A mechanism is available to allow the purpose of each link to be identified from link text alone, except where the purpose of the link would be ambiguous to users in general.
Testing & RemediationHow to test: To manually test this Success Criterion, open your website and check each link that is present on the site. Does the link text accurately and sufficiently describe the purpose of the the link without relying on any surrounding context? You can also test this using different assistive technologies, such as the JAWS screenreader or VoiceOver for Mac. For JAWS, press the Insert + F7 keys to display the list of links. In VoiceOver, press the Control + Option + U keys to bring up the web rotor. Use the right/left arrow keys to display the links menu. How to remediate: Depending on the way your site is built and the links that you have present, there are a number of different techniques to satisfy this Success Criterion. You can manually update your link text so that they are more accurate and the purpose is easy to understand. Please visit the W3C link above for more details about different techniques that can be used to satisfy this Success Criterion.
Questions and Answers
A good rule of thumb to follow is that all links should still make sense if the text immediately surrounding it is taken away. Take the following for example. You can learn more about this by reading the article here. The only left would be 'here' which doesn't make any sense alone. If we change the sentence structure and the link text a bit we can get something completely different. You can read this article to learn more. What would be left now is 'read this article' which seems rather self-explanatory. If you click the link you will read an article.
Nearly all elements can be given focus, and have their focus order changed using the 'tabindex' attribute. Elements on a page will be given focus in the order of their tab index. W3 Schools has a great explanation of tabindex here.
To navigate a website with the keyboard, you can start by hitting the tab key. You should see an indicator on the element that has focus. If it is a link, you can hit enter to go to it. While going forward through the tab keys is done with tab, going backwards can be done by hitting the shift key in addition to the tab key. When it comes to various input elements (radio buttons, select boxes), the arrow keys can be used on them once the element has focus.
This question depends on a number of factors including size of site, desired level of conformance, your developer's understanding of accessibility techniques, etc. Accessible Web is here to help. Reach out and we can discuss your site specifically.