Links have an accessible name

  • Rule Typeatomic
  • Rule ID: c487ae
  • Last modified: Aug 21, 2019
  • Accessibility Requirements Mapping
    • 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (Level: A)
      • Learn More about 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value)
      • Required for conformance to WCAG 2.0 and above on level A and above
      • Outcome mapping:
        • Any failed outcomes: not satisfied
        • All passed outcomes: further testing is needed
        • An inapplicable outcome: further testing is needed
    • 2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context) (Level: A)
      • Learn More about 2.4.4 (Link Purpose (In Context))
      • Required for conformance to WCAG 2.0 and above on level A and above
      • Outcome mapping:
        • Any failed outcomes: not satisfied
        • All passed outcomes: further testing is needed
        • An inapplicable outcome: further testing is needed
    • 2.4.9 Link Purpose (Link Only) (Level: AAA)
      • Learn More about 2.4.9 (Link Purpose (Link Only))
      • Required for conformance to WCAG 2.0 and above on level AAA and above
      • Outcome mapping:
        • Any failed outcomes: not satisfied
        • All passed outcomes: further testing is needed
        • An inapplicable outcome: further testing is needed
  • Input Aspects

Description

This rule checks that each link has an accessible name.

Applicability

The rule applies to any HTML element with the semantic role of link that is included in the accessibility tree.

Expectation

Each target element has an accessible name that is not only whitespace.

Assumptions

  • The rule assumes that all links are user interface components as defined by WCAG 2. When the link role is used incorrectly, this assumption may not be true.

Accessibility Support

For area elements that have a href attribute, but are not nested inside a map element, there are differences between browsers and assistive technology on whether the area is considered included in the accessibility tree or not.

Background

Test Cases

Passed

Passed Example 1

<a> element with accessible name through content.

<a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI"> Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) </a>

Passed Example 2

Element with explicit role of link with accessible name through content.

<div role="link">Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)</div>

Passed Example 3

Button with an explicit role of link.

<button role="link">Click me!</button>

Passed Example 4

Accessible name for link via aria-label

<a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI"><img src="#" aria-label="This is a link"/></a>

Passed Example 5

Link named via title on link.

<a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI" title="This is a link"><img src="#"/></a>

Passed Example 6

Link named via title on image.

<a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI"><img src="#" title="This is a link"/></a>

Passed Example 7

Link with both image and text.

<a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI"><img src="#" />This is my link text</a>

Passed Example 8

Accessible name for link via aria-labelledby.

<a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI"><img src="#" aria-labelledby="id1"/></a>
<div id="id1">This is my link text</div>

Passed Example 9

When link is off screen.

<html>
	<style>
		.offScreenLink {
			position: absolute;
			left: -9999px;
			top: -9999px;
		}
	</style>
	<body>
		<a class="offScreenLink" href="http://www.w3.org/WAI">Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)</a>
	</body>
</html>

Passed Example 10

area element with href attribute has accessible name.

<img src="planets.gif" width="145" height="126" alt="Planets" usemap="#planetmap" />

<map name="planetmap">
	<area shape="rect" coords="0,0,82,126" href="sun.htm" alt="Sun" />
</map>

Passed Example 11

a element where accessible name does not only consist of whitespace.

<a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI">:-)</a>

Failed

Failed Example 1

Image link without accessible name.

<a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI"><img src="#"/></a>

Failed Example 2

Image link where image is marked as decorative.

<a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI"><img src="#" alt=""/></a>

Failed Example 3

Link with icon inserted via font-awesome.

<a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI"><i class="fa fa-download"></i></a>

Failed Example 4

Link with image that has empty title.

<a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI"><img src="#" title=""/></a>

Failed Example 5

Link with image that has empty aria-labelledby.

<a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI"><img src="#" aria-labelledy="id1"/></a>
<div id="id1"></div>

Failed Example 6

aria-labelledby references a non-existing id.

<a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI"><img src="#" aria-labelledby="id1"/></a>

Failed Example 7

Non-visible link.

<a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI" style="left: -9999px; position: absolute;">
	<img src="#" />
</a>

Failed Example 9

Link is completely empty, but still shows up in focus order, so it should have an accessible name.

<a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI"></a>

Failed Example 10

area element with href attribute does not have accessible name.

<img src="planets.gif" width="145" height="126" alt="Planets" usemap="#planetmap" />

<map name="planetmap">
	<area shape="rect" coords="0,0,82,126" href="sun.htm" />
</map>

Failed Example 11

a element where accessible name through content only consist of whitespace.

<a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI"> </a>

Inapplicable

Inapplicable Example 1

<a> element that has had its role changed.

