Success Criterion 2.4.10: Section Headings

Understanding Success Criterion: 

Section headings are used to organize the content.
Note 1: "Heading" is used in its general sense and includes titles and other ways to add a heading to different types of content.
Note 2: This success criterion covers sections within writing, not user interface components. User Interface components are covered under Success Criterion 4.1.2.

Accessibility Level: 
Intent of Success Criterion: 

The intent of this Success Criterion is to provide headings for sections of a Web page, when the page is organized into sections. For instance, long documents are often divided into a variety of chapters, chapters have subtopics and subtopics are divided into various sections, sections into paragraphs, etc. When such sections exist, they need to have headings that introduce them. This clearly indicates the organization of the content, facilitates navigation within the content, and provides mental "handles" that aid in comprehension of the content. Other page elements may complement headings to improve presentation (e.g., horizontal rules and boxes), but visual presentation is not sufficient to identify document sections.
This provision is included at Level AAA because it cannot be applied to all types of content and it may not always be possible to insert headings. For example, when posting a pre-existing document to the Web, headings that an author did not include in the original document cannot be inserted. Or, a long letter would often cover different topics, but putting headings into a letter would be very strange. However, if a document can be broken up into sections with headings, it facilitates both understanding and navigation.

Specific Benefits of Success Criterion: 
  • People who are blind will know when they have moved from one section of a Web page to another and will know the purpose of each section.
  • People with some learning disabilities will be able to use the headings to understand the overall organization of the page content more easily.
  • People who navigate content by keyboard will be able to jump the focus from heading to heading, enabling them to find quickly content of interest.
  • In pages where content in part of the page updates, headings can be used to quickly access updated content.