Provide user controls to pause, stop and hide moving and auto-updating content.

Introduction

Moving or auto-updating content on a website can cause difficulties for users with visual or cognitive impairments. These users may not be able to perceive the information before it changes or may be distracted by the movement.

Alongside avoiding moving content, you can help users by providing them with simple controls.

How to Pass ‘Pause, Stop, Hide’

  • Ensure moving, blinking or scrolling content has a control to pause, stop or hide it.
  • Ensure auto-updating content has a control to pause, stop, hide or control the frequency of updates.

Exceptions

  • The moving, blinking, scrolling or auto-updating content starts only by user request.
  • The moving, blinking, scrolling or auto-updating content is not presented in parallel with other content (for example, a full-page advert displayed before users reach your webpage).
  • The moving, blinking or scrolling content lasts less than five seconds.
  • The movement is essential (for example, an animation that shows users that something is loading, if it would otherwise look like your website was frozen).

‘Pause, Stop, Hide’ Tips

When a user pauses and unpauses content, let them continue where they left off if the content is pre-set but take them to the current display if the content is real-time.

A rough guide is that “blinking” content pulses less than three times per second.  Anything that pulses faster is “flashing” content and has its own rules (see Three Flashes or Below and Three Flashes). The distinction falls on the line between what may cause a seizure in a user (flashing) and what is more of a distraction than a hazard (blinking).

My advice is to remove anything that blinks or flashes and never auto-play content – that way you pass without having to build all the controls or time it to five seconds.

See Also

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About Author

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'.