Form elements should have a visible label
How to Fix the Problem
Provide every form control a label using
<label> or explicit
Most of the time it is best to use standard form labels using the
<label> tag. The
<label> tag is by far
the most useful and most widely-supported method of labeling form elements,
especially among older browsers and older screen readers. There are, however,
certain circumstances that require more flexible methods of labeling objects.
One limitation of the
<label> tag is that it can be
associated with only one form element. If circumstances require a more complex
labeling structure, the
<label> tag is insufficient. This
aria-labelledby come in.
aria-label attribute allows you to add a label directly to
pretty much any HTML element, including form elements, paragraphs, tables, and
The label is applied directly to the element, and is completely invisible, which is a huge disadvantage for all sighted users, but screen readers will read the label.
<input type="text" aria-label="Search">
Note: This method should NOT be used unless there is a
compelling reason to use it. The regular
always preferable whenever possible.
aria-labelledby attribute allows you to refer to a text label
elsewhere on the web page. Multiple objects can refer to the same text label
aria-labelledby, making this method quite useful for
complex labeling situations.
Note: As with
aria-label, this method should
NOT be used unless there is a compelling reason to use it. This example is
overly-simplistic, just to show
aria-labelledby works on a
technical level. Using
aria-labelledby in such a
straightforward circumstance is inappropriate. A more standard
<label> tag would be better.
<input type="text" aria-labelledby="search">
Create an explicit association by giving the
label element a
for attribute with the same value as
the form control's
id attribute. This provides a one-to-one
mapping between the label and the element. This is the best approach for
labeling as it is supported by all modern browsers and all major assistive
technologies for all form elements.
Example: Explicit Label
Explicit labels make the association unambiguous for assistive technologies.
<label for="fname">First Name:</label> <input type="text" name="fname" id="fname"><br>
<label for="lname">Last Name:</label> <input type="text" name="lname" id="lname">
Even though we recommend creating explicit labels, create an
implicit association by putting the form control inside the
label element. This approach has inconsistent support among
assistive technologies. For instance, when this approach is used on a text
input, JAWS will read the label as intended, but when this approach is used in
select menu, it won't be read.
Example: Implicit Label
Implicit labels allowable, but are not as broadly applicable or as reliable as explicit labels.
<label>First Name: <input type="text" name="fname"></label><br>
<label>Last Name: <input type="text" name="lname"></label>
Why it Matters
aria-describedby attributes are used
to provide additional information such as a hint. Hints are exposed to
accessibility APIs differently than labels and as such, this can cause
problems with assistive technologies.
When form inputs such as text entry fields, radio buttons, check boxes, and
select menus contain no labels other than
aria-describedby attribute values, screen readers interpret the
content as advisory information only. Labels created by the
aria-describedby values are not sufficient
to create a true label that can be determined programmatically from the code
to convey the purpose of the input form element.
<input> elements may be given a title using the
aria-describedby attributes (but not both).
These attributes are used to provide additional information such as a hint.
The Algorithm (in simple terms)
Ensures that every
<input> that requires a label is has a
label other than the