Frames are an HTML tag used to separate a webpage into different sections with each section being its own window. Frames can either be a regular frame (
<frame>)or an iframe (<
Iframe>. An iframe is an inline frame that allows web documents or websites to be embedded within the frame. Although they are used separate information in a webpage, when it comes to accessibility, frames and iframes may not be the recommended approach because they can present accessibility barriers for active technology and keyboard users. Instead, modern coding methods should be used to separate information.
However, if frames or iframes are used, the following must be considered:
- Frames and iframes must have a descriptive title attribute to notify users what content is within the frame.
- When frames are present, there should also be a noframes element. When the user disables frames in their web browser, or the browser does not support frames, the noframes element will provide a link or instructions to an alternative view of the content outside of the page.
- When iframes are present, it is recommended to place a text or alternate link between the opening <iframe> tag and closing </iframe> tag for browsers that do not support iframe.
Why are frames important?
Accessible frames and iframes are important for assistive technology users who require a screen reader to navigate a page. A screen reader will scan through the page and will announce that frames are present in the page. Adding a titles to a frames or iframes allows assistive technology users the ability to distinguish them. Moreover, including the including the NOFRAMES and/or the text alternative for an iframe will help all users who cannot access the information within the frame because their browser does not support it.