C1. Difficulty detecting or using dynamic features and content

Situation Definition:

A situation that arises from difficulty identifying or using dynamic features and content.

Factor(s) Leading to the Situation:

    • Incompatibility: content incompatible

    • Inadequate feedback: dynamic

Guideline or Design Recommendation:

    1. Ensure

      and content of a DL are accessible
    2. Ensure accessibility of notifications regarding changes or updates in features and content
    3. Inform users of the name, function, and status of features
    4. Offer assistance in detecting and using dynamic features and content
    5. Provide instruction on how to detect and use dynamic features and content

Rationale and Objective:

Compared to

, dynamic content is content that changes on a page without reloading and any interaction with users.

may be difficult for

users to access if they cannot interpret changes in content (1). When content updates dynamically, screen readers may not be aware of changes. Any changes should be reported by screen readers, and the new content should be described for users each time the content changes.

Techniques and Methods:

1.1. Map

or content to keyboard commands
1.2. Provide a static version of any dynamic features or content by listing them in the order they appear in the dynamic feature or content
2.1/4.1. Use

roles and alerts to notify the changes of dynamic features and/or content
3.1. Provide an appropriate label reflecting changes for each dynamic feature, associated role, and current status
5.1. Provide

tips describing how to use dynamic features or content

Recommended Features:

1.1. Keyboard-accessible features and content (See example 1.1)
1.2. Static version of dynamic content (See example 1.2/2.1.a/4.1.a)

roles and alerts (See examples 1.2/2.1.a/4.1.a, 2.1.b/4.1.b, 2.1.c/4.1.c/3.1, and 2.1.d/4.1.d)
3.1. Dynamic labels (See example 2.1.c/4.1.c/3.1)
5.1. Context-sensitive help tips (See example 5.1)


1.1. Keyboard-accessible features and content: Good design

The following figure shows the “Create new list” function and the “adding items to the list” are marked up by ARIA. It can be executed using a keyboard.

Create new list function with appropriate mark up: "role="dialog"" "aria-label="Name your list""

1.2/2.1.a/4.1.a. Static version of dynamic content: How-to example

CSS code styles to support keyboard focus – add a:focus with a:hover

a {color: black;  background-color: white;  text-decoration: underline}
a:focus, a:hover {color: white;   background-color: black;   text-decoration: none}

2.1.b/4.1.b. ARIA & keyboard interaction example: How-to example

This example shows how to add ARIA functions. Click here to see the accordion example from W3.org. The example, shown in the Accessibility Features section, shows how expand/collapse works.

Screenshot of dropdown menu example and corresponding code. Emphasis boxes added to appropriate ARIA labels: "aria-labelledby="accordion1id", "aria-required="true", "aria-labelledby="accordion2id", aria-labelledby="accordion3id", and aria-labelled by="ex_end_sep

2.1.c/4.1.c/3.1. Dynamic content using an ARIA Live Region: How-to example

The example shows how to work in ARIA Live Region. Click here to access the Live Region Playground.

Live Region Playground interface

2.1.d/4.1.d. Using ARIA Live Regions or role=alert to Identify Errors: How-to example

Click here to see more detailed information on using ARIA Live Regions and role=alert to identify errors.

5.1. Context-sensitive help tips: How-to example and good example

Provide information regarding the accessibility of dynamic features or content. For example, if a browser zoom in on an item content is not fully supported by the keyboard and has limited action, let BVI users know the limitation. HathiTrust lets users know their keyboard accessibility and screen reader accessibility in the Help.

Help tip information including keyboard accessibility and screen reader accessibility

Related Resources:

    1. UC Berkeley. (2018). Top 10 Tips for Making Your Website Accessible. Retrieved from https://webaccess.berkeley.edu/resources/tips/web-accessibility#accessible-dynamic
    2. University of Washington. (2018). Providing Visible Focus for Keyboard Users. Retrieved from https://www.washington.edu/accessibility/checklist/focus/
    3. W3C. (2018). WCAG 2.1 Success Criterion 2.4.7 Focus Visible (Level AA). Retrieved from https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG21/#focus-visible 

See also:

Help-seeking Situations > C. Difficulty with help