Identifying the purpose of a link in a data table using the link text combined with its enclosing table cell and associated table header cells

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.


All technologies that contain links.

This technique relates to Success Criterion 2.4.4: Link Purpose (In Context) (Sufficient when used with Identifying the purpose of a link using link text combined with programmatically determined link context using one of the following techniques: ).


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 table header cells. 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

  <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>



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 header cells describes the purpose of the link.

Expected Results

  • The above checks are true.