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Re: assistive tech and layout tables

From: David Poehlman <poehlman1@comcast.net>
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2002 18:43:26 -0500
To: Michael Fry <MFry@electronicink.com>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-id: <001801c1ba69$864de9b0$858c3244@cp286066a>
you seem to be asking the same question in two different ways or at
least the answer to the second question may point to the answer to the

The "skip nav" link is something that is used primarily to maintain a
design that is distructive to usability when a page is rendered by an
assistive technology that requires redrawing of the page for speech or
in a liniar fashion.  An approach that works better and that has been
implemented for a long time is the go to instead of bypass approach and
Yes, indeed, there can be many of them and the best way to make this
work is to make a table of contents so that an individual using the page
can go directly to the section of interest and also to provide a next
section link at the top of each section so that it is not required to
return to the top of the page to get to that item if it is next in the
sequence.  You can use the anchor name pair to do this in a table and
the # end of the pair can be inside a cell or in the mark up for the lay
out I'd imagine but there is no guarantee that this would bear the
expected fruit for all assistives especially since even the streight
pairs don't always work.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Fry" <MFry@electronicink.com>
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2002 6:11 PM
Subject: assistive tech and layout tables

I have a question about layout tables--I browsed the archives but didn't
find anything directly applicable, so I'd like to ask for your advice.

I've been asked to determine if assistive technologies, e.g. screen
can be "directed" by HTML (or something else) to read specific cells in
layout table in a particular order, rather than linearly. (I think I
the answer to this, i.e. "no," but I'd like to make sure I'm not

On a potentially related note, what do people think about providing
*several* 'skip navigation' links on a page, e.g. one for 'main
one for 'main navigation,' 'local navigation,' etc. If the cells in a
table have distinct and "describable" types of content, would this be a
feasible method of giving users the ability to jump to their preferred
content (or table cells, from a developer's perspective)? Is there a
why are 'skip nav' links seem to be limited to one per page?

Thank you very much.


Michael Fry
Human Factors Analyst

One South Broad Street
19th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107

t 215.922.3800
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Received on Wednesday, 20 February 2002 19:23:08 UTC

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