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What’s in a Heading? Five Writing Tips to Make Your Text More Accessible


Avoid rushing and simply bolding your headings.  This writing tips is to use the heading features in your text and tables.
Avoid rushing and simply bolding your headings. This writing tips is to use the heading features in your text and tables.

Headings are vital in improving accessibility for vision-impaired individuals by providing structure, navigation, and context. Headings make content more understandable and usable for those who rely on screen readers and other assistive technologies when used correctly.


Good Practices

It's essential to follow good practices to create accessible text with headings.


1. Use Semantic HTML Element:

Use proper HTML headings (<h1>, <h2>, etc.) to create a hierarchical structure. Avoid using other formatting (e.g., bold text) as a substitute for headings.


2. Maintain a Logical Hierarchy

Ensure that the hierarchy of headings makes sense and reflects the organization of the content. For example, <h2> headings should be subtopics of <h1> headings.


3. Use Descriptive Headings

Write headings that clearly and concisely summarize the content under them. Avoid vague or generic headings. Avoid label headings.



4. Don't Skip Heading Levels

Maintain a consistent hierarchy and avoid skipping levels (e.g., going from <h2> to <h4> without using <h3> in between).


5. Remember Tables Too

Using table headings ensures that the data within the table is correctly and independently structured. Research has shown that people start in four different places when examining a table, so cues from the structure provided by the heading are essential for proper understanding.


Writing with FINESSE

Headings are vital in improving accessibility for vision-impaired individuals by providing structure, navigation, and context. Headings make content more understandable and usable for those who rely on screen readers and other assistive technologies when used correctly.


 

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