When audio or video plays automatically on a page, it should last for less than three seconds or there must be a way to pause/stop it. This ensures that people who listen to content with a screen reader can do so without it being drowned out by the audio/video.
Accessibility Requirements for 1.4.2 Audio Control(A)
- Audio or video content that plays automatically lasts for three seconds or less;
- Audio or video that plays automatically and lasts for more than three seconds, can be paused and/or stopped.
Common mistakes for 1.4.2 Audio Control(A)
- Audio or video plays automatically for more than three seconds, but cannot be paused or stopped by the user.
Techniques for 1.4.2 Audio Control(A)
Common Failures for 1.4.2 Audio Control(A)
The following are common mistakes that are considered failures of Success Criterion 1.4.2 by the WCAG Working Group.
- F23: Failure of 1.4.2 due to playing a sound longer than 3 seconds where there is no mechanism to turn it off
- F93: Failure of Success Criterion 1.4.2 for absence of a way to pause or stop an HTML5 media element that autoplays
FAQs for Audio control
What content is tested for audio control?
Success Criterion 1.4. 2 Audio Control (Level A): If any audio on a Web page plays automatically for more than 3 seconds, either a mechanism is available to pause or stop the audio, or a mechanism is available to control audio volume independently from the overall system volume level.
What are exception for audio control?
Although you can technically pass this guideline by adding a pause, mute or stop function to automatic audio, that’s a bad idea. You don’t want users searching around your website for the audio control.
There’s a further exception on audio that plays for less than three seconds. Ignore this too. Three seconds of audio can still distract users, especially those who have problems maintaining focus.