Techniques for WCAG 2.0

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H79: Identifying the purpose of a link using link text combined with its enclosing table cell and associated table headings


All technologies that contain links.

This technique relates to:


The objective of this technique is to identify the purpose of a link from the link in its data table context. This context is the table cell enclosing the link and the cell's associated headings. The data table context provides the purpose for an otherwise unclear link when the table cell is the nearest enclosing block-level ancestor element. It lets a user distinguish this link from other links in the Web page that lead to other destinations and helps the user determine whether to follow the link. Note that simply providing the URI of the destination is not sufficiently descriptive for people with disabilities, especially those with cognitive disabilities.


Example 1: A table of rental car choices

Example Code:

  <th scope="col">Alamo</th>
  <th scope="col">Budget</th>
  <th scope="col">National</th>
  <th scope="col">Avis</th>
  <th scope="col">Hertz</th>
  <th scope="row">Economy cars</th>
  <td><a href="econ_ala.htm">$67/day</a></td>
  <td><a href="econ_bud.htm">$68/day</a></td>
  <td><a href="econ_nat.htm">$72/day</a></td>
  <td><a href="econ_av.htm">$74/day</a></td>
  <td><a href="econ_hz.htm">$74/day</a></td>
  <th scope="row">Compact cars</th>
  <td><a href="comp_ala.htm">$68/day</a></td>
  <td><a href="comp_bud.htm">$69/day</a></td>
  <td><a href="comp_nat.htm">$74/day</a></td>
  <td><a href="comp_av.htm">$76/day</a></td>
  <td><a href="comp_hz.htm">$76/day</a></td>
  <th scope="row">Mid-sized cars</th>
  <td><a href="mid_ala.htm">$79/day</a></td>
  <td><a href="mid_bud.htm">$80/day</a></td>
  <td><a href="mid_nat.htm">$83/day</a></td>
  <td><a href="mid_av.htm">$85/day</a></td>
  <td><a href="mid_hz.htm">$85/day</a></td>
  <th scope="row">Full-sized cars</th>
  <td><a href="full_ala.htm">$82/day</a></td>
  <td><a href="full_bud.htm">$83/day</a></td>
  <td><a href="full_nat.htm">$89/day</a></td>
  <td><a href="full_av.htm">$91/day</a></td>
  <td><a href="full_hz.htm">$91/day</a></td>


No resources available for this technique.



For each link in the content that uses this technique:

  1. Check that the link is in a table cell.

  2. Check that text of the link combined with the text of the associated table 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.