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Axe Core Guide

Free site validation

Find out what web pages on your sites are affected by HTML issues.

To enable screen reader users to navigate the heading structure with keyboard shortcuts rather than wasting time listening to more of the website to understand its structure, make sure the page, or at least one of its frames, contains a h1 element that appears before the start of the main content.

Users of screen readers can utilize keyboard keys to move straight to the first h1, which should, in theory, let them access the web page’s main content. Screen reader users must listen to more of the website in order to understand its structure if there is no h1 or if it appears elsewhere other than at the start of the main material, wasting significant time.

Keep in mind that unlike a visual user, a blind user cannot just glance at a web page and comprehend its layout. Without reading the entire material, visual users can learn a lot about the website layout. Users who are blind do not have such option. Unless there is another convenient way to gain a “glimpse,” screen readers read sequentially, which requires listening to the entire web page. It turns out that one method to do that is to use headers. Keyboard shortcuts can be used by screen reader users to move around a document’s heading hierarchy.

What this Accessibility Rule Checks

This rule locates every element that matches the subsequent selector and confirms that there is at least one of them: h1:not([role]), [role="heading"][aria-level="1"]

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Related Accessibility Rules