Grouped form fields

Introduction to screen‐readers: JAWS Edition

The information here applies to any set of inputs grouped by a fieldset, such as radios, checkboxes or date components.

A fieldset is what is known as a grouping element and is announced to JAWS to tell the user the inputs inside are related.

It is important that the group is given an accessible name. This function is performed by the legend and is normally the question the group refers to. You'll hear this read out when you reach the group.


Move to the radio group below. You will hear the group name announced (derived from the `legend`), then you will hear the `legend` followed by the options as you move through the component.

Remember you can move through the radio inputs quickly by using the form element shortcut f.

You can select a radio or checkbox by pressing enter.Once you do this you will hear the forms mode audible tone. For radios you will need to exit forms mode using JAWS + space to continue navigating the page, otherwie the standard behaviour of radios comes into play where using arrow keys changes the selected value.

When you select a radio or checkbox, or move to a selected input, you will hear JAWS announce “checked” (even if it is a radio button).

Where do you live?

Legends and the dialog

You will see the legend in front of each label in the form controls listing dialog JAWS + F5.

Form controls dialog showing legend alongside each field label

Key takeaway:

When testing, check each group with a fieldset has a legend with appropriate copy inside it.

Next, hints and errors