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Accessibility rule: Visible label and accessible name do not match, explained

Modified on: Fri, 3 Feb, 2023 at 12:07 PM

Speech input, which is also known as speech-to-text or automatic speech recognition and dictation allows users to interact with a website, using voice commands. This check ensures that the visible label of elements, such as a button name or a link text, matches the HTML label of the element, which is used by the speech recognition software to activate the element.

In practice, a user might say ‘click search’ to activate a search button. But if the accessible name does not contain the word ‘search', the button will not activate. For this reason, The Success Criterion 2.5.3 Label In Name requires very strictly, that the visible label is included in the accessible name, in full.

Who is impacted by this barrier?

Speech communication can help people who cannot use their eyes or arms. But as voice assistants, such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa or Microsoft’s Cortana have rapidly gained popularity, ensuring that your website works for speech input has even broader implications.

Info: Neither eyes nor arms are necessary for human-machine speech communication.

Sighted screen reader users, such as people with dyslexia also benefit from consistent labeling. It can be confusing if the visible labels and the name a screen reader announces do not match.

How does the check work?

In practice, the check is looking that visible labels are included in the accessible names, for all the widgets that can be labeled.

You can read more about this check in the technical documentation for Alfa, Siteimprove’s open-source accessibility conformance testing engine.

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