Overriding h1-h6 role semantics

Definition Overriding heading element's (h1-h6) default role of heading must only be done in special cases.
Purpose
  • Heading elements (h1-h6) have role restrictions as part of its definition in the W3C HTML5 Specification to help ensure the heading element semantics of identifying heading and tab content.
  • Heading elements (h1-h6) should only use role="presentation" if the content of the heading element is not being used to identify heading and tab content (e.g. repairing poor page semantics).
Required No for HTML4 Legacy Techniques ruleset mapping
WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria

1.3.1 Info and Relationships (Level A, Primary Success Criterion)

Rule Category Headings
Scope Element
Target Resources h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6 elements
  • h1
  • h2
  • h3
  • h4
  • h5
  • h6
Techniques
  • Heading elements (h1-h6) typically do not need any role definition, there default role is heading.
  • Heading elements (h1-h6) used as the tabs in a tabpanel widget need to have the role="tab".
  • In rare cases role="presentation" can be used when a heading element does not provide a label for a section of content or is a tab in a tabpanel widget. Although a better solution is to change the element to something more semantically meaningful.
Informational Links