Success Criterion 2.4.1: Bypass Blocks

Understanding Success Criterion: 

A mechanism is available to bypass blocks of content that are repeated on multiple Web pages.

Accessibility Level: 
Intent of Success Criterion: 

The intent of this Success Criterion is to allow people who navigate sequentially through content more direct access to the primary content of the Web page. Web pages and applications often have content that appears on other pages or screens. Examples of repeated blocks of content include but are not limited to navigation links, heading graphics, and advertising frames. Small repeated sections such as individual words, phrases or single links are not considered blocks for the purposes of this provision.
This is in contrast to a sighted user's ability to ignore the repeated material either by focusing on the center of the screen (where main content usually appears) or a mouse user's ability to select a link with a single mouse click rather than encountering every link or form control that comes before the item they want.
It is not the intent of this Success Criterion to require authors to provide methods that are redundant to functionality provided by the user agent. Most web browsers provide keyboard shortcuts to move the user focus to the top of the page, so if a set of navigation links is provided at the bottom of a web page providing a "skip" link may be unnecessary.
Note: Although this Success Criterion deals with blocks of content that are repeated on multiple pages, we also strongly promote structural markup on individual pages as per Success Criteria 1.3.1.
Although the success criterion does not specifically use the term “within a set of web pages”, the concept of the pages belonging to a set is implied. An author would not be expected to avoid any possible duplication of content in any two pages that are not in some way related to each other; that are not "Web pages that share a common purpose and that are created by the same author, group or organization” (the definition of set of web pages).
Note: Even for web pages that are not in a set, if a web page has blocks of text that are repeated within the page it may be helpful (but not required) to provide a means to skip over them.

Specific Benefits of Success Criterion: 
  • When this Success Criterion is not satisfied, it may be difficult for people with some disabilities to reach the main content of a Web page quickly and easily.
  • Screen reader users who visit several pages on the same site can avoid having to hear all heading graphics and dozens of navigation links on every page before the main content is spoken.
  • People who use only the keyboard or a keyboard interface can reach content with fewer keystrokes. Otherwise, they might have to make dozens of keystrokes before reaching a link in the main content area. This can take a long time and may cause severe physical pain for some users.
  • People who use screen magnifiers do not have to search through the same headings or other blocks of information to find where the content begins each time they enter a new page.
  • People with cognitive limitations as well as people who use screen readers may benefit when links are grouped into lists