Using a control to allow access to content in different orientations which is otherwise restricted

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 2.1 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 2.1.

Applicability

When the orientation of the page is locked, provide a button to allow a user to change the orientation.

This technique relates to Success Criterion 1.3.4: Orientation (Sufficient).

Description

The objective of this technique is to allow users to access content in the way the user prefers. A content provider may expect that most users will view content using a specific device orientation or may expect that a user will want to maintain the original view within the device. As a result the provider then prevents the content from rotating. By providing a control to allow the user to rotate the content, someone who needs to use a particular orientation will be able to view the content in a comfortable manner. For example, a person who cannot hold the device and has it mounted attached to a wheelchair or bed.

Note

Many users will expect to use OS-level settings to prevent the orientation from changing. As a result, it is usually preferable to satisfy this Success Criterion by not restricting the content's ability to adapt to changes in orientation and allowing users to use the OS orientation lock when desired.

Examples

Example 1: An e-Reader application

Users of an e-Reader web application sometimes read when laying down on their side. In this situation, the device is viewed by the user in portrait mode even though the device is in the landscape orientation with regard to gravity. The developer locks the content into the portrait orientation to allow for this reading behavior, but also provides a control to allow users who have devices mounted in a specific orientation to achieve the desired viewing orientation.

Tests

Procedure

For content that does not change orientation when the device is rotated:

  1. Check for a control within the user interface to change the orientation of the content.
  2. Check that when the control is operated that the content changes orientation.

Expected Results

  • Checks #1 and #2 are true.