Guide to Guideline 1.3 Level 3 Success Criterion 1

1.3 L3 SC1

Key terms and important concepts

programmatically determined

programmatically determined means that the specific value can be determined in a standard, machine or software readable form.

Intent of this success criterion

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Technology-Independent techniques for Guideline 1.3 L3 SC1

Reading order


Controlling the reading order

Visual design often gives important cues to the content's organization-its structure. However, complex layouts may be difficult to interpret for people who have learning disabilities or cognitive impairments and for older users. A page that appears well organized visually may be difficult to understand for someone who is blind.

These difficulties may be reduced or avoided by:

  • using markup to clearly define the sections of the document and their purpose;

  • Using ordered lists to number sections, subsections, and paragraphs as appropriate;

  • ordering content in the source document so that it makes sense when read aloud by a screen reader; and

  • using CSS to control visual and auditory presentation, including CSS positioning to create an effective visual arrangement that may be different from the spoken order of the content.

To summarize, correct use of structural markup ensures that standards-compliant user agents can determine the order in which the content should be presented, even when the user agent must adapt the presentation to meet the needs of people with disabilities.

Technology-Specific Techniques for Guideline 1.3 L3 SC1

HTML Techniques

Editorial Note: It would be good to have a technique about ordering DIV elements in the source document to create a linearized reading order.

CSS Techniques

Benefits: How Guideline 1.3 L3 SC1 helps people with disabilities

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Examples of Guideline 1.3 L3 SC1

Related resources

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