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Headers & id in html 5

From: Jim Allan <allanj@tsbvi.edu>
Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2007 11:47:31 -0500
To: WAU-ua <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>
Message-id: <HDEAKIPKOHBCMDILOOPNEEILIDAB.allanj@tsbvi.edu>

During the last call 5/31 Cathy and I agreed to respond to the PFWG request
for thoughts concerning the removal of the 'headers/id' association for
table data and header cells. PF has developed a draft response to the HTML 5
WG
http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/wai-xtech/2007Jun/0009.html

UAAG comments:

The 'headers' attribute is supported by the major screen readers used in the
world (JAWS, WindowEyes, ??HAL/SuperNova-still waiting for a reply).
WindowEyes uses the headers and id attribute combination. WindowEyes does
*not* use the scope attribute. JAWS has support for headers/id, row and
column span, and the 'axis' attribute.

Assistive technologies, browser extensions, and tools that use DOM access
also support the headers attribute and expose that information through their
accessibility APIs and to their end users with disabilities and to
developers. Examples of this include Firefox extensions like FireVox and the
University of Illinois Firefox accessibility extension, and developer tools
like Parasoft's WebKing and IBM's RAVEN tool
(http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/raven).

In addition, platform accessibility APIs such as IAccessible2 on Windows,
ATK/AT-SPI on Linux, and the Java accessibility API all have functions for
getting the row and column headers. The headers attribute, scope attribute,
and TH all provided explicit, engineered ways for browsers to get row and
column headers and expose that information to assistive technologies through
the accessibility APIs. Without these, the browsers and assistive
technologies are forced to resort to heuristics such as font styling and
location (topmost and leftmost cells), which is insufficient for complex
tables with spanned and multiple row/column headers.

Any additional thoughts or comments?

Please respond before 10 Eastern time (9 Central, 7 Pacific) on
Wednesday, 6 June so that I can forward our response to PFWG.

Jim Allan, Webmaster & Statewide Technical Support Specialist
Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired
1100 W. 45th St., Austin, Texas 78756
voice 512.206.9315    fax: 512.206.9264  http://www.tsbvi.edu/
"We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us." McLuhan, 1964
Received on Tuesday, 5 June 2007 16:46:00 GMT

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