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Headings & WCAG2.0


From: Jorge Fernandes
Date: Mar 23, 2009 5:20PM


I always have difficulties to implement an hierarquical heading
structure in a 3 column website, mainly when we use a content
managment system like Joomla. I always tried to follow the logic of
FAE but using only 1 h1 per page.

The main question is: use headings only in the main content of pages
(i.e. in 3 column, the main content page is normally the middle
column) and not use headings in modules around the content (normally
at the edge columns of the screen) OR using headings in main pages and

I already implement both strategies:
- a) put headings at main page & modules arround it. This strategy
have a nice thing that is push the middle column to be the first one
in the programatic flow, what is right with the logic: the more
important first. It is also a very good strategy for screen readers
users. You could see this at www.acesso.umic.pt
- b) put headings only at main page (i.e. normally the middle column).
That strategy is more easier to implement, mainly in CMS (like
Joomla). And seems that is also more at the logic of WCAG2.0
combination of success criterion "2.4.10 - mainly the note 2" (see
quote below), and "G1: Adding a link at the top of each page that goes
directly to the main content area" (Sufficient Techniques for 2.4.1 -
Bypass Blocks).

2.4.10 Section Headings: Section headings are used to organize the
content. (Level AAA)
Note 1: "Heading" is used in its general sense and includes titles and
other ways to add a heading to different types of content.
Note 2: This success criterion covers sections within writing, not
user interface components. User Interface components are covered under
Success Criterion 4.1.2.

Any thoughts about it?

Thanks a lot,
Jorge Fernandes