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Headings and accessibility

A screen reader user must listen to web content. They cannot just glance at a page. Because of this, screen readers have keyboard shortcuts that allow a user to jump from heading to heading, skipping over all of the text between headings. However, this will only work if your headings are properly tagged in HTML. Otherwise, the screen reader will not recognize the text as a heading.

If you are just using the CMS editor, this is easy. Check out this article containing good heading techniques: How do I style my page with headers and alerts?.

Inside the coding for headings in HTML

Screen readers use headers to navigate a page and therefore rely on the specific heading styles Heading 1 (h1), Heading 2 (h2), and so on.

  • Use heading tags in hierarchical order. <h1><h2>, etc.
  • Make the main content header match the <title>.
  • Avoid using heading markup for text that isn't actually a heading.
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