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Technique G189:Providing a control near the beginning of the Web page that changes the link text

About this Technique

This technique relates to:

This technique applies to all technologies that contain links.


The objective of this technique is to provide the user with a control near the beginning of the page that takes the user to a conforming alternate version of the Web page where the link text alone of each link is sufficient to determine its purpose out of context.

Some users prefer to have links that are self-contained, where there is no need to explore the context of the link. Other users find including the context information in each link to be repetitive and to reduce their ability to use a site. Among users of assistive technology, the feedback to the working group on which is preferable has been divided. This technique allows users to pick the approach that works best for them. Users who need or prefer potentially longer but complete link text use this version.

If the control for switching to the alternate version is a link, it must always be possible to understand the purpose of the control directly from its link text.

This technique provides the alternate version for the current page view. It is also possible, and in some cases would be advisable, to save this preference in a cookie or server-side user profile, so that users would only have to make the selection once per site and would automatically be taken to their preferred version.


This technique can be used in combination with a style switching technique to present a page that is a conforming alternate version for non-conforming content. Refer to C29: Using a style switcher to provide a conforming alternate version and Understanding Conforming Alternate Versions for more information.




  1. Check that there is a control near the beginning of the Web page to change link text.
  2. Activate the control.
  3. Check that all links in the resulting Web page have link text that describes their purpose.

Expected Results

  • Checks #1 and #3 are true.
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