What is the Importance of Heading Structure for Accessibility?
How to Create a Proper Hierarchal Heading Structure
- Begin with an H1: The main heading represents the overall topic or title of the document or web page. It should be unique and descriptive, provide a clear introduction to the content, and have the H1 structure tag for easy navigation.
- Use Subheadings: Subheadings help divide the content into sections and subsections. They should be used to group related information and provide a clear hierarchy. Each subheading should be more specific than the previous one and contribute to the document’s overall structure.
- Don’t Skip Heading Levels: Using heading levels in sequential order is important without skipping any levels. For example, if you use an h2 after an h1, don’t jump directly to h4. Missing levels can confuse both users and assistive technologies.
- Consider Content Organization: The heading structure should align with the organization of your content. Identify key points, main sections, and subsections, and assign appropriate headings accordingly. This helps users, especially those with disabilities, understand the information’s flow and organization.
- Style Headings Appropriately: Use CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) or other styling methods to differentiate headings from regular text visually. This can include variations in font size, weight, color, or other visual cues that align with your overall design. However, ensure that the styling choices do not rely solely on visual cues and still maintain proper semantic structure for accessibility.
What are the Best Practices for Accessible Headings?
- Don’t use text styles to emphasize importance without proper heading tags. For example, avoid using italics, bold, underlining, or colored text to show any significance of the text.
- Don’t use headings to emphasize the importance. Instead, use bold text or underline it.
- Properly format the levels of the heading hierarchy in ascending order – from H1 to H6.
- The page title should be descriptive with a proper heading tag.
- Make the webpage content readable and consistent, with the option to resize up to 200%.
- Accurate HTML markups should be included for providing list items.
- Never use lists for layout purposes.
How Can PREP Help?
Making your digital content accessible is extremely important, not just to legally abide by the laws but also to make an ethical choice. PREP (a PDF and Document Remediation software) allows you to take control of your digital files and make them accessible to everyone. With the feature to auto-tag, PREP’s innovative technology-enabled software recognizes the elements in the digital document and tags them accordingly. Using cutting-edge technologies, PREP delivers accurate and fast remediation results that adhere to the highest compliance and quality standards.