Using WAVE to Test Accessibility of Links

Overview

  • Checks for empty links, which seems more like a quality assurance than accessibility issue.
  • Tests for various file extension in href, including media, office documents (Microsoft, Wordperfect and Open Office formats) and PDF documents.

List of checks related to links:

  1. Icon for Skip link Skip link
  2. ALT text in AREA element icon: ALT text in AREA element
  3. Icon for  Link that is an image has ALT text Link that is an image has ALT text content
  4. Icon for broken skip navigation link Skip navigation link
  5. Icon for Spacer image missing alternative text Spacer image missing alternative text
  6. Icon for link with no content Link with no content and there for does not appear in any rendering
  7. Icon for link to Excel spreadsheet Link to excel spreadsheet
  8. Icon for Problematic link text Link text is not unique on page
  9. Icon for Link to OpenOffice.org document Link to OpenOffice.org document
  10. Icon for Link to PDF document Link to PDF document
  11. Icon for Link to PowerPoint document Link to PowerPoint document
  12. Icon for Link to Word document Link to Word document
  13. Icon for Link to WordPerfect document Link to WordPerfect document
  14. Icon for link that is to an audio or video file link that is to an audio or video file and therefore transcripts or captions should be available

Strengths

  • Icons and labels are used to warn of links to different urls do not have unique text on the page

Weakness

  • Has a number of warnings about skip navigation links, headers should be used in place of skip navigation links

Step 1: Go the WAVE home page

Procedure

  • Go to the WAVE home page
  • Enter in the URL of the page to test
  • Select the button “WAVE this page!”

Screenshot

Screen shot of Go the WAVE home page

Step 2: View the icons on the page for link problems

Procedure

  • View the icon next links to identify links with accessibility problems
  • Labels next to the icon indicates the text of any non-unique link text

Screenshot

Screen shot of View the icons on the page for link problems

Rules Evaluated with this Technique

Rules evaluated with WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool
Test
Type
Description
Manual

Link text content must indeicate the target of the link.

Automatic

Link text should be meaningful when taken out of context; therefore, links that point to different URIs should be unique.

Undefined

An image that is the entire content of a link should be at least 16×16 pixels in size.

Manual

The text content of a link should be at least 4 characters in length when rendered graphically.

Undefined

The alt text for images that are part of links should not be the same as the text content of the link.

Manual

The first link on a page should be a skip navigation link.

Undefined

Internal links need to set tabindex=-1 for compatibilty with Internet Explorer.

Undefined

Small links should not be placed close together.