About CIA


Section 7. Time

Accessibility Score Sheet Questions

7.1    Does the user have sufficient time to read and use content?


An individual’s disability can have a direct impact on the speed with which he or she can read, move around, or fill in a web form. For instance, someone with extremely low vision may be a slower-than-average reader. A page may “time out” before she or he is able to finish reading it. Many forms, when they “time out” automatically, also delete whatever data has been entered. The result is that someone with a disability who is slow to enter data cannot complete the form. For this reason, when a timed response is required, the user should be alerted via a prompt and given sufficient time to indicate whether additional time is needed.

Test Approach

1. Ask a developer if there are any timeouts and how they handle the user experience or test the time out. Observe the time out process. Is the user notified that a time out will occur? Can they extend the time? Is data saved if the application times out?

Development Techniques

  • Avoid time limits within an application if possible.
  • When a time limit must be used, notify the user of the time limit and/or prompt when the time is running out. If possible, allow the user to turn the time limit off, adjust the time limit beforehand, or extend the time.
  • If the time-out occurs on the server, the server should send a message to the user indicating the process will time out. Otherwise, use JavaScript or other to generate a pop-up or dialog to inform the user of the time-out and allow them to request additional time.
  • Note: This does not apply when the time limit is greater than 20 hours, when it’s part of a real time event, or extending the time would negate the activity (for example a test).

Posted: Jan 07, 2016 12:41 PM
Last Updated: Jan 07, 2016 12:41 PM