Identifying the purpose of a link using link text combined with its enclosing paragraph

Important Information about Techniques

See Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria for important information about the usage of these informative techniques and how they relate to the normative WCAG 2.1 success criteria. The Applicability section explains the scope of the technique, and the presence of techniques for a specific technology does not imply that the technology can be used in all situations to create content that meets WCAG 2.1.

Applicability

All technologies that contain links.

This technique relates to Success Criterion 2.4.4: Link Purpose (In Context) (Sufficient as a way to meet an unwritten technique).

Description

The objective of this technique is to identify the purpose of a link from the link in its paragraph context. The paragraph enclosing the link provides context for an otherwise unclear link when the paragraph is the nearest enclosing block-level ancestor element. 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 that simply providing the URI of the destination is generally not sufficiently descriptive.

Note

These descriptions will be most useful to the user if the additional information needed to understand the link precedes the link. If the additional information follows the link, there can be confusion and difficulty for screen reader users who are reading through the page in order (top to bottom).

Examples

Example 1

Announcements column on a Folk Festival Web page.

<h3>The final 15</h3>
<p>Coming soon to a town near you...the final 15 in the 
National Folk Festival lineup.
<a href="final15.html">[Read more...]</a>
</p>

<h3>Folk artists get awards</h3>
<p>Performers from the upcoming National Folk Festival receive 
 National Heritage Fellowships. 
 <a href="nheritage.html">[Read more...]</a>
</p>
…   

Tests

Procedure

For each link in the content that uses this technique:

  1. Check that the link is part of a paragraph.
  2. Check that text of the link combined with the text of its enclosing paragraph describes the purpose of the link.

Expected Results

  • The above checks are true.