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Denoting a field is mandatory; hiding table headings to sighted users

From: John Trollope <John.Trollope@unumprovident.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 2 Sep 2003 10:18:37 +0100
Message-ID: <BBBB9EC9D803D311A0B34102000011060FC717DE@DRKUNM35>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

I need the user to supply several bits of information, some of which are mandatory. My question is how can I do so that it is presented in an optimal way for screen readers? 

For sighted users, I usually denote this with an asterisk.

Additionally, I would like to do away with the table headers (the items in the <th> tags). Is there a way of coding them so that they can be read by screen readers but not seen by sighted users?

Here is the cut-down code for the html.

Thank you for any help, I have been struggling with this all norning.

<table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="2" border="1">
<caption>Ke mi volas scribi ci-tie?</caption>
    <th id="Compulsary">Compulsary</th>
    <th id="Data item">Data item</th>
    <th id="Info supplied">Information supplied</th>
    <td class="SummaryMandatoryField" headers="Compulsary">yes</td>
    <td class="SummaryVariableName" headers="Data item">
		<label for="lngSECTOR_ID">Type of industry</label></td>
    <td class="SummaryVariableValue" headers="Info supplied">
    <select class="FormItem" id="lngSECTOR_ID" name="lngSECTOR_ID">
	<option value="1">Banking, finance & Insurance</option>
    <td class="SummaryMandatoryField" headers="Compulsary">No</td>
    <td class="SummaryVariableName" headers="Data item">
    <label for="lngNrOfEmployees">Number of full-time employees</label><br></td>
    <td class="SummaryVariableValue" headers="Info supplied">
    <input class="FormItem" id="lngNrOfEmployees" name="lngNrOfEmployees" value="" size=8></td>


John Trollope
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Received on Tuesday, 2 September 2003 05:18:42 UTC

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