Document has heading for non-repeated content

  • Rule Type:atomic
  • Rule Id: 047fe0
  • Last modified: Jan 11, 2022
  • Accessibility Requirements Mapping:
    • H69: Providing heading elements at the beginning of each section of content
      • Learn More about technique H69
      • Not required to conformance to any W3C accessibility recommendation.
      • Outcome mapping:
        • Any failed outcomes: technique is not satisfied.
        • All passed outcomes: technique needs further testing.
        • An inapplicable outcome: technique needs further testing.

Description

This rule checks that the non-repeated content contains a heading

Applicability

This rule applies to any HTML web page.

Expectations

In each test target, either there is no non-repeated content after repeated content or there exists an element for which all the following are true:

Assumptions

Accessibility Support

Background

The intention of this rule is that the heading is at (or near) the start of the main area of content of a document. However, defining the main area of content in a non-ambiguous way is not really doable. Therefore, the rule takes a more lenient position and only requires the heading to be some non-repeated content. Additional conditions on this heading were considered and rejected when writing the rule since it might be acceptable, for example, to have non-repeated content such as breadcrumb before any heading. Therefore, it is possible to pass this rule but still fail H69: Providing heading elements at the beginning of each section of content and violate Success Criterion 2.4.1 Bypass blocks.

Neither this rule, nor technique H69: Providing heading elements at the beginning of each section of content, expects the heading to accurately describe its corresponding section. However, having non descriptive headings fails Success Criterion 2.4.6: Headings and Labels

Bibliography

Test Cases

To avoid using landmarks for the non-repeated content, which would satisfy Success Criterion 2.4.1 Bypass Block, which this rule is designed for, this rule uses <div id="main"> in its test cases to indicate where non-repeating content exists. It is recommended to use the main landmark instead. The nav element is a block of repeated content due to the link inside it to a page with similar blocks of content.

Passed

Passed Example 1

Open in a new tab

This document has a h1 heading, which is visible and included in the accessibility tree, at the beginning of its non-repeated content.

<html>
	<head>
		<title>The Three Kingdoms, Chapter 1</title>
	</head>
	<body>
		<nav id="chapters-navigation">
			<h1>Content</h1>
			<ol>
				<li><a>Chapter 1</a></li>
				<li><a href="/test-assets/bypass-blocks-cf77f2/chapter2.html">Chapter 2</a></li>
			</ol>
		</nav>

		<div id="main">
			<h1>Three Heroes Swear Brotherhood at a Feast in the Peach Garden</h1>
			<p>
				Unity succeeds division and division follows unity. One is bound to be replaced by the other after a long span
				of time.
			</p>
		</div>
	</body>
</html>

Passed Example 2

Open in a new tab

This document has a h2 heading, which is visible and included in the accessibility tree, at the beginning of its non-repeated content.

<html>
	<head>
		<title>The Three Kingdoms, Chapter 1</title>
	</head>
	<body>
		<h1>The Three Kingdoms, Chapter 1</h1>

		<nav id="chapters-navigation">
			<h2>Content</h2>
			<ol>
				<li><a>Chapter 1</a></li>
				<li><a href="/test-assets/bypass-blocks-cf77f2/chapter2.html">Chapter 2</a></li>
			</ol>
		</nav>

		<div id="main">
			<h2>Three Heroes Swear Brotherhood at a Feast in the Peach Garden</h2>
			<p>
				Unity succeeds division and division follows unity. One is bound to be replaced by the other after a long span
				of time.
			</p>
		</div>
	</body>
</html>

Passed Example 3

Open in a new tab

This document has a h1 heading, which is visible and included in the accessibility tree, at the beginning of its non-repeated content.

Note: In this document, the non-repeated content starts after the ol element.

