When the order of content is important, the content order must be preserved no matter how it is presented to the user. This ensures that the order of content is meaningful whether someone is looking at it, listening to it with a screen reader, or has stripped out visual styling using a browser plugin.
Accessibility Requirements For 1.3.2 Meaningful sequence (A)
- The visual order of content matches the underlying code order;
- Tabular data is presented using proper HTML markup (
Common mistakes for 1.3.2 Meaningful sequence (A)
- The DOM order does not match the visual order because CSS properties like flexbox and grid-layout have been used to alter the visual presentation;
- When CSS styles are disabled, the content order is meaningless;
- Tabular data is displayed using CSS to present the appearance of a table, but the proper HTML markup has not been used;
- The tabindex attribute has been used to force a tab order through the content.
Techniques for 1.3.2 Meaningful sequence (A)
- H34: Using a Unicode right-to-left mark (RLM) or left-to-right mark (LRM) to mix text direction inline
- H56: Using the dir attribute on an inline element to resolve problems with nested directional runs
- C6: Positioning content based on structural markup
- C8: Using CSS letter-spacing to control spacing within a word
- C27: Making the DOM order match the visual order
Your site doesn’t include support for the Accordion Item block. You can try installing the block, convert it to a Custom HTML block, or remove it entirely.
Common Failures for 1.3.2 Meaningful sequence (A)
The following are common mistakes that are considered failures of Success Criterion 1.3.2 by the WCAG Working Group.
- F34: Failure of Success Criterion 1.3.1 and 1.3.2 due to using white space characters to format tables in plain text content
- F33: Failure of Success Criterion 1.3.1 and 1.3.2 due to using white space characters to create multiple columns in plain text content
- F32: Failure of Success Criterion 1.3.2 due to using white space characters to control spacing within a word
- F49: Failure of Success Criterion 1.3.2 due to using an HTML layout table that does not make sense when linearized
- F1: Failure of Success Criterion 1.3.2 due to changing the meaning of content by positioning information with CSS
FAQs about Meaningful Sequence
How to make sure you have meaning sequence
Present all content in a meaningful order
Separate navigation menus from the content
Use paragraphs in order
Nest headings from H1 downwards to show their relative importance
Choose whether a list needs numbering or not
Use valid HTML
Why is it important?
The meaning of content on your website relies on the order you present it. Users who rely on assistive technology (such as a screen reader) to interpret content, require content to be presented in a meaningful order. If this is presented out of sequence, users may become disorientated and may not understand the content.
Related to Meaningful Sequence (A)
- 1.3.1 Info and relationships (A)
- 2.4.2 page title (A)
- 2.4.3 Focus order (A)
- 2.4.6 Headings and labels (AA)