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Re: Nested Headings (1.3.1, 2.4.10 or neither)

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2013 10:28:23 +0100
Cc: "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-Id: <923EB946-D549-46C8-9C07-5D464FA663E1@trace.wisc.edu>
To: Vivienne CONWAY <v.conway@ecu.edu.au>
You are correct Vivienne,

Having improperly nested headings is not a failure of any success criteria.

It is not good practice - and properly nesting headers increases usability.  But it is not a failure of any SC in WCAG. 

This was discussed on multiple occasions when WCAG was drafted and it was specifically decided that although this was good practice for usability for all people, it was not something that the working group felt should be required in WCAG.   

if you Do have headers though -- and visually they nest properly -- then the nesting (the header level) is required to be programmatically determinable.   That is,  if the headings are nested properly for visual users, this proper nesting (or whatever nesting is visual) must also be presented to AT. 


On Sep 20, 2013, at 9:29 AM, Vivienne CONWAY <v.conway@ecu.edu.au> wrote:

> Hi all
> We've been having an interesting discussion as to whether the use of incorrectly nested headings is a failure of 1.3.1, 2.4.10 , both or neither.
> In 1.3.1. we can see that in order to programmatically determine the relationship between a heading and the content that it should be programmatically-associated, such as using html heading tags (H1-6) and one of the techniques is H42, Using H1-h6 to identify headings.
> Technique G141: organizing a page using headings is another techniques and it says that "authors should use headings that are properly nested...".
> I can't see anywhere if it is actually a failure to have headings incorrectly nested, or whether it is more a case of not using 'best practice'.
> 2.4.10 also relates to section headings and shows the only sufficient technique (listed) as G141 again. 
> To settle this debate, would you consider it a failure if headings (coded as H1-6) were used to show sections of content, but were not correctly nested?
> Regards
> Vivienne L. Conway, B.IT(Hons), MACS CT, AALIA(CS)
> PhD Candidate & Sessional Lecturer, Edith Cowan University, Perth, W.A.
> Director, Web Key IT Pty Ltd.
> v.conway@ecu.edu.au
> v.conway@webkeyit.com
> Mob: 0415 383 673
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Received on Friday, 20 September 2013 09:29:03 UTC

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