Content does not restrict its view and operation to a single display orientation, such as portrait or landscape. (Level AA)


Objective: Don’t lock content to either portrait or landscape presentation

The key intended beneficiaries of this checkpoint are users unable to modify the orientation of devices. If authors force content to only display in portait (or landscape) orientation, it deprives users of the option to consume the content in the perspective that they need or prefer. If a user has a device affixed to a wheelchair or is otherwise unable to reorient the device to match the author-imposed orientation, the content can become unusable.

Note that this checkpoint bans author-controlled techniques to limit the display orientation of an application on the device. Where a user activates any system-level orientation lock, applications will be subjected to this system-level setting without any action required on the author's part. System or hardware locks are user-imposed preferences and are not contradictory to the requirements of this checkpoint.

Essential Exception: This requirement does not apply where a specific display orientation is essential. WCAG defines essential as "if removed, would fundamentally change the information or functionality of the content, and information and functionality cannot be achieved in another way that would conform." Such a situation will be rare; most applications should be able to be usable when displayed in either orientation (although one orientation may be less optimal).

An example of an application whose orientation would be considered essential is a piano keyboard emulator. Since such an app mimics a physical piano keyboard, which is heavily biased to horizontal operation, the few keys available in a portrait orientation would make the application's intended function unusable.

Refer to Understanding 1.3.4 for more information (external link to WCAG).

Development Techniques

This paragraph appears generically in all checkpoints. Review the General techniques as well as other tabs applicable to your technology.  Prioritize the use of technology-specific techniques, and implement the General techniques as needed. You are always required to find, understand and implement accessible code techniques to meet the checkpoint. The documented techniques and supplements are not exhaustive; they illustrate acceptable ways to achieve the spirit of the checkpoint. If numbered, techniques are in order of preference, with recommended techniques listed first. Where used, IBM information that complements the WCAG techniques is indicated as supplemental.

General techniques

Any item in this section represents a technique deemed sufficient. Ensure you review WCAG Common Failures to avoid development mistakes.

Web (HTML, ARIA, CSS) techniques

There are no specific Web techniques for this checkpoint. Refer to the General techniques section.

Mobile Native (iOS) techniques

There are no specific Mobile Native iOS techniques for this checkpoint. Refer to the General techniques section.

Eclipse techniques

There are no specific Eclipse techniques for this checkpoint. Refer to the General techniques section.

Windows-based (MSAA+IA2) techniques

There are no specific Windows-based (MSAA+IA2) techniques for this checkpoint. Refer to the General techniques section.

Many links in this checklist reside outside at the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1. W3C Recommendation 05 June 2018:

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