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Complex table with headings (h3, h4 etc.) to group data rows

From: Sailesh Panchang <spanchang02@yahoo.com>
Date: Tue, 8 Oct 2013 10:07:39 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <1381252059.692.YahooMailBasic@web125004.mail.ne1.yahoo.com>
To: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org
Refer to table#2 on this page:
http://mars.dequecloud.com/demo/Census_2013.htm

Well if one is arrowing down a column # 2or subsequent column, the screen reader does announce the group header because it is a TH cell./ (this is in response to Josh's question during the call).
Use of h<n> tags in a data table is valid code, it exposes structure of the grouping within the table, allows users to jump to the section of interest and then navigate the table and have only row header  to its left and column headers announced. This reduces verbosity. Yet one can press JAWS+T and have nearest heading announced ... a technique that is accepted for determining context of a link. So one can use the same technique to understand  context in terms of group headers. (Only JAWS  supports H80)  
Also one navigates a page and determines structure by multiple methods: landmarks, headings, tables, lists, forms etc. and not just heading navigation. So if this method is used to code complex tables, users will be able to figure that out. 
Also a single level of headings (styled as needed)  should be used in the table ... the method may not be appropriate if one needs to use more than one level of headings.  
It is a non "standard" method that is valid code and AT supported. 
I believe it is an alternative technique to headers-id when one chooses not to use headers-id for whatever reason.
 
Thanks and regards,
Sailesh Panchang
Received on Tuesday, 8 October 2013 17:08:08 UTC

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