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Re: heading level order

From: David Best <davebest@ca.ibm.com>
Date: Fri, 25 May 2012 15:52:56 -0400
To: "Stewart, Ian [USA]" <Stewart_Ian@bah.com>
Cc: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <OFE2A0D912.23791E14-ON85257A09.006CF96D-85257A09.006D3784@ca.ibm.com>
Ian, it is recommended that you use a structured Header hierarchy of
Headers. If a screen reader navigates by Headers, and skips from a h2 to a
h4, they might assume they are missing information that the screen reader
is not picking up, but web sites rarely follow this principle. You can skip
Header levels, but you might prefer to use CSS to style your Header
structure. Also, you can use the W3C/WAI ARIA code to make text look like
Headers to screen readers. See the WAI/ARIA "5.3.3. Document Structure" for
the Heading Role.
http://www.w3.org/TR/wai-aria/roles#heading
example:
<div role=heading aria-level=2>Section Content Sample</div>

Cheers, David





From:	"Stewart, Ian [USA]" <Stewart_Ian@bah.com>
To:	"w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Date:	05/25/2012 03:17 PM
Subject:	heading level order



All,

My name?s Ian Stewart, I?m a GWT/Drupal developer and new to accessibility,
but I?ve done extensive research lately in order to make one of my projects
as accessible as possible.

Right now, I?m confronted with an interesting issue regarding heading
levels.  Heading levels, from my point of view, have always been primarily
a visual style cue.  Often an <h4> works better for CSS inheritance reasons
than an <h3>, for no reason other than visual style.

Recently, our accessibility tester approached me with an interesting point.
She suggested that the reader is expecting heading levels to make sense as
if the page is a linearized document, with each depth representing a
consistent level of detail.  What do you all make of this statement?  Does
jumping from an <h2> to an <h4> on a page for stylistic reasons truly
lessen the intuitiveness of the page for a screen reader?  Is subclassing
an <h3> to fit my style needs worth having <h2>s always followed by <h3>s?

Thanks for your thoughts, I found it an interesting question.

Sincerely,

Ian
Received on Friday, 25 May 2012 20:02:57 GMT

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