WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: headings for links list


From: David Farough
Date: May 17, 2011 1:51PM

Hi Angela:
Given the context you are describing, One approach might be to provide
a Generic heading that might be used consistently throughout the site.
This way a user might be able to move directly to the heading to see the
provided resources. I am thinking of something like "relevant
documentation". I think that there are also ARIA Landmark roles that
might be used for this purpose..

David Farough
Application Accessibility Coordinator/coordonateur de l'accessibilité
Information Technology Services Directorate /
Direction des services d'information technologiques
Public Service Commission / Commission de la fonction publique
Email / Courriel: <EMAIL REMOVED>
Tel. / Tél: (613) 992-2779

>>> Angela French < <EMAIL REMOVED> > 03:18 PM Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Thank you JF for your contribution. I do want to clarify, in case it
makes any difference, that I am not referring to a navigation list;
navigation list being defined as a list of links to other web
pages/sites. I am referring to a list of links to PDFs, Word, Excel,


Hi Angela,

The goal is to convey to the non-sighted user that a collection of
links, usually an unordered list, is in fact a navigation menu.

<div role="navigation">
<li>Menu item</li>

...instead of *HAVING* to do this:

<h2 style="position:absolute; left:-999px; top:-999px;">Navigation
<li>Menu item</li>


3) Moving forward (and I would caution a bit of restraint as what I am
going to suggest does not have widespread support yet, but it's
anyway, moving forward, HTML5, realizing the importance of providing
concise and unambiguous "landmark" roles (which is what the solution
is) are introducing a new series of landmark elements, including <nav>,
so that in the near future we will be able to do something like this:

<li>Menu item</li>

...and once again the important information (that the list is for
navigation) will be mapped to the Accessibility API, and passed on
through to the user and their AT. However, not all of the current
browsers are parsing <nav> as a discrete element today, and so it's a
bit early to use <nav> alone. However, if you want to think about moving
towards HTML5 in your development, you can use a "belt and suspenders"
approach and write:

<nav role="navigation">
<li>Menu item</li>

Informing non-sighted users (screen reader users) that a particular
list of links is intended to be a navigation list (as opposed to, say, a
list of recommended reading titles) is an important goal to meeting
Insisting that such a list be preceded by an <h2> is simply a
reactionary, 'tickbox' solution that doesn't really think about the
problem, but rather just seeks to reach some form of "Bobby icon" status
with no thought on the part of the author. If that kind of mandate is
what you require in your environment, then you are of course free to
adopt it, but as Patrick Lauke noted earlier, it is a "made-up" rule,
and not something that you will see attached to WCAG 2.

Hope this helps.