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

@Loretta: I agree that a sufficient technique is a better approach.

@Steve: adding role="presentation" to a <table> element does not change 
the table markup, so it would be still a misuse of the spec, so in 
reality the <table> should be changed to <div> with classes and so on.

In any case, my main concern is that the addition of role="presentation" 
is not as easy as it sounds...

Imagine that we have a web tool for an intranet that was created using 
layout tables, and that was originally tested for conformance with the 
specific set of OS, browser and AT defined by the organization. In this 
closed environment, layout tables are properly ignored (even if this is 
done through "desperate attemps" of the AT to ignore them). IMO, the 
fact is that they are "supported". The tool contains also normal data 
tables, properly marked with <caption>, <th> and so on, so it has both 
layout tables and data tables mixed together in the same page.

In this scenario, adding a role="presentation" only to layout tables is 
not trivial, and the task cannot be easily automated. indeed, the 
automated process would need to re-create the same desperate heuristics 
that the AT is already performing, so the effort to "technically 
conform" could be huge while the practical benefit for the users would 
be null.

I would also like to know what are the conditions that a failure must 
meet, it seems that there are different opinions. In any case, from my 
experience many developers and evaluators consider failures as 
"normative rules" that always prevent conformance, but my understanding 
is that they should be treated as informative only. Therefore, they 
should be considered under accessibility support in the specific usage 
context, especially when we are monitoring an existing website that was 
marked as "valid" prior to the existence of the Failure.


Received on Tuesday, 3 June 2014 09:08:40 UTC