Understanding Success Criterion 1.3.2: Meaning Sequence

Understanding Success Criterion 1.3.2 Meaning Sequence

The purpose of this success criteria is to provide an alternative representation of the order of content without changing its meaning. It is crucial for it to be able to programmatically deduce at least one meaningful sequence.

Official Requirements

Success Criterion 1.3.2 Meaningful Sequence: When the sequence in which content is presented affects its meaning, a correct reading sequence can be programmatically determined. (Level A)

Why is it required?

It is helpful for people who use assistive technologies which reads content aloud. The meaning got from sequencing of information in the original presentation will be the same in spoken format.

How do we fix it?

  • If a table is used for the layout, ensure the content in it remains meaningful when it is made linear.
  • With the help of structural markup ensure all elements of the content make sense when viewed in the original order. Use CSS for creating a visual presentation.

Mistakes to avoid

  • If CSS properties like Flexbox and Grid-Layout are used to modify visual presentation, the DOM (Document Object Model) order will not match the visual order.
  • Content order becomes meaningless when CSS styles are disabled.
  • HTML layout table becomes meaningless when it is linearized.
  • Using CSS to position data changes the meaning of content.
Picture of Aditya Bikkani

Aditya Bikkani

Aditya is the COO of AELData, a growing technology company in the Digital Publishing and Education sectors. He is also an entrepreneur and founder of an accessibility tool called LERA. A W3C COGA (Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility) Community Member Aditya contributes to researching methodologies to improve web accessibility and usability for people with cognitive and learning disabilities.

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