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RE: Layout Tables With Summary Attributes

From: Bourne, Sarah (ITD) <sarah.bourne@state.ma.us>
Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2014 10:50:39 -0500
To: "Homme, James" <james.homme@highmark.com>, "w3c-wai-ig@w3.org" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <BCBE0B5B00FF6D4C875E3DED1BC8B87E013D3C199EB5@ES-MSG-EMB-002.es.govt.state.ma.us>
Jim,

See H73: Using the summary attribute of the table element to give an overview of data tables<http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20-TECHS/H73>
"Although WCAG 2 does not prohibit the use of layout tables, CSS-based layouts are recommended in order to retain the defined semantic meaning of the HTML table elements and to conform to the coding practice of separating presentation from content. However, if a layout table is used, then the summary attribute is not used or is null. The purpose of a layout table is simply to control the placement of content; the table itself is "transparent" to the user. A summary would "break" this transparency by calling attention to the table. A null summary ( summary="") on layout tables is acceptable."

sb
Sarah E. Bourne
Director of Assistive Technology
Information Technology Division
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
1 Ashburton Pl. rm 1601 Boston MA 02108
617-626-4502
sarah.bourne@state.ma.us<mailto:sarah.bourne@state.ma.us>
http://www.mass.gov/itd

From: Homme, James [mailto:james.homme@highmark.com]
Sent: Friday, February 21, 2014 10:33 AM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: Layout Tables With Summary Attributes

Hi,
These are certainly usability issues, because people with screen readers have to listen to the extra content, and summary attributes fake screen readers into thinking that layout tables are data tables. Are they technically violating anything in the guidelines?

Thanks.

Jim



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Received on Friday, 21 February 2014 15:51:08 UTC

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