<html>
	<head>
		<title>The Three Kingdoms, Chapter 1</title>
	</head>
	<body>
		<!-- Navigational block of content starts here -->
		<h1>Content</h1>
		<ol>
			<li><a>Chapter 1</a></li>
			<li><a href="/test-assets/bypass-blocks-cf77f2/chapter2.html">Chapter 2</a></li>
		</ol>
		<!-- Navigational block of content ends here -->

		<!-- Main block of content starts here -->
		<h1>Three Heroes Swear Brotherhood at a Feast in the Peach Garden</h1>
		<p>
			Unity succeeds division and division follows unity. One is bound to be replaced by the other after a long span of
			time.
		</p>
		<!-- Main block of content ends here -->
	</body>
</html>

Passed Example 4

Open in a new tab

This document has a h1 heading, which is visible and included in the accessibility tree, at the beginning of its non-repeated content. Here, the heading is the first non-repeated content after repeated content.

<html>
	<head>
		<title>The Three Kingdoms, Chapter 1</title>
	</head>
	<body>
		<nav id="chapters-navigation">
			<h1>Content</h1>
			<ol>
				<li><a>Chapter 1</a></li>
				<li><a href="/test-assets/bypass-blocks-cf77f2/chapter2.html">Chapter 2</a></li>
			</ol>
		</nav>

		<div id="main">
			<hr />
			<h1>Three Heroes Swear Brotherhood at a Feast in the Peach Garden</h1>
			<p>
				Unity succeeds division and division follows unity. One is bound to be replaced by the other after a long span
				of time.
			</p>
		</div>
	</body>
</html>

Passed Example 5

Open in a new tab

This document has a h1 heading, which is visible and included in the accessibility tree, at the beginning of its non-repeated content.

<html>
	<head>
		<title>The Three Kingdoms, Chapter 1</title>
	</head>
	<body>
		<nav id="chapters-navigation">
			<h1>Content</h1>
			<ol>
				<li><a>Chapter 1</a></li>
				<li><a href="/test-assets/bypass-blocks-cf77f2/chapter2.html">Chapter 2</a></li>
			</ol>
		</nav>

		<div id="main">
			<img src="/test-assets/bypass-blocks-cf77f2/peach-garden-oath.jpg" alt="" />
			<h1>Three Heroes Swear Brotherhood at a Feast in the Peach Garden</h1>
			<p>
				Unity succeeds division and division follows unity. One is bound to be replaced by the other after a long span
				of time.
			</p>
		</div>
	</body>
</html>

Passed Example 6

Open in a new tab

This document has a div element with a role of heading, which is visible and included in the accessibility tree, at the beginning of its non-repeated content. Note that re-purposing an element instead of using native HTML is a violation of the First Rule of ARIA Use and should normally be avoided.

<html>
	<head>
		<title>The Three Kingdoms, Chapter 1</title>
	</head>
	<body>
		<nav id="chapters-navigation">
			<div role="heading" aria-level="1">Contents</div>
			<ol>
				<li><a>Chapter 1</a></li>
				<li><a href="/test-assets/bypass-blocks-cf77f2/chapter2.html">Chapter 2</a></li>
			</ol>
		</nav>

		<div id="main">
			<div role="heading" aria-level="1">Three Heroes Swear Brotherhood at a Feast in the Peach Garden</div>
			<p>
				Unity succeeds division and division follows unity. One is bound to be replaced by the other after a long span
				of time.
			</p>
		</div>
	</body>
</html>

Passed Example 7

Open in a new tab

This document has a h1 heading, which is visible and included in the accessibility tree, at the beginning of its non-repeated content.

<html>
	<head>
		<title>The Three Kingdoms, Chapter 1</title>
	</head>
	<body>
		<nav id="chapters-navigation">
			<h1>Content</h1>
			<ol>
				<li><a>Chapter 1</a></li>
				<li><a href="/test-assets/bypass-blocks-cf77f2/chapter2.html">Chapter 2</a></li>
			</ol>
		</nav>

		<div id="main">
			<h1>
				<img
					src="/test-assets/bypass-blocks-cf77f2/peach-garden-oath.jpg"
					alt="Three Heroes Swear Brotherhood at a Feast in the Peach Garden"
				/>
			</h1>
			<p>
				Unity succeeds division and division follows unity. One is bound to be replaced by the other after a long span
				of time.
			</p>
		</div>
	</body>
</html>

Passed Example 8

Open in a new tab

This document has a h1 heading, which is visible and included in the accessibility tree, at the beginning of its non-repeated content.

