Links and Screen Readers

How screen readers treat links

  • Unvisited links: Screen readers typically say “link” then read the link text.
  • Visited links: If the screen reader user has already activated link, some screen readers will say “visited link”, with the link text. Others will just say “link”.

 

Good practices for link text

  • Links must have link text. This can be an issue when background images are used as the only content within a link. In those cases, add aria-label=”[add your link text here]” to the link element, or use CSS to add visually-hidden text (e.g., using the CSS clip method).
  • Make link text descriptive so that the link text makes sense when read out of context (avoid “click here”, “here”, “more”, “read more” or similar).
  • Don’t write “link” in the link text. Screen readers already say that!
  • If two links on the same page go to the same destination, they should have the same link text.

 

Navigate through all focusable items

The Tab key land on every focusable element, whether it is a link, a button, a form element, or a custom control of some kind. If you’re interested only in links, this isn’t the best method, but it will work.

 

List all links

Screen Reader & Browser            Command

JAWS with Chrome, IE: Insert + F7

NVDA with Firefox, Chrome        Insert + F7 (to show Elements List), then choose links

 

Select links

Example

Using the Insert + F7 key in JAWS, users can pull up a list of all of the links on the page. You can select any link by pressing down arrow key or press the first letter of the link if you remember. Then press enter it will take you directly to that website or page.

NVDA with Firefox, Chrome        K

 

Navigate unvisited links only

Screen Reader & Browser            Command

JAWS with Chrome, IE: Press U

NVDA with Firefox, Chrome: Press U

 

Navigate visited links only

List all links

Screen Reader & Browser            Command

JAWS with Chrome, Firefox, IE: Press V

NVDA with Firefox, Chrome: Press V

Author: admin

Freelance Certified Web Accessibility Specialists