Techniques for improving web site accessibility.
- 57% of screen reader users use headings to navigate the page, whereas only 8.5% read through the page.
If headings are not included in the page, users are forced to listen to the entire contents of the page.
<b>WCAG Success Criteria</b>
<h3>WCAG Success Criteria</h3>
WCAG Success Criteria
WCAG Sufficient Techniques
- Install the WAVE toolbar for Firefox
- Open Firefox
- On the WAVE toolbar, click on 'Outline'
- This will perform a quick accessibility check of the page. Problems are highlighted in red. Things needing manual checking are shown as a question mark list of page headings <h1> - <h6> will be displayed.
- Is there a list of headings for the page?
- Is the list of headings an accurate reflection of the page contents?
- Tip: Click on 'Reset Page' to remove the errors and alerts
- Tip: Try making changes to the code with Firebug and then retesting the page
- Use Firebug to convert one of the bold tags into a heading tag on this page. Then try testing the page outline again using the WAVE toolbar. Can you see a difference?
Tips for Creating Better Headings
The following guidelines should be borne in mind when adding headings to web pages:
- Headings should be short and concise
- Headings should only be used when followed by content
- By reading the headings alone users should get a good idea of the page contents
- Headings should be mainly used for page specific content, rather than content which appears on every page
- Heading tags should not be used to change font size or add emphasis.
- Appearance and presentation of text should be controlled via CSS rather than heading tags
- Heading levels can't be skipped i.e. you can't jump from <h1> to <h3>
- The contents of <h1> tag is of moderate importance to search engines
- Keywords in <h2> - <h6> tags are of low importance to search engines, but are of key importance to screen reader users
- Identification of structural elements of web pages, such as banners, menus and footers, are best achieved via the use of WAI-ARIA Landmarks
For assistance please contact Andrew Normand, Web Accessibility Program Leader
Phone: +61 3 9035 4867