HTML heading is blank Accessibility Checkpoint


Headings should not be empty.


Add visible text to the heading, or alt text if the heading contains an image. Screen readers read out page headings, allowing users to quickly skip to a section, but some older screen readers do not ignore empty headings.

Applicable standards

Note: Section 508 Refresh (2017) checkpoints are equivalent to WCAG 2.0 level A and level AA checkpoints.

Change history

  • 6.41 Jul 2021 No longer fires if h1-h6 are assigned non-heading role.
  • 5.36 Jan 2020 Aligned with ACT Rules. Changed rule ID from AccWcag1-3.5.3 to AccHtmlHeadingEmpty.
  • 5.35 Oct 2019 Fixed false positive.
  • 5.9 Jun 2015 Handle non-standard image tag.
  • 4.7 Jun 2012 Warn about headings only containing  .
  • 4.6 Feb 2012 Added.

This page describes a web site issue detected in HTML documents by SortSite Desktop and OnDemand Suite.

Rule ID: AccHtmlHeadingEmpty