Failure of Success Criterion 2.5.1 due to providing functionality via a path-based gesture without simple pointer alternative

Important Information about Techniques

See Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria for important information about the usage of these informative techniques and how they relate to the normative WCAG 2.2 success criteria. The Applicability section explains the scope of the technique, and the presence of techniques for a specific technology does not imply that the technology can be used in all situations to create content that meets WCAG 2.2.


All technologies that include interactive controls that can be triggered using a pointer. This technique relates to Success Criterion 2.5.1: Pointer Gestures.

This technique relates to Success Criterion 2.5.1: Pointer Gestures (Failure).


The objective of this Failure is to describe situations where authors have implemented a function that is operated via a path-based gesture, and no alternative ways of operating this function via simple pointer gestures exist.

If you did not create the content and functionality you can find path-based gestures by exploring the content on a touch screen, or checking the page code for the existence of specific event handlers such as touchstart or touchend. See the Understanding document for Pointer Gestures for more on the path-based gestures.

Note: For functionality implemented with a path-based gesture, the possibility of also operating it via the keyboard is beneficial (and may serve to meet Success Criterion 2.1.1 Keyboard). The point of Success Crtierion 2.5.1, however, is to ensure that pointer users who on many devices will have no keyboard available, have alternative ways of operating the function via simple pointer input.


Example 1

  • A web application implements an interface where drawing a "Z" on the screen undoes the last action. There is no other way to undo the action.
  • A swipe-to-reveal control displays a set of options when swiping an item to the left, and another set of options when swiping an item to the right. One or more of these options are not available after the item is first opened with a single tap or click.


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For each part of the content that implements a function that can be activated by a path-based gesture:

  1. Check that controls are available through which the same function can be carried out via simple taps or clicks.

Expected Results

  • If check #1 is false then the content fails the Success Criterion.