<html>
	<head>
		<title>The Three Kingdoms, Chapter 1</title>
	</head>
	<body>
		<nav id="chapters-navigation">
			<h1>Content</h1>
			<ol>
				<li><a>Chapter 1</a></li>
				<li><a href="/test-assets/bypass-blocks-cf77f2/chapter2.html">Chapter 2</a></li>
			</ol>
		</nav>

		<div id="main">
			<span>1.</span>
			<h1>Three Heroes Swear Brotherhood at a Feast in the Peach Garden</h1>
			<p>
				Unity succeeds division and division follows unity. One is bound to be replaced by the other after a long span
				of time.
			</p>
		</div>
	</body>
</html>

Passed Example 9

Open in a new tab

This document has no non-repeated content after repeated content.

<html>
	<head>
		<title>The Three Kingdoms, Chapter 1</title>
	</head>
	<body>
		<p>
			Unity succeeds division and division follows unity. One is bound to be replaced by the other after a long span of
			time.
		</p>
	</body>
</html>

Failed

Failed Example 1

Open in a new tab

In this document, there is semantic heading element, even though the strong element is styled to appear as one.

<html>
	<head>
		<title>The Three Kingdoms, Chapter 1</title>
	</head>
	<body>
		<nav id="chapters-navigation">
			<ol>
				<li><a>Chapter 1</a></li>
				<li><a href="/test-assets/bypass-blocks-cf77f2/chapter2.html">Chapter 2</a></li>
			</ol>
		</nav>

		<div id="main">
			<strong style="font-size: 18pt">Three Heroes Swear Brotherhood at a Feast in the Peach Garden</strong>
			<p>
				Unity succeeds division and division follows unity. One is bound to be replaced by the other after a long span
				of time.
			</p>
		</div>
	</body>
</html>

Failed Example 2

Open in a new tab

The non-repeated content of this document starts with a h1 heading, but it is not visible (because it is off-screen).

<html>
	<head>
		<link rel="stylesheet" href="/test-assets/bypass-blocks-cf77f2/styles.css" />
		<title>The Three Kingdoms, Chapter 1</title>
	</head>
	<body>
		<nav id="chapters-navigation">
			<ol>
				<li><a>Chapter 1</a></li>
				<li><a href="/test-assets/bypass-blocks-cf77f2/chapter2.html">Chapter 2</a></li>
			</ol>
		</nav>

		<div id="main">
			<h1 class="off-screen">Three Heroes Swear Brotherhood at a Feast in the Peach Garden</h1>
			<p>
				Unity succeeds division and division follows unity. One is bound to be replaced by the other after a long span
				of time.
			</p>
		</div>
	</body>
</html>

Failed Example 3

Open in a new tab

The non-repeated content of this document starts with a h1 heading, but it is not included in the accessibility tree (because of the aria-hidden attribute).

<html>
	<head>
		<title>The Three Kingdoms, Chapter 1</title>
	</head>
	<body>
		<nav id="chapters-navigation">
			<ol>
				<li><a>Chapter 1</a></li>
				<li><a href="/test-assets/bypass-blocks-cf77f2/chapter2.html">Chapter 2</a></li>
			</ol>
		</nav>

		<div id="main">
			<h1 aria-hidden="true">Three Heroes Swear Brotherhood at a Feast in the Peach Garden</h1>
			<p>
				Unity succeeds division and division follows unity. One is bound to be replaced by the other after a long span
				of time.
			</p>
		</div>
	</body>
</html>

Failed Example 4

Open in a new tab

In this document, the only element with a role of heading is inside a block of repeated content and therefore isn't non-repeated content after repeated content.

