[Athen] [EXT] Question about headings

chagnon at pubcom.com chagnon at pubcom.com
Tue Jan 18 12:56:48 PST 2022

For an organization chart, we've found hierarchical nested lists work well
for most. Although it gets cumbersome when the levels are too deep or

Using headings is workable, except as noted previously.when certain
positions or levels are missing in some branches of the org chart. In that
type of chart, I don't know of any method that would work satisfactorily.

PDF/UA-1 loosely requires the document to maintain heading levels and not
skip, but that might change in the forthcoming PDF/UA-2 standard.

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From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> On Behalf
Of Swanson,Allison
Sent: Tuesday, January 18, 2022 2:28 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] [EXT] Question about headings

Thank you all for your input. I was sure that was what I had heard and
understood throughout the years. I just wanted to make sure I'm not teaching
the wrong thing!

The web developer I'm debating with is citing some discussions where it was
determined that there are cases where sequential headings would actually not
make sense: TPGi: When do headings fail WCAG?

An example the developer gave me was an organization chart where headings
are used to depict organization hierarchy: h1 = President, h2 = VP, h3 =
AVP, h4 = Executive Director, h5 = Director.

"In that structural hierarchy, there may be divisions/departments that don't
have an AVP, or Executive Director, or potentially other levels. In those
cases, it would not make sense visually, or structurally to elevate people
from lower levels to conform to a specific document structure."

I can see where this is a case where skipping heading levels would actually
make sense. Does anyone have thoughts on that?

I think for most ordinary web content, however, it's still going to be best
practice to keep headings sequential.


Allison Swanson

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