Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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H80: Identifying the purpose of a link using link text combined with the preceding heading element



This technique relates to:

User Agent and Assistive Technology Support Notes

The command to take advantage of this technique in JAWS is "JAWS KEY + T".


The objective of this technique is to describe the purpose of a link from the context provided by its heading context. The preceding heading provides context for an otherwise unclear link. The description lets a user distinguish this link from links in the Web page that lead to other destinations and helps the user determine whether to follow the link.

Note: Whenever possible, provide link text that identifies the purpose of the link without needing additional context.


Example 1: Blocks of information on hotels

The information for each hotel consists of the hotel name, a description and a series of links to a map, photos, directions, guest reviews and a booking form.

Example Code:

<h2><a href="royal_palm_hotel.html">Royal Palm Hotel</a></h2>
  <ul class="horizontal">
    <li><a href="royal_palm_hotel_map.html">Map</a></li>
    <li><a href="royal_palm_hotel_photos.html">Photos</a></li>
    <li><a href="hroyal_palm_hotel_directions.html">Directions</a></li>
    <li><a href="royal_palm_hotel_reviews.html">Guest reviews</a></li>
    <li><a href="royal_palm_hotel_book.html">Book now</a></li>

<h2><a href="hotel_three_rivers.html">Hotel Three Rivers</a></h2>
  <ul class="horizontal">
    <li><a href="hotel_three_rivers_map.html">Map</a></li>
    <li><a href="hotel_three_rivers_photos.html">Photos</a></li>
    <li><a href="hotel_three_rivers_directions.html">Directions</a></li>
    <li><a href="hotel_three_rivers_reviews.html">Guest reviews</a></li>
    <li><a href="hotel_three_rivers_book.html">Book now</a></li>

Example 2: A document provided in three formats

Example Code:

<h2>Annual Report 2006-2007</h2>
  <a href="annrep0607.html">(HTML)</a>&nbsp;
  <a href="annrep0607.pdf">(PDF)</a>&nbsp;
  <a href="annrep0607.rtf">(RTF)</a>

Example 3: Newspaper Web site

Example Code:

<h2><a href="Stockmarket_05052007.htm>Stock market soars as bullishness prevails</a></h2>
<p>this week was a stellar week for the stock market as investing in gold rose 2%. 
<a href="Stockmarket_05052007.htm>More here</a></p>     


No resources available for this technique.



For each link in the content that uses this technique:

  1. Find the heading element that precedes the link

  2. Check that the text of the link combined with the text of that heading describes the purpose of the link.

Expected Results

If this is a sufficient technique for a success criterion, failing this test procedure does not necessarily mean that the success criterion has not been satisfied in some other way, only that this technique has not been successfully implemented and can not be used to claim conformance.

Techniques are Informative

Techniques are informative—that means they are not required. The basis for determining conformance to WCAG 2.0 is the success criteria from the WCAG 2.0 standard—not the techniques. For important information about techniques, please see the Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria section of Understanding WCAG 2.0.