Section 508 Compliance

HTML Coding Tutorial

Using Frames

(i): Frames shall be titled with text that facilitates frame identification and navigation
Explanation: Frames provide a means of visually dividing the computer screen into distinct areas that can be separately rewritten
Importance: Unfortunately, frames can also present difficulties for users with disabilities when those frames are not easily identifiable to assistive technology. For instance, a popular use of frames is to create "navigational bars" in a fixed position on the screen. Because the navigational bar doesn't change, it provides a stable "frame-of-reference" for users and makes navigation much easier. However, users with disabilities may become lost if the differences between the two frames are not clearly established.

Bad Example

1.  Not including a title attribute for each frame
<frameset cols="30%, 60%">
<frame src="navlinks.html" name="navlinks">
<frame src="geninfo.html" name="contents_page">

Good Example

1.  Include the title attribute in each frame tag
<frameset cols="30%, 60%">
<frame src="navlinks.html" name="navlinks" title="Navigation Links">
<frame src="geninfo.html" name="contents_page" title="Contents Page">

Do-It-Yourself Fixes

While Section 508 guidelines require that frames be titled and labeled to identify the changing areas of information, the WAC recommends that web developers avoid using frames in most cases. Instead, templates can be developed to manage repeating information (such as background color, logos, and navigation menus) across the site.

If you must use frames, make sure to include the title attribute in every frame tag you use. This will allows a screen reader, or any other accessible device, the ability to inform the user which frame they are looking at. Without this, the user would become lost as to what frame is viewed.