the space bar
  • select/deselect checkbox options
  • expand/collapse a section
  • add or remove a repeat item or rows in a table when the plus (plus) or minus (minus) icons have focus,
  • open a link or associated pdf,
  • select a date and close the date picker
  • delete attachments that were uploaded,
  • open the signature lightbox
  • selects a tab
Space bar only
  • open the date picker
  • open the browse file dialog for an upload control
Enter only
  • select a value and close a dropdown list
  • close lightboxes and help text windows
up,down,right,left arrows
  • cycle through the options of a dropdown or radio control and select a value.
  • When the dropdown list is displaying, or you are cycling through the radio options, the left or up arrows select a previous value and the right or down arrows select the next value.
  • Use the left/up arrows to select a previous day and the right/down arrows select the next day when the date picker is open.

Note: The right/left arrow keys can also be used to cycle/select the options of a radio control.

Alt + up/down arrows on a windows keyboard or option + up/down arrows for the Mac
  • open/close a dropdown list.  

Additional Details

The behaviors described below require the designer to enable the form/workflow Accessible property. See Designing Accessibility forms/workflows.


Required Controls

The designer can optionally enable the Accessibility property on the form/workflow. When enabled, required fields display an asterisk.  If users move ahead from a required field without filling it, the error, "You can't leave this empty <control name>" displays. The translatable string, You\ can't\ leave\ this\ empty: is included in the downloaded locale file for form/workflow internationalization. Designer can translate this string to the preferred language as part of the form/workflow internationalization process.

Wet Signature controls 

You will notice a Text box on the wet signature lightbox. Type your name, using the keyboard. Typed text will be entered into the signature area. Signature controls on mobile devices will not have the text entry field.

Using Assistive Technology

If you are using a screen reader please read the documentation specific to your screen reader. The only interaction that is specific to frevvo is that you press the F2 key to display or hear field help text. The help text will disappear from the screen when the user advances to the next control.

If you use a navigation shortcut key such as the 'F' key to move through the cells in a table, when using NVDA, the fields are announced with the row number and column. If you use the down arrow key (or up arrow to reverse) to navigate, NVDA does not announce row & column. This is a function of the NVDA reader and cannot be changed by frevvo.

Enabling full keyboard navigation on the Mac

If you are using the Safari and/or Firefox browsers on a Mac, there are two preferences that you must enable to allow full keyboard-only navigation via the tab key.  Setting these options makes it possible for the user to tab to any control types, which are normally prevented by default.

The first setting is a system preference so it will affect most browsers you use on the Mac.

  1. Go to System Preferences and select the Keyboard option (it may be “Keyboard & Mouse” depending on your version of OS X).
  2. From within the Keyboard preferences, select the Shortcuts tab.
  3. Locate the Full keyboard access: In windows and dialogs, press Tab to move the keyboard focus between option, and select "All Controls.

The second setting is in the Safari browser:

  1. Go to Safari -> Preferences
  2. Under the Advanced tab, select the Press Tab to highlight each item on a webpage check box.

Designing Accessibility forms/workflows

To make a form/workflow accessible in the designers, check the Accessibility property on the form/workflow properties panel. This property is by default unchecked and when checked enables specific advanced accessibility behavior. For Example, Required controls will include an asterisk in the label.


Hint and Help Properties

frevvo designers are encouraged to use the Hint and Help as much as possible. Assistive technology communicates the label of the control, the current value of the control, and any hint text. Help is accessed by pressing the F2 key.

Provide relevant alternative text for image controls. Alternative text can be localized by the designer when internationalizing the form (or workflow).  Assistive Technology will communicate the value of the Alternative Text. This field is intentionally left blank in the designer so it will not be overlooked.


When using signatures we recommend using Signed Sections with Text/Signatures Images as these are the easiest for people to use. If you choose to use a Wet Signature control, an additional Text field displays.

The Text field provides a text entry area where you can type your name using the keyboard. Typed text will be entered into the signature area.   

Signature controls on mobile devices will not have the text entry field.

The Topaz Electronic signature pad, if properly configured, works well with Wet Signature controls in forms/workflows designed for accessibility. Refer to this topic for the configuration information.


Using placeholders in accessible forms is not recommended as they may be read by assistive technology as "empty line".   

Summary Property for Tables

Use the summary property of the table control to specify extra help text that will be announced by AT tools.