<html>
	<head>
		<title>The Three Kingdoms, Chapter 1</title>
	</head>
	<body>
		<nav id="chapters-navigation">
			<h1>Content</h1>
			<ol>
				<li><a>Chapter 1</a></li>
				<li><a href="/test-assets/bypass-blocks-cf77f2/chapter2.html">Chapter 2</a></li>
			</ol>
		</nav>

		<div id="main">
			<p>
				Unity succeeds division and division follows unity. One is bound to be replaced by the other after a long span
				of time.
			</p>
		</div>
	</body>
</html>

Inapplicable

Inapplicable Example 1

Open in a new tab

This document is not an HTML web page.

<svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg">
  <title>This is an SVG</title>
</svg>

Glossary

Block of content

A block of content in an HTML web page is a set of nodes from that page for which all the following are true:

  • content: there is at least one node which is perceivable content in the block; and
  • continuity: if two nodes are in the block, then any node between them (in tree order) is also in the block; and
  • downward closure: if a node is in the block, then all its descendants are also in the block; and
  • parent closure: if all children of a node are in the block, then this node is also in the block.

Assumptions for Block of content

This definition assumes that the rendering order of nodes on a page does not greatly differ from the DOM tree order. Otherwise, blocks of content as defined here may be different from what is visually perceived as "content in a close relationship".

Block of repeated content

A block of content B, inside an HTML web page P, is a block of repeated content if both the following are true:

Background for Block of repeated content

This definition only considers pages at "distance 1" from the current page. The instrument leading there is usually a link, sometimes a button. In addition, P' can be any page and is not restricted, for example, to pages of the same website.

The blocks of repeated content are not uniquely defined. For example <div><span id="repeated-1"></span><span id="repeated-2"></span><span id="not-repeated"></span></div> can be considered to have two blocks of repeated content (each of the first two span) or one (both the first two span together).

Equivalent resource

Non-identical resources can still be equivalent resources by equally complying to the expectation formed by the user when navigating to them, thus serving an equivalent purpose. This would usually involve that the advertised key content is the same.

Web pages and documents (e.g. PDFs, office formats etc.) may be equivalent resources, even if the resources:

  • are located on different URLs, including different domains
  • present different navigation options, e.g. through bread crumbs or local sub menus
  • contain different amounts of information and/or differently worded information
  • use different layouts.

If all resources cover the user's expectations equally well, the resources are considered to be equivalent.

Note: The user's expectations for the resource can be formed by different things, e.g. the name of the link leading to the resource, with or without the context around the link. This depends on the accessibility requirement that is tested.

Note: If the same content is presented in different formats or languages, the format or language itself is often part of the purpose of the content, e.g. an article as both HTML and PDF, an image in different sizes, or an article in two different languages. If getting the same content in different formats or languages is the purpose of having separate links, the resources are not equivalent.

Explicit Semantic Role

The explicit semantic role of an element is determined by its role attribute (if any).

The role attribute takes a list of tokens. The explicit semantic role is the first valid role in this list. The valid roles are all non-abstract roles from WAI-ARIA Specifications. If the element has no role attribute, or if it has one with no valid role, then this element has no explicit semantic role.

Other roles may be added as they become available. Not all roles will be supported in all assistive technologies. Testers are encouraged to adjust which roles are allowed according to the accessibility support base line. For the purposes of executing test cases in all rules, it should be assumed that all roles are supported by assistive technologies so that none of the roles fail due to lack of accessibility support.

Accessibility Support for Explicit Semantic Role

Some browsers and assistive technologies treat the tokens of the role attribute as case-sensitive. Unless lowercase letters are used for the value of the role attribute, not all user agents will be able to interpret the tokens correctly. ARIA in HTML (working draft) also specifies that authors must use lowercase letters for the role and aria-* attributes.

Focusable

An element is focusable if one or both of the following are true:

Exception: Elements that lose focus during a period of up to 1 second after gaining focus, without the user interacting with the page the element is on, are not considered focusable.

