Clear Instructions on Forms

Make sure that any instructions, error messages, and guidance are easily understood. Avoid technical language that is unnecessary, but describe any requirements for user input, like the format for a date.

For online forms, put labels and instructions in the proper places so that the user can easily recognize what input is expected of them, as well as how to submit the form and how to clear the contents of a form.

These instructions will need to be able to be spoken by a screen reader, or read with the assistance of a screen magnifier, and should be navigational with a keyboard in order to be accessible to all users.

Options and recommendations

There are several types of electronic forms. They are discussed from most recommended to least.

Web forms

Campus web forms are normally created with LiveWhale Forms (the preferred method) and Select Survey. However, there are other methods of form creation including SurveyMonkey and submit-able, but we encourage staff to stick with LiveWhale forms when possible.


  • No need to manage results 
  • Simple statistics are usually immediately available

Word forms

Word can be used to created accessible electronic forms.


  • Users can adjust the forms unless they are protected.  
  • Protecting forms removes their accessibility.

PDF forms

Creating accessible fillable PDF forms is difficult. We recommend the above methods if at all possible. 

If you are required to create a fillable PDF forms, the following links may be helpful:


Contact Campus Technology  Services by phone: (914) 251-6465 or by email: