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RE: Skipping of headings

From: Jonathan Avila <jon.avila@ssbbartgroup.com>
Date: Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:16:32 +0000
To: Oscar Cao <oscar.cao@live.com>, 'WAI Interest Group' <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <16f3cb51bf794bd6bb6a319cfd3b3cff@BY2PR03MB272.namprd03.prod.outlook.com>
  headings outside the "main content area" should be allowed to skip heading levels

If you look at H42 (http://www.w3.org/TR/2013/NOTE-WCAG20-TECHS-20130905/H42) which is a sufficient technique for SC 1.3.1 it does not have a test step to verify the order doesn't skip levels.  My understanding is that not skipping levels is considered advisory for Level A and AA.

I know many US government agencies require heading levels match the visual levels - matching is different from not skip any heading levels.  I'd say matching the visual levels is what is most important as it conveys the same structure as what is presented visually.


From: Oscar Cao [mailto:oscar.cao@live.com]
Sent: Monday, October 20, 2014 7:57 AM
To: 'WAI Interest Group'
Subject: Skipping of headings

Hello All

I'm sure there's been quite a bit of debate on the skipping of headings issue. I totally agree headings that reside within the "main content area" of the page should not have any skipping of headings whatsoever. However, for SEO and various other reasons, headings outside the "main content area" should be allowed to skip heading levels. What I mean by this is, for example:

<header role="banner">
<h2>My website's name</h2>
<nav role="navigation">
<h5>Left Hand Navigation</h5>
<section role="main">
<h1>main heading</h1>
<h2>second level heading</h2>
<h3>third level heading</h3>
<aside class="side">
<h6>Some heading</6>
<footer role="contentinfo">
<h6>Footer Links</h6>

What I would like to know is, what is the official WCAG 2.0 stand on this specific scenario. Is this conforming to the WCAG 2.0 guidelines or non-conforming; if it is the latter, what is the correct solution/markup to use?

Received on Monday, 20 October 2014 13:17:10 UTC

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