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Re: [wcag2] Layout tables

From: Sailesh Panchang <sailesh.panchang@deque.com>
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2004 13:14:42 -0400
Message-ID: <008c01c423d6$4f4434a0$9c01a8c0@deque.local>
To: "W3C WAI" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
    While on this subject,  the HTML specs for WCAG 2 says: If the summary is used on a layout tables, the value must be null (summary="")
But at times I see  summaries like "layout table, or Summary: Generic navigation options, search function, left hand navigational links, etc. The use of summary as an invisible caption is a useful cue at times. 
The fact is when a screen reader announces that it has encountered a table, the user  might try to explore around with table navigation keys to determine if it is a data table or not. The summary    will obviate the need for  such exploration.
(Note: screen readers do not have uniform algorithms to   identify layout and data tables. And they do not work reliably. JAWS for instance at times announces a layout table even when set to recognize data tables only. 
  So till such time that there is a precise algorithm and screen readers can reliably announce only data tables, summary for layout tables may not be a bad thing after all.
  Sailesh Panchang
  Senior Accessibility Engineer 
  Deque Systems,11180  Sunrise Valley Drive, 
  4th Floor, Reston VA 20191
  Tel: 703-225-0380 Extension 105 
  E-mail: sailesh.panchang@deque.com
  Fax: 703-225-0387
  * Look up <http://www.deque.com> *
Received on Friday, 16 April 2004 13:03:08 GMT

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