Timing Adjustable
Success Criterion 2.2.1 (Level A)


If your site or application uses time limits, can users turn off, adjust, or extend those time limits?

Why is this important

Individuals with visual disabilities, dexterity impairments, and cognitive limitations may require more time to perform on-line functions. Users who require additional time to complete tasks need options provided to disable time limits, customize the length of time limits, or request more time before a time limit occurs.

Whom does it benefit?

Example 1:

As a blind person relying on screen reading software,
I want to turn off time limitations on purchasing goods online
so that I can complete my transaction without being timed out and having to start over.

Example 2:

As a user with a mobility impairment who is reliant on a switch device,
I want to be able to extend time limits when filling out an online form
so that I can complete my form without being timed out and having to start over.

Example 3:

As a user with a reading disability who needs more time to read and comprehend information,
I want to be able to adjust time limits when doing class assignments online
so that I can complete my task without being timed-out and having to start over.

What should you do?

If your application includes components that are timed, provide users with a way to disable the timer, extend the time limit, or request more time. This includes content that is automatically advancing or updating at a rate beyond the user's ability to read and/or understand it. In other words, animated, moving or scrolling content introduces a time limit on a users ability to fully read it.

In some cases, however, it is not possible to change the time limit and exceptions are therefore provided for those cases. The exceptions are:

  • Real-time Exception - The time limit is a required part of a real-time event (for example, an auction), and no alternative to the time limit is possible; or
  • Essential Exception - The time limit is essential and extending it would invalidate the activity; or
  • 20 Hour Exception - The time limit is longer than 20 hours.

This success criterion should be considered in conjunction with Success Criterion 3.2.1, which puts limits on changes of content or context as a result of user action.

How do you do it?

Ultimately, functions and sites should be designed without time limits to allow users adequate time needed to interact successfully with the content. See Success Criteria 2.2.3.

However, when timing is used, WCAG gives example situations and techniques to meet the success criteria. Some examples are below.

  • Situation A: If there are session time limits:
    • provide a checkbox on the first page of a multipart form that allows users to ask for longer session time limit or no session time limit
    • provide a way for the user to turn the time limit off
  • Situation B: If a time limit is controlled by a script on the page:
    • provide a way for the user to turn the time limit off
    • provide the user with a means to set the time limit to 10 times the default time limit
  • Situation C: If there are time limits on reading:
    • allow the content to be paused and restarted from where it was paused

For more information on using these and other techniques, see Techniques for Success Criterion 2.2.1: Timing Adjustable .

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