<a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI" role="button">
	Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
</a>

Inapplicable Example 2

Not included in the accessibility tree due to display:none.

<a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI" style="display: none;"><img src="#"/></a>

Inapplicable Example 3

Not included in the accessibility tree due to visibility: hidden.

<a href="http://www.w3.org/WAI" style="visibility: hidden;">Some text</a>

Inapplicable Example 4

Not included in the accessibility tree due to aria-hidden="true".

<a aria-hidden="true" href="http://www.w3.org/WAI">
	Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
</a>

Inapplicable Example 5

area element without href attribute does not have role of link.

<area shape="rect" coords="0,0,82,126" />

Glossary

Accessible Name

key: accessible-name

The programmatically determined name of a user interface element that is included in the accessibility tree.

The accessible name is calculated using the accessible name and description computation.

For native markup languages, such as HTML and SVG, additional information on how to calculate the accessible name can be found in HTML Accessibility API Mappings 1.0, Accessible Name and Description Computation (work in progress) and SVG Accessibility API Mappings, Name and Description (work in progress).

Explicit Semantic Role

key: explicit-role

The explicit semantic role is the semantic role of an element set by its role attribute.

The role attribute takes a list of tokens. The explicit semantic role is the first valid role in this list. If none of the tokens are valid, the implicit semantic role will be used instead.

Non-abstract roles defined in the following specifications are considered valid:

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.

Acccessibility Support

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 also specifies that authors must use lowercase letters for the role and aria-* attributes (work in progress).

Included in the accessibility tree

key: included-in-the-accessibility-tree

Elements included in the accessibility tree of platform specific accessibility APIs. Elements in the accessibility tree are exposed to assistive technologies, allowing users to interact with the elements in a way that meet 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 (work in progress) and the SVG accessibility API mappings (work in progress).

Note: Users of assistive technologies might still be able to interact with elements that are not included in the accessibility tree. An example of this is a focusable element with an aria-hidden attribute with a value of true. Such an element could still be interacted with using sequential keyboard navigation regardless of the assistive technologies used, even though the element would not be included in the accessibility tree.

Outcome

key: outcome

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: Implementers 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.

Semantic Role

key: semantic-role

A semantic role is a semantic association that indicates an object's type. This allows tools to present and support interaction with the object in a manner that is consistent with user expectations about other objects of that type.

The semantic role of an element is its explicit semantic role if it has any, otherwise, the implicit semantic role is used.

Whitespace

key: whitespace

Characters that have the Unicode "White_Space" property in the Unicode properties list.

This includes:

  • all characters in the Unicode Separator categories, and
  • the following characters in the Other, Control category:

    • Character tabulation (U+0009)
    • Line Feed (LF) (U+000A)
    • Line Tabulation (U+000B)
    • Form Feed (FF) (U+000C)
    • Carriage Return (CR) (U+000D)
    • Next Line (NEL) (U+0085)

Changelog

Aug 21, 2019test: add tests to verify h4 headings (#810)
Aug 21, 2019fix: update links to WCAG21 resources (#776)
Aug 21, 2019Editorial changes (#725)
Aug 14, 2019feat: Define implicit/explicit role (4e8ab6, b20e66, c487ae, e086e5, 5c01ea) (#689)
Jul 26, 2019Editorial changes (#702)
Jul 19, 2019chore: run prettier (#688)
Jul 2, 2019chore: Correct various typos (#640)
May 18, 2019chore: Validating rules frontmatter on CI (#551)
May 15, 2019Glossary and Rule update: Replacing "non-empty" definition (#430)
May 9, 2019Chore: Adapt site to ACT Rules CR format (#547)
May 7, 2019Template update- Links have an accessible name (#521)
May 7, 2019Fix some incorrect test cases (#477)
Apr 29, 2019chore: rename files and update associations (#489)
Apr 16, 2019chore: add unique id to all rules (#478)
Apr 15, 2019chore: WCAG ACT RULES CG Website Update (#437)
Jan 29, 2019Added SC 2.4.9 to "Link has an accessible name" (#409)
Nov 19, 2018Remove "focusable" and "is visible" from Applicability in several rules due to consistency concerns (#310)
Nov 12, 2018chore: remove selector `data-rule-target` (#347)
Oct 29, 2018chore: change references to included in accessibility tree (#322)
Oct 12, 2018"Included in accessibility tree" instead of "exposed to assistive technologies" (#269)
Oct 9, 2018Fix: testcase generation (#296)
Aug 30, 2018Chore: Update test cases format and descriptions (#230)
Aug 6, 2018Rule: SC2-4-4-link-has-name (#138)

Useful Links


Implementations

Tool NameCreated ByReport
AlfaSiteimproveView Report

Acknowledgements