Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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F12: Failure of Success Criterion 2.2.5 due to having a session time limit without a mechanism for saving user's input and re-establishing that information upon re-authentication


Sites that require user login to submit input and that terminate the session after a some period of inactivity.

This failure relates to:


Web servers that require user authentication usually have a session mechanism in which a session times out after a period of inactivity from the user. This is sometimes done for security reasons, to protect users who are assumed to have left their computer exposed in a state where someone could do something harmful to them such as transfer bank funds or make an unauthorized purchase. A user with a disability may actually still be working to complete the form as it may take him or her longer to complete the form than would normally be expected. Upon re-authentication, if the state of the user's session is not restored, including all data that had been previously entered into the form, he or she will have to start over. And for these users, it is likely that the session will time out again before they can complete the form. This sets up a situation where a user who needs more time to complete the form can never complete it.




On a site where authentication is required, user input is collected, and which ends the user's session after a known period of inactivity:

  1. Provide user input as required but allow the session to time out, then submit the form.

  2. When requested, re-authenticate with the server.

  3. Determine if the function is performed using the previously submitted data.

Expected Results

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.