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Technique H78:Identifying the purpose of a link using link text combined with its enclosing paragraph

About this Technique

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

This technique applies to all technologies that contain links.


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.


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).


Example 1: Announcements content on a folk festival Web page

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

<h3>Folk artists get awards</h3>
  Performers from the upcoming National Folk Festival receive 
  National Heritage Fellowships. 
  <a href="national-heritage.html">Read more</a>



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

  • Steps #1 and #2 are true.
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