2.5.1 Pointer Gestures

MCS Accessibility Team

MCS Accessibility Team
Last Updated July 23, 2020

The following directions are part of a full step-by-step guide to making a HubSpot website WCAG 2.1 AA compliant. These recommendations are intended for websites managed on the HubSpot CMS but can be adapted for other content management systems.

Principle: Operable
User interface components and navigation must be operable.
Guideline: Input Modalities
Make it easier for users to operate functionality through various inputs beyond keyboard.

All functionality that uses multipoint or path-based gestures for operation can be operated with a single pointer without a path-based gesture, unless a multipoint or path-based gesture is essential.

View Official WCAG 2.1 Compliance Techniques

Understanding 2.5.1 Pointer Gestures

2.5.1 Pointer Gestures suggests that all point-based gestures be simple. This includes click, tap, double click, click & hold, or long press. These are considered single pointer gestures. Pointer gestures that are non-compliant include two-finger pinch zoom, a split tap where one finger rests on the screen and a second finger taps, or a two- or three-finger tap or swipe. These are considered multipoint and path-based gestures and are not compliant. 

However, you can use multipoint or path-based gestures as long as there is a single pointer gesture option.

Mapquest Example with Simple Gesture Navigation


Mapquest is a great example of this. You can use a multipoint gestures and path-based gestures to interact with the map. You can pinch-to-zoom and drag on this application. Mapquest also includes a menu that uses single-pointer navigation. The  act as Where you can use single clicks to perform those same actions.

Single pointer gestures should be used rather than complex ones when possible. If multipoint and path-based gestures are used, include a simple option as well!


Another example would be a slider. If a slider does not include simple gestures and only includes swipes the slider is not ADA compliant. Once again, if multipoint and path-based gestures are used, include a simple option as well!

Screenshot of a slider showing arrows to navigate

For more information, please visit the official W3C article: Understanding 2.5.1 Pointer Gestures


Let us know if we can help you address this specific WCAG Recommendation.