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Re: A table navigation technique

From: Al Gilman <asgilman@access.digex.net>
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 13:40:58 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <199811171840.NAA05932@access2.digex.net>
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
to follow up on what Kathy Hewitt said:

> How useful would it be for tables used for page layout?  It
> could be more confusing than helpful.

This bears clarification, but the experience I have heard from
users is that even in the absense of author guidelines, it is
more often helpful than confusing.  Not always, by any means.  So
far as I understand, layout tables linearize better than "true"
tables, on the whole for the cases where there is user

Further, it seems there is the intention in the GL group that if
some table coping mechanisms are defined in the User Agent
guidelines, that the Author guidelines will say that layout
tables must be constructed so that linearization [or whatever the
UA guidelines method is] yields a reasonable reading of the

Whatever methods are adopted here, we should try to convince
ourselves that it is possible to construct layout tables that
transform gracefully under this techique.

I guess that even 'though it was supposed to be a joint telecon,
the "conference committee" caucus on this point only had its
minutes announced in the GL working group.



> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jon Gunderson [mailto:jongund@staff.uiuc.edu]
> Sent: Tuesday, November 17, 1998 8:58 AM
> To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
> Subject: RE: A table navigation technique
> There has been alot of focus on the blind and linearization of tables.  If
> that was the only group that would benefit from linearization I would have
> a hard time supporting direct implmentation since screen readers could do
> the conversion for the user and those users would need to use a screen
> reader, although I would still rate it as priority 1 item since it is
> needed by the user.  
> But there are other groups that will not be using screen readers to access
> dcouments with tables that could benefit from linearization.  Like people
> with visual impairments and people with some types of learning
> disabilities.  It is most likely that these groups will not be using any
> type of assistive technology that could do the conversion.  
> In a study we did here at UIUC with low vision students.  We found the most
> difficult task we asked them to perform was to find some information in a
> simple data table (3 out of 4 visually impaired students could not complete
> the task).  
> So how do we address the needs of these disabilities related to table
> linearization?
> Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
> Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
> Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
> University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
> 1207 S. Oak Street
> Champaign, IL 61820
> Voice: 217-244-5870
> Fax: 217-333-0248
> E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu
> WWW:	http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund
> 	http://www.als.uiuc.edu/InfoTechAccess
Received on Tuesday, 17 November 1998 13:39:57 UTC

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