‘Interuptions’ requires that users can postpone or suppress non-emergency interruptions.


Users with cognitive impairments may have difficulty maintaining their focus and attention. Interrupting their experience can impact their understanding of your content. Those with visual impairments who use a screen reader may struggle if content changes while they are consuming it.

Ideally, avoid these issues by eliminating all non-emergency interruptions.

How to Pass ‘Interruptions’

  • Don’t interrupt users, other than for emergencies
  • If you really want to interrupt users:
    • provide an option for turning off all but emergency interruptions (for example, by a ‘preferences’ or ‘accessibility’ page where choices persist for the user’s session);
    • allow users to postpone all updates and interruptions; or
    • allow users to request updates rather than receive them automatically.
  • Don’t use an automatic redirect or refresh function based on a time delay (for example, if a webpage has moved, do not redirect users to the new page after a certain amount of time).


Emergencies include civil emergency alert messages and messages that warn of danger to health, safety, or property – including data loss or loss of connection.

‘Interruptions’ Tips

The best thing you can do is eliminate all interruptions. 

If you must use a pop-up, make sure keyboard focus is on the window-closing ‘X’ icon in the corner that closes the pop-up. When a user closes a pop-up, return keyboard focus to the place on the page they were at before the pop-up appeared.

There is an overlap with 2.2.1 – Timing Adjustable, which allows for a warning to interrupt a user to tell them that a time limit is approaching as that would count as a loss of connection.

See Also

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I'm Luke, I started Wuhcag in 2012 to help people like you get to grips with web accessibility. Check out my book, 'How to Meet the WCAG 2.0'.

3 comments on “Interruptions (2.2.4 – Level AAA)

    Eric Scoles says:

    A lot of US state and federal websites are required to adhere to redirect policies that MANDATE time-delayed redirects in some circumstances — specifically, in my experience, when pointing to any website outside of the relevant [.state].gov domain, and sometimes whenever pointing to any website outside of the local domain (e.g. ‘nyserda.ny.gov’).

    It’s supposed to provide transparency and warning when users are passing outside of the ‘trusted’ domain.

    (I don’t personally agree with the practice, but the requirement is a fact of life for a lot of people working on US government sites.)


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