Understanding Success Criterion 2.1.3: Keyboard (No Exception)

Success Criterion 2.1.3 Keyboard (No Exception) (Level AAA): All functionality of the content is operable through a keyboard interface without requiring specific timings for individual keystrokes.


The intent of this Success Criterion is to ensure that all content is operable from the keyboard. This is the same as Success Criterion 2.1.1, except that no exceptions are allowed. This does not mean that content where the underlying function requires input that depends on the path of the user's movement and not just the endpoints (excluded from the requirements of 2.1.1) must be made keyboard accessible. Rather, it means that content that uses path-dependent input cannot conform to this Success Criterion and therefore cannot meet Guideline 2.1 at Level AAA.


Related Resources

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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. However, it is not necessary to use these particular techniques. For information on using other techniques, see Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria, particularly the "Other Techniques" section.

Sufficient Techniques

No additional techniques exist for this Success Criterion. Follow techniques for Success Criterion 2.1.1. If that is not possible because there is a requirement for path-dependent input, then it is not possible to meet this Level AAA Success Criterion.

Key Terms


processes and outcomes achievable through user action

keyboard interface

interface used by software to obtain keystroke input

A keyboard interface allows users to provide keystroke input to programs even if the native technology does not contain a keyboard.

A touchscreen PDA has a keyboard interface built into its operating system as well as a connector for external keyboards. Applications on the PDA can use the interface to obtain keyboard input either from an external keyboard or from other applications that provide simulated keyboard output, such as handwriting interpreters or speech-to-text applications with "keyboard emulation" functionality.

Operation of the application (or parts of the application) through a keyboard-operated mouse emulator, such as MouseKeys, does not qualify as operation through a keyboard interface because operation of the program is through its pointing device interface, not through its keyboard interface.