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Accessible Links

There are a number of ways links — the absolutely fundamentally most important interactive element of web sites — can be made more accessible to those people with disabilities.


Users who do not or cannot use pointing devices can tab through links and, as such, links should be in a logical tabbing order. The tabindex attribute allows you to define this order although if the HTML is linear, as it should be, a logical tabbing order should automatically fall into place.

    <li><a href="here.html" tabindex="1">Here</a></li>
    <li><a href="there.html" tabindex="3">There</a></li>
    <li><a href="limbo.html" tabindex="2">Limbo</a></li>

In this example (which is used purely as a demonstration - it would be quite dumb, practically speaking), tabbing would jump from “Here” to “Limbo” to “There”.

Link titles

If you have a link that isn’t self-descriptive, or the link destination could benefit from being explained in more detail, you can add information to a link using the title attribute.

<p>I'm really bad at writing link text. <a href="inept.html" title="Why I'm rubbish at writing link text: An explanation and an apology.">Click here</a> to find out more.</p>


Access keys allow easier navigation by assigning a keyboard shortcut to a link (which will usually gain focus when the user presses “Alt” or “Ctrl” + the access key).

<a href="somepage.html" accesskey="s">Some page</a>

Skipping HTML

To aid tabbing, you can supply links that allow users to jump over chunks of your web page. You might want to allow someone to jump over a plethora of navigation links, for example, so they can just read a page’s main content rather than cycle through all of the links:

    <h1>The Heading</h1>
    <a href="#content">Skip to content</a>

    <!--loads of navigation stuff -->

<section id="content">
    <!--lovely content -->