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Timing Adjustable:
Understanding SC 2.2.1

2.2.1 Timing Adjustable: For each time limit that is set by the content, at least one of the following is true: (Level A)

  • Turn off: the user is allowed to turn off the time limit before encountering it; or

  • Adjust: the user is allowed to adjust the time limit before encountering it over a wide range that is at least ten times the length of the default setting; or

  • Extend: the user is warned before time expires and given at least 20 seconds to extend the time limit with a simple action (for example, "press the space bar [2226] "), and the user is allowed to extend the time limit at least ten times; or

  • 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 [begin delete]is part of an activity where timing is essential [begin delete](for example, time-based testing) [end delete]and time limits [2227] [end delete] cannot be extended [begin delete]further[end delete] without invalidating the activity; or [1949]

  • [begin add]

    20 Hour Exception: the time limit is longer than 20 hours. [2114]

    [end add]
[begin add]

Note: This success criterion acts to ensure that changes in content or context as a result of a time limit will not occur unexpectedly, preventing users from completing tasks. While exceptions to success criterion 2.2.1 where timing is essential exist, guideline 2.2 in general limits changes in content for no reason. 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. [2340]

[end add]

Intent of this Success Criterion

The intent of this success criterion is to ensure that users with disabilities are given adequate time to interact with Web content whenever possible. People with disabilities such as blindness, dexterity impairments, and cognitive limitations may require more time to [begin add]read content or [end add]perform functions such as filling out on-line forms. If Web functions are time-dependent, it will be difficult for some users to perform the required action before a time limit occurs. This may render the service inaccessible to them. Designing functions that are not time-dependent will help people with disabilities succeed at completing these functions. Providing options to disable time limits, customize the length of time limits, or request more time before a time limit occurs helps those users who require more time than expected to successfully complete tasks. [begin add]These options are listed in the order that will be most helpful for the user. Disabling time limits is better than customizing the length of time limits, which is better than requesting more time before a time limit occurs. [2077] [end add]

Any process that happens without user initiation after a set time or on a periodic basis is a time limit. This includes partial or full updates of content[begin add] (for example, page refresh)[end add], changes to content, or the expiration of a window of opportunity for a user to react to a request for input.

In some cases, however, it is not possible to change the time limit (for example, for an auction or other real-time event) and exceptions are therefore provided for those cases.

Notes regarding server time limits

[begin add]

In cases where timing is not an intrinsic requirement but giving users control over timed events would invalidate the outcome, a third party can control the time limits for the user (for example, granting double time on a test). [2049]

[end add]

Specific Benefits of Success Criterion 2.2.1:

  • People with physical disabilities often need more time to react, to type and to complete activities. People with low vision need more time to locate things on screen and to read. People who are blind and using screen readers may need more time to understand screen layouts, to find information and to operate controls. People who have cognitive or language limitations need more time to read and to understand. People who are deaf and communicate in sign language may need more time to read information printed in text (which may be a second language for some).

  • In circumstances where a sign-language interpreter may be relating audio content to a user who is deaf, control over time limits is also important.

Examples of Success Criterion 2.2.1

Related Resources

Resources are for information purposes only, no endorsement implied.

(none currently documented)

Techniques and Failures for Success Criterion 2.2.1 [Timing Adjustable]

Each numbered item in this section represents a technique or combination of techniques that the WCAG Working Group deems sufficient for meeting this success criterion. The techniques listed only satisfy the success criterion if all of the WCAG 2.0 conformance requirements have been met.

Sufficient Techniques

Instructions: Select the situation below that matches your content. Each situation includes numbered techniques (or combinations of techniques) that the Working Group deems to be sufficient for that situation.

Situation A: If there are session time limits:
  1. G133: Providing 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

Situation B: If a time limit is controlled by a script on the page:
  1. Providing a way for the user to turn the time limit off (future link)

  2. Providing the user with a means to set the time limit to 10 times the default time limit (future link)

  3. SCR16: Providing a script that warns the user a time limit is about to expire (Scripting) AND SCR1: Allowing the user to extend the default time limit (Scripting)

Additional Techniques (Advisory)

Although not required for conformance, the following additional techniques should be considered in order to make content more accessible. Not all techniques can be used or would be effective in all situations.


The following are common mistakes that are considered failures of Success Criterion 2.2.1 by the WCAG Working Group.

Key Terms

activity where [begin add]moving, blinking, scrolling, or auto-updating[end add] [begin delete]timing[end delete] is essential

activity where [begin add]moving, blinking, scrolling, or auto-updating[end add] [begin delete]timing[end delete] is [begin add]central to[end add] [begin delete]part of[end delete] the design of the activity and removal [begin delete]of the time dependency [end delete]would [begin add]fundamentally [end add]change the functionality of the content