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Page Structure

One of the most important contributions to improving web accessibility you can make is to follow best practices when developing and coding sites, especially in terms of the page structure. Screen readers and other assistive technologies take advantage of semantic markup to provide end-users with a rich and consistent site experience.

Here are some "do"s and "don't"s to consider when gathering requirements and developing a site.


  • Separate content from presentation, and use CSS for styling, such as for headings.
  • Use tables for presenting tabular data. Be sure column and row headings are properly associated with data cells to assure comprehension.
  • Use ordered and unordered list markup for lists of items. Use CSS to style bullets, if you like, but leave basic list markup and nesting in tact.
  • Use ARIA landmarks, but take care not to overuse them. Landmarks include banner, main, complementary, contentinfo, navigation, and search.


  • Use tables for layout.
  • Use WAI-ARIA when normal HTML will do (such as for buttons or links).
  • Use Divs or spans when other HTML elements that have more meaning can be used instead.
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Last modified: 
April 22, 2015