Tips for Creating Accessible Text, Headings and Documentation
- Avoid writing in all capitals. This slows down reading speed and makes it difficult for some users to read your text. You may be trying to emphasize something using all-caps, but the end result is making that item harder to read.
- All headings should be used hierarchically. They should not be used to obtain a certain visual style.
- Headings should only go down one level, or back up to a previous, higher level.
- While Heading 1 (H1 HTML tag) may be used multiple times within a page, it is advised that you restrict this to only the page title. As such, the heading 1 option has been removed; existing H1 tags will remain until the next time a containing page is saved.
- Some users using assistive tools may be navigating your site by grabbing a list of headings. If your page is using bolded text instead of an appropriate heading tag, it will not be picked up in these lists.
- Using headings appropriately will help give search engines a better picture of how your site is structured and will improve your position within search results.
- When describing things use multiple descriptors. Try to avoid describing by only size, colour and shape.
- For example: "Click the button labelled 'Submit' at the end of the form." instead of "Click the large button."
- You must have accessible alternatives of any document you post (Word documents, Power Point presentations, PDF files, etc.).
- The easiest way to do this is to make the original document accessible.
- Avoid capital letters, spaces and special characters in file names. Use a dash ( - ) or underscore ( _ ) in place of spaces.
Example of Proper Heading Structure
The best way to think about heading structure is probably to consider headings like sections of an essay, an assignment, or a legal document.
1. Page title (Heading 1) [This is automatic] 1.1. Heading 2 1.2. Heading 2 1.2.1. Heading 3 126.96.36.199. Heading 4 188.8.131.52. Heading 4 184.108.40.206.1. Heading 5 1.2.2. Heading 3 1.2.3. Heading 3 220.127.116.11. Heading 4 1.2.4. Heading 3 1.3 Heading 2 [ ... ]
As you can see from the above, a heading never decends more than a single level at a time, but it can ascend more than one level at a time to switch topics.