4.1.3 Status Messages (Level AA)

For any status messages that do not receive focus, programmatically provide a way to alert users.

What you need to know

  • Screen reader users will be alerted to notifications/status messages because they will be coded in through either role or properties. For example, a screen reader user is shopping on a website and decides to remove an item from the shopping cart. A notification shows at the top of the website that says, “Item removed” but the screen reader user isn’t alerted to the status change. Implementing this success criterion fixes that accessibility barrier.
  • Under this success criterion a user receives notifications/status messages that have been be coded in through role or properties.
  • Users need to be notified without having to change their focus. They will be notified of updates/receive status messages without having to take any proactive measure.

What you need to do

  • When a status message appears, it should be coded with role or properties so that people using assistive technologies such as screen readers are alerted without losing focus.
  • Make sure that any status messages are coded with the appropriate roles or properties so they are communicated.


Read the full explanation of success criterion 4.1.3 on

Related Resource

Check out “Provide Notification of Dynamic Changes to Content” from Harvard University – Digital Accessibility for more information about this success criterion.