nesting header elements (3.5.1)


Len Kasday raised the following issue regarding technique 3.5.1 in the 21 
December draft [
| 1. The first header element in the document must be H1
| 2. There must be only one H1 element in the document

LRK:: Why only one H1? It isn't part of the HTML4 spec , as far as I can 
see in

LRK:: HTML4 also allows skipped levels. The spec merely says
"Some people consider skipping heading levels to be bad practice. They 
accept H1 H2 H1 while they do not accept H1 H3 H1 since the heading level 
H2 is skipped."
We should point out that we don't skip levels because of accessibility reasons.

So actually we have a problem with WCAG: it doesn't define "and use them 
according to specification".

The techniques for WCAG do not say that a document must only have one H1 
element.  Thus, I believe we can get rid of this assertion in the ERT.

The HTML Techniques for WCAG says, "Since some users skim through a 
document by navigating its headings, it is important to use them 
appropriately to convey document structure. Users should order heading 
elements properly. For example, in HTML, H2 elements should follow H1 
elements, H3 elements should follow H2 elements, etc. Content developers 
should not "skip" levels (e.g., H1 directly to H3). Do not use headings to 
create font effects; use style sheets to change font styles."

I propose the following rewording:
Technique 3.5.1 [priority 2] Check document for header nesting
Discussion Status:
awaiting discussion
Header elements (H1-H6) should be checked to ensure they are nested 
according to the following rules
Header levels must not increase by more than 1 level. Example: H2 following 
H1 is good. H3 following H1 is bad.
Header elements can decrease by any level. Example: H2 following H5 is OK.

Example of a message to be displayed:
Improper header nesting: Header levels must not increase by more than one 
level per heading.  Do not use headings to create font effects; use style 
sheets to change font styles.

Repair Technique:
Allow user to modify the header numbering within the document.

Test Files and Discussion Files:
Link to test file for this technique.
wendy a chisholm
world wide web consortium
web accessibility initiative
madison, wi usa
tel: +1 608 663 6346

Received on Friday, 18 February 2000 17:02:06 UTC