onChange Event Handler should not be used with Select Element


The onchange event, when used in conjunction with the select form control, can cause problems for people with disabilities. Browser keyboard support for the combination of onchange event and the select form control does not allow the user to view menu options without triggering the onChange event, which moves the user to another web page. As browser developers learn of this problem they improve keyboard support, but it will be some time before legacy browsers are replaced with newer versions, so the problem still exists.

Benefits to People with Disabilities

  1. People with disabilities can use keyboard commands to choose options from select element options in a way that supports the keyboard.

Benefits to Everyone

  1. All users will benefit from being able to use keyboard commands in addition to selection options from a select form control.

Benefits to Developers

  1. Developers benefit by providing users with multiple ways to interact with their web resources.


select[onchange] (HTML4)

Related Accessibility Requirements

Section 508

Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Standards

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0