ARIA-edit: F63: Failure of Success Criterion 2.4.4 due to providing link context only in content that is not related to the link



  • Added to XML by AWK 12/16/2013

20. April 2013 (Detlev):

  • Changed the description to include providing content via headings AND providing content via a suitable ARIA property - now organized in three bullet points
  • Added more comprehensive UA and AT support notes (important since aria-label and aria-labelledby have rather uneven support on links)
  • Added related technique "Using aria-label for link purpose"
  • Changed the test procedure to check also for use of ARIA to provide content on link
  • Added references to WAI-ARIA spec & Authoring practices in section Resources

Original version of F63

11. July 2013

  • Ready for WCAG review



This failure relates to:

User Agent and Assistive Technology Support Notes

See Related techniques


This describes a failure condition when the context needed for understanding the purpose of a link is located in content that is not programmatically determined link context.

If the context for the link is not provided in one of the following ways:

  • in the same sentence, paragraph, list item, or table cell as the link
  • in the preceding heading
  • via a suitable ARIA property such as aria-label or aria-labelledby

then the user will not be able to find out where the link is going with any ease. If the user must leave the link to search for the context, the context is not programmatically determined link context and this failure condition occurs.


Failure Example 1: A link in an adjacent paragraph

A news service lists the first few sentences of an article in a paragraph. The next paragraph contains the link "Read More...". Because the link is not in the same paragraph as the lead sentence, the user cannot easily discover what the link will let the user read more about.

Example Code:

<p>A British businessman has racked up 2 million flyer miles and plans to 
travel on the world's first commercial tourism flights to space.</p>

<p><a href="ff.html">Read More...</a></p>

Failure Example 2: A link in an adjacent cell within a layout table

An audio site provides links to where its player can be downloaded. The information about what would be downloaded by the link is in the preceding row of the layout table, which is not programmatically determined context for the link.

Example Code:

       <td>Play music from your browser</td>
       <a href="">
       <img src="download.jpg" width="165" height="32" alt="Download now"></a>


Resources are for information purposes only, no endorsement implied.

Related Techniques

Using aria-label for link purpose

Using aria-labelledby for link purpose



Locate links where some additional link context is needed to understand the purpose of the link. For each link,

  1. Check whether the context is contained in the same sentence, paragraph, list item, table cell, associated table headers, or preceding heading
  2. Check whether the link context can be programmatically determined in some other way, for example, by using a WAI-ARIA property such as aria-label, aria-labelledby or aria-describedby on the link to provide sufficient context

Expected Results

  1. If check #1 AND check #2 are false, the content fails the Success Criterion.