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

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.


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