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Web Accessibility Policy of the State of Maine

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Implementation Guidelines

9. Links

9.1 - Make sure that links are understandable out of context.

What:
A link is understandable out of context when it clearly indicates its destination or function without requiring additional information.

Why:
Screen reader users often tab through links (skip from link to link by pressing the Tab key) in order to "scan" a page. Most screen readers also offer a "links list" feature to help speed the process of navigating to specific links. Links that are not understandable out of context, such as "click here" or "more," make these techniques much less efficient.

How:
Use link text that is clear and unambiguous. Avoid using "click here."

Ref: WCAG 13.1

9.2 - Provide a means of skipping past repetitive navigation links.

What:
Navigation links are the lists or "menus" of links to all the sections of a site that are often repeated on every page.

Why:
Because navigation links are typically placed at the beginning (top left) of pages, screen reader users must read through all the navigation links before reaching the main area of the page. Individuals who use a keyboard instead of a mouse similarly must tab through all the navigation links before reaching the main area of the page. Providing a means of skipping these links can significantly improve efficiency and usability for screen reader and keyboard users.

How:
Note: This is required only if your site contains a set of navigation links at or near the top of the page that repeats on multiple pages of the site.
Provide a link at the beginning of navigation lists that points to a target at the beginning of the main content area of the page. This link must be visible to screen reader and keyboard users, but can be hidden from other users. The link can be a text link, or you may put the link on a small image with ALT-text such as “skip navigation”. The link is typically named “skip navigation” or “skip to content”. It is also acceptable to design a page so that navigation links come at the end of the document.

Ref: 508 o

9.3 - Avoid using small images or text as links.

What:
The size of the "clickable" area of a link is limited to the size of the image or text that makes up the link.

Why:
Mouse-users with limited fine motor control may have difficulty pointing to and clicking on links that are small, especially if the links are close together.

How:
Make sure that images used for links are reasonably large, preferably 32 pixels by 16 pixels or larger. Use standard or enlarged font sizes for text links, and avoid using text links that are shorter than four characters in length. Additionally, avoid placing small links close together.

Ref: n/a