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RE: WCAG-ISSUE-23 (DavidMacD): We should consider a new "Failure to provide role=presentation on a layout table"

From: Andrew Kirkpatrick <akirkpat@adobe.com>
Date: Mon, 2 Jun 2014 14:23:58 +0000
To: Loretta Guarino Reid <lorettaguarino@google.com>
CC: "rcorominas@technosite.es" <rcorominas@technosite.es>, "faulkner.steve@gmail.com" <faulkner.steve@gmail.com>, Wilco Fiers <w.fiers@accessibility.nl>, "Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <cdf9d256781e437c9804b877e80edb45@BY2PR02MB171.namprd02.prod.outlook.com>
Agreed. I added “Using role=presentation to indicate a layout table “ to the list of needed techniques.

From: Loretta Guarino Reid [mailto:lorettaguarino@google.com]
Sent: Monday, June 02, 2014 10:12 AM
To: Andrew Kirkpatrick
Cc: rcorominas@technosite.es; faulkner.steve@gmail.com; Wilco Fiers; Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group
Subject: Re: WCAG-ISSUE-23 (DavidMacD): We should consider a new "Failure to provide role=presentation on a layout table"

This discussion is making me think we should write a technique for using role=presentation with layout tables, rather than writing a failure for not using it.

On Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 6:19 AM, Andrew Kirkpatrick <akirkpat@adobe.com<mailto:akirkpat@adobe.com>> wrote:
Is testing with real AT enough? The following table, which also containt nested tables, is completely ignored by JAWS 14 + Firefox / IE 8 and Safari + VoiceOver (at least). They don't announce any table, they don't find any table; if you try to navigate tables, they say "no tables found":
I tried your table (https://awkawk.github.io/layout_table.html) with JAWS 15/FF and got the following speech when reading line-by-line:

Layout Table Example - Mozilla Firefox
Layout Table Example

heading level 1 Layout Table Example

table with 2 columns and 3 rows
heading level 1 My page

table with 1 columns and 1 rows nesting level 1
heading level 2 My article

This is my article
table end nesting level 1

table with 1 columns and 1 rows nesting level 1
heading level 2 My sidebar

This is my sidebar
table end nesting level 1

© My Website 2014

That said, I like the concept of requiring a way to programmatically and positively identify layout tables.  In the past there have been suggestions that layout tables should be marked with summary="" (I am in no way advocating for this now, just to be clear!) and even now we are talking about different heuristics to identify layout tables.  It seems that the big issue is that assistive technologies could implement the idea that Jon Avila suggested (essentially "no TH = layout table") and the result would probably be very good for not treating layout tables as tables, but I suspect that it would also be disliked as it would also make tables that are incorrectly coded today but correctly regarded as data tables less accessible for the screen reader users.

But I also go back to the questions about what does this do to the set of pages with currently conformant tables and what is the real impact on screen reader users.  As layout tables are less ubiquitious now and with HTML5 requiring role=presentation on layout tables, is this actually less of a problem now?  Would this be a technique that is addressing an old but diminishing problem?

I don't know the answers to all of these questions, but I'm sure that we'll be talking about it more...


Received on Monday, 2 June 2014 14:24:52 UTC

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