dt and dd elements must be contained by a dl

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Rule Description

Definition list items (<dt> and/or <dd>) must be wrapped in parent <dl> elements to be valid. This enables screen reader users to understand the proper hierarchy of information in the list.

The Algorithm, in Simple Terms

Ensures that all child <dd> and <dt> elements have a <dl> as a parent.

Why this is Important

A definition list item must be wrapped in parent <dl> elements, otherwise it will be invalid.

How to Fix the Problem

Wrap the list item in parent <dl> elements to ensure the list follows the proper hierarchy. Furthermore, make sure that the <dt> and <dd> elements are in the proper order.

Compliance Data & User Impact

User Impact: Serious
Disabilities Affected:
  • Blindness
  • Deafblindness
  • Mobility/Dexterity
Issue Type:
  • WCAG 2.0 (A): MUST
  • WCAG 2.1 (A): MUST
WCAG Success Criteria:
  • 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
Section 508 Guidelines:
  • Not applicable

Related Deque University Course Pages

Other Related Resources

Additional Information

Relevant Technologies:
  • HTML 4
  • HTML5
Test Reliability: Automated testing is possible, with high accuracy
Rule ID: dlitem