Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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G21: Ensuring that users are not trapped in content


All technologies which support interactive operation.

This technique relates to:


The objective of this technique is to ensure that keyboard users do not become trapped in a subset of the content that can only be exited using a mouse or pointing device. A common example is content rendered by plug-ins. Plug-ins are user agents that render content inside the user agent host window and respond to all user actions that takes place while the plug-in has the focus. If the plug-in does not provide a keyboard mechanism to return focus to the parent window, users who must use the keyboard may become trapped in the plug-in content.

This problem can be avoided by using one of the following mechanisms to provide a way for users to escape the subset of the content:

If the author uses a technology that allows users to enter the sub-content with keyboard and does not allow users to exit the sub-content with keyboard by default (i.e., it is not a feature of the Web content technology or its user agents) then, in order to implement this technique the author would either build such a capability into their content or not use the technology.



No resources available for this technique.

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  1. Tab through content from start to finish.

  2. Check to see that keyboard focus is not trapped in any of the content.

  3. If keyboard focus appears to be trapped in any of the content, check that help information is available explaining how to exit the content and can be accessed via the keyboard.

Expected Results

If this is a sufficient technique for a success criterion, failing this test procedure does not necessarily mean that the success criterion has not been satisfied in some other way, only that this technique has not been successfully implemented and can not be used to claim conformance.

Techniques are Informative

Techniques are informative—that means they are not required. The basis for determining conformance to WCAG 2.0 is the success criteria from the WCAG 2.0 standard—not the techniques. For important information about techniques, please see the Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria section of Understanding WCAG 2.0.