Headings and labels describe topic or purpose. (Level AA)

Rationale

Descriptive headings and labels:

  • Enable users to easily navigate to sections of interest and understand the structure and relationships of content.
  • Help people with cognitive disabilities to read and understand better.
  • Help low-vision users focus on relevant content.
  • Need not be lengthy. A word may suffice if it provides an appropriate cue.

Note: In software, headings and labels are used to describe sections of content and controls respectively. In some cases, it may be unclear whether a piece of static text is a heading or a label. But whether treated as a label or a heading, the requirement is the same: if headings and labels are present, they should describe the topic or purpose of the item(s) with which they are associated.

Note: This checkpoint does not mean that headings and labels must exist. It requires that if headings or labels are provided, they must be descriptive. Labeling "required" fields is covered in 3.3.2 Labels or Instructions. Also note that headings and labels must meet 1.3.1 Info and Relationships.

Refer to Understanding SC 2.4.6 for more information (external link to WCAG).

Development Techniques

Review the General techniques as well as other tabs applicable to your technology.  Prioritize the use of technology-specific techniques, and implement the General techniques as needed. You are always required to find, understand and implement accessible code techniques to meet the checkpoint. The documented techniques and supplements are not exhaustive; they illustrate acceptable ways to achieve the spirit of the checkpoint. If numbered, techniques are in order of preference, with recommended techniques listed first. Where used, IBM information that complements the WCAG techniques is indicated as supplemental.

General techniques

Instructions: Where applicable, each item in this section represents a technique deemed sufficient.

Web (HTML, ARIA, CSS) techniques

There are no specific Web (HTML, ARIA, CSS) techniques for this checkpoint. Refer to the General techniques section.

Mobile Native (iOS) techniques

In addition to the General techniques, where applicable, each item in this section represents a technique deemed sufficient.

Meet G130: Provide descriptive headings with the following:

Meet G131: Provide descriptive labels with the following:

Native iOS Supplements

Implement descriptive headings for table views

Headers are only applicable in table views. Implement descriptive headings for table views using the information provided in the Table View Programming Guide for iOS.

Provide a descriptive label to clarify an interactive element's purpose

Software using standard iOS UI elements must have the descriptive label attribute set. Some UI elements have a default label value. Descriptive hint attributes should be provided when needed.

Custom widgets should programmatically implement the accessibilityLabel method and return a descriptive label. They should likewise implement accessiblityHint and return a localized, descriptive hint.

Note: This technique is relevant to checkpoint 502.3.6 Label Relationships.

Eclipse techniques

There are no specific Eclipse techniques for this checkpoint. Refer to the General techniques section.

Windows-based (MSAA+IA2) techniques

There are no Windows-based (MSAA+IA2) techniques for this checkpoint. Refer to the General techniques section.


Most links in this checklist reside outside ibm.com at the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. W3C Recommendation 11 December 2008: http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/

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