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Axis attribute

From: Andrew Kirkpatrick <andrew_kirkpatrick@wgbh.org>
Date: Mon, 03 Dec 2001 11:42:30 -0500
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <B83115A6.7FFF%andrew_kirkpatrick@wgbh.org>
I have been doing some testing with the axis attribute and come up with a
question.  JAWS does read axis values, but it seems only when the data cell
uses the headers attribute to make the connection to the header cell where
axis is given its value.

The information in the axis attribute is not going to be seen by the sighted
user, but is read by JAWS.  What information needs to go into axis? The WCAG
techniques document has a table (expense items in different categories, on
different dates, and incurred in different locales)  where axis is used
(http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10-HTML-TECHS/#identifying-table-rows-columns).
In this table, JAWS reads "Location" as the axis prior to voicing the city
where an expense item was incurred.  Location is not visible on screen.  One
could argue that people know Seattle is a location, but if a table on a
different topic sighted people might need the axis information to understand
the table content. 

I'm increasingly of the mind that if a table uses axis to convey information
to screen readers then the developer is either repeating information
unnecessarily or sighted users are not getting all of the necessary
information.

So here's the question:
Does anyone have an example of a table where axis is necessary for assistive
technology users?  

Thanks,
Andrew

-- 
Andrew Kirkpatrick, Technical Project Coordinator
CPB/WGBH National Center for Accessible Media
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Received on Monday, 3 December 2001 11:43:05 GMT

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