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Accessibility and Duo

Last Updated: July 30th, 2019


Accessibility means creating an easy-to-use experience for everybody. At Duo, our goal is to build usable security for everyone and that means having empathy for all of our diverse end users.

What are the keyboard shortcuts in Duo's browser-based authentication and enrollment interfaces?

Duo's authentication and enrollment interfaces are keyboard accessible using standard keystrokes, such as:

  • Pressing Tab changes focus to the next element. Every element on the page should be reachable using Tab.
  • Shift + Tab navigates backwards through the web elements.
  • Use the Enter or Return key to follow a link.
  • Use the Spacebar to submit a button click.
  • Navigate radio buttons and dropdown menus with the arrow keys.
  • Navigate options with the Tab key within a modal dialogue (pop-up box).
  • Exit or dismiss a dialog or pop-up box with the Escape key.

There are no Duo-specific keyboard shortcuts.

How do I enable keyboard accessibility?

Operating Systems

  • MacOS: Open System PreferencesKeyboard and click the Shortcuts tab. Under Full Keyboard Access, choose the radio button that says All Controls.
  • Windows: Enabled by default. Turn on additional accessibility features in the Windows Ease of Access Center on your PC.


  • Chrome: Keyboard accessibility is enabled by default. If not, go to SettingsShow Advanced settingsWeb Content. Enable the Pressing Tab on a webpage highlights links, as well as form fields option.
  • Firefox: Uses the underlying operating system accessibility setting.
  • Internet Explorer: Tab navigation enabled by default. Learn more about IE accessibility at the Microsoft Accessibility site.
  • Safari: Open PreferencesAdvanced. In the Accessibility settings, select Press tab to highlight each item on a webpage.

What standards does Duo use to measure accessibility?

We’ve benchmarked ourselves against the international technical standard for accessibility, W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. In working with the WCAG 2.0 AA standard, we also worked towards meeting the GSA Section 508 standards.

We’ve also worked together with customers in the education space who have graciously helped to audit our end user experience and have acted on their feedback. In addition, we have contracted the Michigan State University Usability/Accessibility Research and Consulting (UARC) team for a full audit later this year.

How does Duo test for accessibility?

We test for accessibility in a number of ways. For our visually impaired users, we test our software manually by using both magnification and screen readers, specifically Nonvisual Access’ NVDA screen reader and Apple’s VoiceOver. We also ensure users can successfully authenticate only using a keyboard by testing font colors and backgrounds against contrast checkers and improving contrast for keyboard focus.

In order to test the results, we use Google Developer Tools’ Accessibility Audit extension to run WCAG 2.0 audit rules against our product. When these tests didn’t tell us the best route to follow, we solicited feedback from web accessibility experts from education customers.

What has Duo done for accessibility on a technical level?

We restructured our code to communicate the same information in multiple ways. Users need to interact with content in a variety of forms, and providing multiple ways to access content is the heart of web accessibility. We restructured HTML content to provide clear formatting information to screen readers and other assistive technology (AT). ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) roles and attributes were used to communicate additional information to AT without diminishing the experience for users.

Will average users see improvement in their Duo experience?

We think that making our software more accessible improves the experience for all users. Focused content is more visible, forms have been simplified and better organized, content has been clarified, and keyboard accessibility is significantly improved.

Which of Duo’s products are most accessible?

We have focused primarily on the end user experience; the parts of Duo’s software that are seen by the most people. The Duo Prompt has seen the most improvement as we work to make it WCAG 2.0 AA-level accessible. The Duo Mobile application has also undergone accessibility audits and improvements.

Are there certain modes that provide increased or decreased accessibility?

Duo's authentication prompt is fully compatible with popular screen readers and voiceover options on Apple and Android phones. It is most accessible on up-to-date version of the most popular browsers: Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge. The Duo Mobile application for iOS and Android is also compatible with platform native text to speech and alternative navigation options.

Are there any known accessibility issues?

Yes, these are some issues we're aware of with specific configurations and tools:

  • Users of the JAWS 2019 screen reader with Firefox on Windows 10 may experience issues with authentication and enrollment in the Duo Prompt. As users progress through the Duo on-screen prompts, JAWS may begin re-reading the previous screen, preventing advancement through authentication or enrollment. We recommend that users who experience this allow JAWS to completely finish reading the button text before selecting it and moving forward.

  • The Nuance Dragon Web Extension (previously known as the Dragon Naturally Speaking Extension) is incompatible with Duo's inline browser-based authentication prompt. We recommend using a different tool.

What does Duo plan to do for accessibility moving forward?

We have accessibility audits scheduled with Michigan State University’s UARC team by the end of this year. We will continue to act on their feedback to meet WCAG 2.0 standards, and we will rely on our internal accessibility experts to help us design accessible software from the ground up as we continue to deliver value to our customers.

Please contact Duo Support with any questions or feedback about usability and accessibility in our products.