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

From: Hoffman, Allen <allen.hoffman@hq.dhs.gov>
Date: Tue, 3 Jun 2014 14:53:50 +0000
To: David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca>, "rcorominas@technosite.es" <rcorominas@technosite.es>
CC: WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, Jared Smth <jared@webaim.com>
Message-ID: <F2EC405EEF0B414E8B1415742F1C8BEC476B0866@D2ASEPREA004>
Just out of curiosity, if this is within the HTML5 spec why isn’t this considered as a valid code failure?

From: David MacDonald [mailto:david100@sympatico.ca]
Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2014 10:50 AM
To: rcorominas@technosite.es
Cc: WCAG; Jared Smth
Subject: Re: WCAG-ISSUE-23 (DavidMacD): We should consider a new "Failure to provide role=presentation on a layout table"

I've closed the issue due to insufficient support for an explicit failure.

On a separate note, I would like comments from Steve, Leonié, Alestair, Ramón, Sailesh, Jared etc.

Say, you are evaluating a public facing site with a layout table mising role=presentation which is announced as a data table in JAWS, VO, NVDA and in the API. Do you

(1) flag a best practice and suggest they add  role=presentation knowing that many companies filter out best practices when entering things into the remediation cue, or
(2) flag it as a failure of 1.3.1 given that the information is not data, but presented as such. Or
(3) pass it


David MacDonald

CanAdapt Solutions Inc.

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On Tue, Jun 3, 2014 at 5:03 AM, Ramón Corominas <rcorominas@technosite.es<mailto:rcorominas@technosite.es>> wrote:
@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 14:55:13 UTC

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