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Re: The importance of landmarks to screen readers?


From: glen walker
Date: Mar 23, 2021 2:32PM

You often find scanning tools that flag a lack of landmarks as an error.
Or more frequently, they're marked as a "best practice" but many people
miss the "best practice" part and think *all* errors found by the tool are
required to be fixed.

Nothing in WCAG requires landmarks directly. They can absolutely be
helpful for navigating the page (with assistive technology) and aiding in
2.4.1 conformance. They can also be helpful in satisfying 1.3.1 since you
can often visually discern a "relationship" among elements that should be
programmatically conveyed. But it can be a bit subjective on whether
landmarks are really "required".

But does it matter if they are technically needed or not? From a UX
perspective, they're super handy so go ahead and implement them. If
browsers would implement a native way to navigate by landmarks then more
users could benefit from them, especially keyboard users.

And if you are going to implement them, lean towards using native semantic
html elements first before relying on ARIA roles. Use <header>, <footer>,
<main>, <nav>, <section>, <aside>, etc. And other than <header>, <footer>,
or <main>, you should also specify an aria-label for the landmark.