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Re: Table accessibility (was Re: headers attribute)

From: Steven Faulkner <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>
Date: Sun, 3 Jun 2007 14:17:50 +0100
Message-ID: <55687cf80706030617u55d027ceudd47b8030e42b172@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Henri Sivonen" <hsivonen@iki.fi>
Cc: "HTML WG" <public-html@w3.org>
>What bothers me about this thread is that so far the cases to test
>lack the most obvious case: A table where the table headers are
>marked up as <th> with no scope='' or headers='' anywhere.

if you look at aurélien's test cases [
http://www.fairytells.net/table_test_case/] there is a simple table with
only th elements

>To me, it seems like a no-brainer that for practical usefulness, a screen
reader should walk tables like this in the absence of explicit >association.
 and indeed certain screen readers such as JAWS and Window Eyes do.
But in cases where multiple levels of headers on multiple axes occur simple
"table walking" will not suffice. The associations need to be explicitly
defined.

>(I tried to test this in VoiceOver, but I couldn't find documentation
>about keyboard commands querying a table cell for its headers.)

Using voiceover as an example of a screen reader is not necessarily a good
idea, as most vision impaired users use JAWS or Window Eyes on a PC and
voiceover support for HTML is rudimentary compared to JAWS and Window Eyes.

On 03/06/07, Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi> wrote:
>
>
> On Jun 3, 2007, at 11:00, aurélien levy wrote:
>
> > After a good sleep i think the test case need more case to be fully
> > revelent so here is what is propose :
>
> What bothers me about this thread is that so far the cases to test
> lack the most obvious case: A table where the table headers are
> marked up as <th> with no scope='' or headers='' anywhere.
>
> The way sighted users work with the obvious case is that for a given
> cell <td> they look up the column until they reach a <th> and to the
> left (assuming ltr text) until they find a <th> and use those as the
> column and row headings. To me, it seems like a no-brainer that for
> practical usefulness, a screen reader should walk tables like this in
> the absence of explicit association. Implementing table walking like
> this is a much better way to improve table accessibility than
> requiring authors to be explicit about the associations in the most
> common and obvious case.
>
> Do any screen readers do this? If not, why not? If not, shouldn't the
> first priority for accessibility experts who want to make HTML tables
> more accessible be lobbying screen reader vendors to bother to walk
> the table model like this?
>
> (I tried to test this in VoiceOver, but I couldn't find documentation
> about keyboard commands querying a table cell for its headers.)
>
> --
> Henri Sivonen
> hsivonen@iki.fi
> http://hsivonen.iki.fi/
>
>
>
>


-- 
with regards

Steve Faulkner
Technical Director - TPG Europe
Director - Web Accessibility Tools Consortium

www.paciellogroup.com | www.wat-c.org
Received on Sunday, 3 June 2007 13:17:55 UTC

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