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Technique G107:Using "activate" rather than "focus" as a trigger for changes of context

About this Technique

This technique relates to 3.2.1: On Focus (Sufficient).

This technique applies to all technologies.


The objective of this technique is to provide a method for activating things that is predictable by the user. Users with cognitive disabilities and people using screen readers or screen magnifiers may be confused by an unexpected event such as automatic form submission or activation of a function that causes a change of context.

With this technique, all changes of context would be triggered only by a specific action on the part of the user. Further, that action would be one that usually causes changes in context, such as clicking on a link or pressing a submit button. Actions that simply move the focus to an element would not cause a change of context.


Example 1

  • A page pops up a new window only when the user clicks(or uses spacebar) on a button rather than using onfocus to pop up a new window.
  • A submit button is used to move on to the next data entry screen rather than having the next screen appear automatically when the user tabbed onto a 'done' button.



  1. Using a keyboard, cycle focus through all content
  2. Check that no changes of context occur when any component receives focus.

Expected Results

  • #2 is true
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