Identifying the purpose of a link in a nested list using link text combined with the parent list item under which the list is nested

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.



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 describe the purpose of a link in a nested list from the context provided by the list item under which the list is nested. This list item 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.

Because current assistive technologies do not include commands to query contextual information provided by parent list items, use of this technique requires users to navigate the list one item at a time. Therefore, this technique may not be appropriate for very long or deeply nested lists.


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


Example 1: A document provided in three formats

<li>Annual Report 2005-2006
  <li><a href="annrep0506.html">(HTML)</a></li>
  <li><a href="annrep0506.pdf">(PDF)</a></li>
  <li><a href="annrep0506.rtf">(RTF)</a></li>
<li>Annual Report 2006-2007
  <li><a href="annrep0607.html">(HTML)</a></li>
  <li><a href="annrep0607.pdf">(PDF)</a></li>
  <li><a href="annrep0607.rtf">(RTF)</a></li>

Example 2: 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.

<li><a href="royal_palm_hotel.html">Royal Palm Hotel</a>
  <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>
<li><a href="hotel_three_rivers.html">Hotel Three Rivers</a>
  <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>



For each link in the content that uses this technique:

  1. Find the ul or ol element that contains the link
  2. Check that this list element (ul, ol) is a descendant of an li element
  3. Check that the text of the link combined with the text of that li element describes the purpose of the link.

Expected Results

  • The above checks are true.