Notes:

  • The 1 second time span is an arbitrary limit which is not included in WCAG. Given that scripts can manage the focus state of elements, testing the focusability of an element consistently would be impractical without a time limit.
  • The tabindex value of an element is the value of the tabindex attribute parsed using the rules for parsing integers. For the tabindex value to be different from null, it needs to be parsed without errors.

Implicit Semantic Role

The implicit semantic role of an element is a pre-defined value given by the host language which depends on the element and its ancestors.

Implicit roles for HTML and SVG, are documented in the HTML accessibility API mappings (working draft) and the SVG accessibility API mappings (working draft).

Accessibility Support for Implicit Semantic Role

  • Images with an empty alt attribute should have an implicit role of presentation, according to the HTML Accessibility API Mapping (work in progress). However, there are several popular browsers that do not treat images with empty alt attribute as having a role of presentation. Instead, they add the img element to the accessibility tree with a role of either img or graphic.

Included in the accessibility tree

Elements included in the accessibility tree of platform specific accessibility APIs are exposed to assistive technologies. This allows users of assistive technology to access the elements in a way that meets the requirements of the individual user.

The general rules for when elements are included in the accessibility tree are defined in the core accessibility API mappings. For native markup languages, such as HTML and SVG, additional rules for when elements are included in the accessibility tree can be found in the HTML accessibility API mappings (working draft) and the SVG accessibility API mappings (working draft).

For more details, see examples of included in the accessibility tree.

Programmatically hidden elements are removed from the accessibility tree. However, some browsers will leave focusable elements with an aria-hidden attribute set to true in the accessibility tree. Because they are hidden, these elements are considered not included in the accessibility tree. This may cause confusion for users of assistive technologies because they may still be able to interact with these focusable elements using sequential keyboard navigation, even though the element should not be included in the accessibility tree.

Instrument to achieve an objective

An HTML element that when activated allows an end-user to achieve an objective.

Note: Any rule that uses this definition must provide an unambiguous description of the objective the instrument is used to achieve.

Background About Instrument for Instrument to achieve an objective

This definition is a more restrictive version of WCAG's definition of mechanism, notably restricting it to the current document. WCAG has a note that "The mechanism needs to meet all success criteria for the conformance level claimed." This includes all the level A criteria such as Success Criterion 2.1.1 Keyboard (the mechanism must be keyboard accessible) or Success Criterion 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (the mechanism must be exposed to assistive technologies and have an accessible name). This definition, and the rules using it, leaves these extra requirements out. This avoids reporting the same component twice for the same reason (e.g., missing an accessible name) under two different rules and Success Criteria, and helps pinpoint the error related to each Success Criterion. Instruments should nonetheless be fully accessible at the correct conformance level (depending on the rule using them).

Marked as decorative

An element is marked as decorative if one or more of the following conditions is true:

  • it has an explicit role of none or presentation; or
  • it is an img element with an alt attribute whose value is the empty string (alt=""), and with no explicit role.

Elements are marked as decorative as a way to convey the intention of the author that they are pure decoration. It is different from the element actually being pure decoration as authors may make mistakes. It is different from the element being effectively ignored by assistive technologies as rules such as presentational roles conflict resolution may overwrite this intention.

Elements can also be ignored by assistive technologies if they are programmatically hidden. This is different from marking the element as decorative and does not convey the same intention. Notably, being programmatically hidden may change as users interact with the page (showing and hiding elements) while being marked as decorative should stay the same through all states of the page.

Outcome

An outcome is a conclusion that comes from evaluating an ACT Rule on a test subject or one of its constituent test target. An outcome can be one of the three following types:

  • Inapplicable: No part of the test subject matches the applicability
  • Passed: A test target meets all expectations
  • Failed: A test target does not meet all expectations

Note: A rule has one passed or failed outcome for every test target. When there are no test targets the rule has one inapplicable outcome. This means that each test subject will have one or more outcomes.

