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<select multiple> and WCAG compliance


From: Roel Van Gils
Date: Oct 24, 2017 5:47AM


I consider using `<select multiple>` (see example below) a very poor practice in terms of accessibility (and usability in general). I usually suggest using a series of checkboxes instead.

<select multiple>
<option value="volvo">Volvo</option>
<option value="saab">Saab</option>
<option value="opel">Opel</option>
<option value="audi">Audi</option>

Most users don't know they have to hold down a modifier key (dependent on the OS they're using) to select more than items, and even if even they know (or tell them), it's hard for certain users to operate the keyboard and the mouse at the same time. Without a mouse, I believe that's not even possible in most browsers.

Screenreader support is also spotty, but it's possible (if you try hard enough).

My question is: is it acceptable to let a website fail for WCAG 2.1.1 ('Make all functionality available from a keyboard') when the author uses perfectly valid and semantic HTML? That seems wrong.

That seems really weird, because, after all, it's perfectly valid and Plain Old Semantic HTML.

I'd love to hear your opinions.


Roel Van Gils
Inclusive Design & Accessibility Consultant

Tel.: +32 473 88 18 06
Skype: roelvangils
Twitter: twitter.com/roelvangils
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