Understanding Success Criterion 2.5.3: Label in Name

Success Criterion 2.5.3 Label in Name (Level A): For user interface components with labels that include text or images of text, the name contains the text that is presented visually.

A best practice is to have the text of the label at the start of the name.

Intent

The intent of this Success Criterion (SC) is to help ensure that people with disabilities who rely on visual labels can also use those labels programmatically. Controls are often labeled with visible text. Controls also have a programmatic label, known as its Accessible Name. Users have a much better experience if the visible text labels of controls match their accessible names.

Speech input users can navigate by speaking the visible text labels of menus, links and buttons that appear on the screen. It’s confusing to speech input users when they say a visible text label they see, but the speech input does not work because the accessible name that is enabled as a speech input command does not match the visible label.

In addition, when the accessible name is different from the visible label, it essentially becomes an unknown hidden command for speech input users that can be accidentally activated without the user knowing what has happened.

Text-to-speech users will also have a better experience if the text they hear matches the text they see on the screen.

This issue is even more important for speech input and text-to-speech users who also have cognitive challenges. It’s an extra cognitive load for a speech input user to remember and say a speech command that is different from the visible label they see on a control. It’s also an extra cognitive load for a text-to-speech user to absorb and understand speech output that does not match the visible label.

Benefits

Examples

Related Resources

Resources are for information purposes only, no endorsement implied.

Techniques

Each numbered item in this section represents a technique or combination of techniques that the WCAG Working Group deems sufficient for meeting this Success Criterion. However, it is not necessary to use these particular techniques. For information on using other techniques, see Understanding Techniques for WCAG Success Criteria, particularly the "Other Techniques" section.

Sufficient Techniques

  • Ensuring that visible labels match their accessible names

Advisory Techniques

Although not required for conformance, the following additional techniques should be considered in order to make content more accessible. Not all techniques can be used or would be effective in all situations.

  • If an icon has no accompanying text, consider using its hover text as its accessible name

Failures

The following are common mistakes that are considered failures of this Success Criterion by the WCAG Working Group.

  • Accessible name does not contain the visible label text
  • Accessible name contains the visible label text, but the words of the visible label are not in the same order as they are in the visible label text
  • Accessible name contains the visible label text, but one or more other words is interspersed in the label

Key Terms

image of text

text that has been rendered in a non-text form (e.g., an image) in order to achieve a particular visual effect

Note

This does not include text that is part of a picture that contains significant other visual content.

A person's name on a nametag in a photograph.

label

text or other component with a text alternative that is presented to a user to identify a component within Web content

Note

A label is presented to all users whereas the name may be hidden and only exposed by assistive technology. In many (but not all) cases the name and the label are the same.

Note

The term label is not limited to the label element in HTML.

name

text by which software can identify a component within Web content to the user

Note

The name may be hidden and only exposed by assistive technology, whereas a label is presented to all users. In many (but not all) cases, the label and the name are the same.

Note

This is unrelated to the name attribute in HTML.

text

sequence of characters that can be programmatically determined, where the sequence is expressing something in human language

user interface component

a part of the content that is perceived by users as a single control for a distinct function

Note

Multiple user interface components may be implemented as a single programmatic element. Components here is not tied to programming techniques, but rather to what the user perceives as separate controls.

Note

User interface components include form elements and links as well as components generated by scripts.

Note

What is meant by "component" or "user interface component" here is also sometimes called "user interface element".

An applet has a "control" that can be used to move through content by line or page or random access. Since each of these would need to have a name and be settable independently, they would each be a "user interface component."