Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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G170: Providing a control near the beginning of the Web page that turns off sounds that play automatically

Important Information about Techniques

See Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria for important information about the usage of these informative techniques and how they relate to the normative WCAG 2.0 success criteria. The Applicability section explains the scope of the technique, and the presence of techniques for a specific technology does not imply that the technology can be used in all situations to create content that meets WCAG 2.0.


All technologies where sound can be played automatically.

This technique relates to:


The intent of this technique is to allow a user to turn off sounds that start automatically when a page loads. The control to turn off the sounds should be located near the beginning of the page to allow the control to be easily and quickly discovered by users. This is useful for those who utilize assistive technologies (such as screen readers, screen magnifiers, switch mechanisms, etc.) and those who may not (such as those with cognitive, learning and language disabilities).

In this technique, an author includes a control that makes it possible for users to turn off any sounds that are played automatically. The control should be keyboard operable, located early in the tab and reading order, and clearly labeled to indicate that it will turn off the sounds that are playing.


Example 1

A Web page contains a time-based media presentation that includes an audio track as well as an animated video describing how to repair a lawnmower engine. The page contains 2 buttons that say "Pause" and "Stop", which give the user control over when and if the time-based media plays.

Example 2

A Web page contains an embedded short film. The page contains a button that says "Pause the movie", which allows the user to pause the film.

Example 3

A Web page contains a Flash presentation that includes video and audio. The page contains a button that says "Turn off multimedia", which allows the user to stop any video and audio from playing.



  1. Load a Web page.

  2. Check for music or sounds that start automatically.

  3. Check that a control that allows the user to turn off the sounds is provided near the beginning of the page.

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.