Note: Implementations using the EARL10-Schema can express the outcome with the outcome property. In addition to passed, failed and inapplicable, EARL 1.0 also defined an incomplete outcome. While this cannot be the outcome of an ACT Rule when applied in its entirety, it often happens that rules are only partially evaluated. For example, when applicability was automated, but the expectations have to be evaluated manually. Such "interim" results can be expressed with the incomplete outcome.

Perceivable content

A node is perceivable content if all the following are true:

Perceivable content corresponds to nodes that contain information and are perceived by some categories of users.

Assumptions for Perceivable content

This definition assumes that elements with a semantic role of none or presentation are pure decoration and that elements which are pure decoration either are not included in the accessibility tree or have a semantic role of none or presentation. Note that if this is not the case, then Success Criterion 1.3.1: Info and Relationship is likely not satisfied.

Programmatically Hidden

An HTML element is programmatically hidden if either it has a computed CSS property visibility whose value is not visible; or at least one of the following is true for any of its inclusive ancestors in the flat tree:

  • has a computed CSS property display of none; or
  • has an aria-hidden attribute set to true

Note: Contrarily to the other conditions, the visibility CSS property may be reverted by descendants.

Note: The HTML standard suggests rendering elements with the hidden attribute with a CSS rule that applies the value none to the CSS property display of the element. Although the suggestion is not normative, known user agents render it according to the suggestion (unless the content specifies another CSS rule that sets the value of the display property). If a user agent does not follow the suggestion, this definition may produce incorrect results for this user agent.

Semantic Role

The semantic role of an element is determined by the first of these cases that applies:

  1. Conflict If the element is marked as decorative, but the element is included in the accessibility tree; or would be included in the accessibility tree when it is not programmatically hidden, then its semantic role is its implicit role.
  2. Explicit If the element has an explicit role, then its semantic role is its explicit role.
  3. Implicit The semantic role of the element is its implicit role.

This definition can be used in expressions such as "semantic button" meaning any element with a semantic role of button.

Accessibility Support for Definition of Semantic Role for Semantic Role

  • There exist popular web browsers and assistive technologies which do not correctly implement Presentational Roles Conflict Resolution. These technologies will not include in the accessibility tree elements that should be, according to Specifications. Thus, some elements that should have their semantic role fixed by case Conflict above are instead falling into case Explicit and are hidden for users of assistive technologies.
  • A similar conflict exists for focusable elements with a aria-hidden="true" attribute. The WAI ARIA specification does not explain how to solve it. Some browsers give precedence to the element being focusable (and expose it in the accessibility tree) while some give precedence to the aria-hidden attribute (and hide the element).

Visible

Content perceivable through sight.

Content is considered visible if making it fully transparent would result in a difference in the pixels rendered for any part of the document that is currently within the viewport or can be brought into the viewport via scrolling.

Content is defined in WCAG.

For more details, see examples of visible.

Web page (HTML)

An HTML web page is the set of all fully active documents which share the same top-level browsing context.

Note: Nesting of browsing context mostly happens with iframe and object. Thus a web page will most of the time be a "top-level" document and all its iframe and object (recursively).

Note: Web pages as defined by WCAG are not restricted to the HTML technology but can also include, e.g., PDF or DOCX documents.

Note: Although web pages as defined here are sets of documents (and do not contain other kind of nodes), one can abusively write that any node is "in a web page" if it is a shadow-including descendant of a document that is part of that web page.


Useful Links


Implementations

This section is not part of the official rule. It is populated dynamically and not accounted for in the change history or the last modified date. This section will not be included in the rule when it is published on the W3C website.

ToolConsistencyCompleteReport
QualWebconsistentYesView Report

Acknowledgments

Funding

  • WAI-Tools

Assets

  • _The Three Kingdoms_ by Luo Guanzhong, translation by Yu Sumei (Tuttle publishing, 2014, ISBN 9780804843935)
  • Image from a Ming Dynasty edition of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, original kept in the library holdings of Peking University.
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