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Heading order

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From: Schafer, Carmen
Date: Sep 29, 2015 11:13AM


Dear Colleagues:
We perform accessibility testing on a variety of websites and applications, and hope to get some feedback on how others handle a common accessibility concern, improper heading order.

We have encountered several instances of improper heading order (e.g. an <h4> above an <h3>), but we can't seem to find a firm agreement as to a) whether improper heading order should be cited as an accessibility concern or usability/design concern or b) which, if any, of the WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria covers improper heading order. We have read articles and attended webinars with conflicting information, but we know it can be an issue, particularly for screen reader users who navigate by headings.

Would anyone be willing to weigh in and possibly give us a definitive answer so we make sure we have the fullest possible understanding of this issue and pass it on to developers and others.

Thank you for your time and assistance.

Carmen Schafer
User Support Analyst, ACT Center
Division of IT, University of Missouri