Conforming to WCAG when there are heading order problems

  • This topic has 3 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 1 week, 2 days ago by jhswift.
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Conforming to WCAG when there are heading order problems thread
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For several of our backlist epub titles, Ace by Daisy gives a clean report except for Best Practice warnings (Moderate) relating to semantically incorrect heading-order.

Is it OK to include :

<meta property=”schema:accessibilitySummary”>This publication conforms to WCAG 2.0 AA.</meta> in the opf file, along with other meta property statment

or should we instead say:

<meta property=”schema:accessibilitySummary”>This publication conforms to WCAG 2.0 AA. But the order of the headings on some pages is not semantically correct. </meta>

We are looking through all our previously published epubs to see if they meet EAA requirements which come into force next year.


A related question is:

Does a clean report from ACE by Daisy in the WCAG A and WCAG AA categories clear the epub to meet the EAA requirements?

Other items, like no image descriptions, or headings that do not have consecutive changes that differ by level, are not included in the WCAG A or AA categories. So does that mean that an epub file can meet EAA requirements if there are ACE violations in those areas?


APLN Moderator

Hi jhswift,

Thank you for this topic!

For your first question, it would be better to note which accessibility features the book does have, instead of noting that the publication conforms to WCAG 2.0 AA. Heading structure falls under WCAG 1.3.1 Level A, which is the minimum success criterion level. If the heading structure in the book is incorrect, it would not meet this criterion and would not conform to WCAG 2.0 Level A.

While Ace by DAISY checks some accessibility features, getting a clear report doesn’t mean that the book meets all WCAG standards. A full check should be done by the publisher against the required criteria in order to determine whether the book is accessible or not. This is why we recommend that publishers should keep a checklist in-house to assure an EPUB’s quality.

Some resources to help with Ebook QA:

APLN downloadable QA checklist:
W3 How to meet WCAG filterable quick reference:

Hope this helps!


Thankyou very much for the helpful reply.

Since posting the original question, we have updated our workflow to use a checklist and ACE Smart to check every ebook that we publish. Now we only show the conforms related properties in the opf if we think that the book conforms fully according to that checklist.

For all other books we are using the conformsto:none and exemption properties that you mentioned in your reply to my to my other question in Metadata.

Thanks again



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