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Re: Tables and the Summary attribute

From: Sailesh Panchang <sailesh.panchang@deque.com>
Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2005 14:43:38 -0400
Message-ID: <008701c5c5ee$dee5fd30$9a01a8c0@deque.local>
To: "Orion Adrian" <orion.adrian@gmail.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

> >> summary:
> >> There are 5 columns. Columns 1 and 2 show forcasted results for 2006.
> Column 1 is the original budget. Column 2 is the estimated actual
> results.
> >

> I personally don't have a problem developing a mental  > model of this
table  by the description, and I think >accountant types, having a
mathematical  predisposition, >probably won't stuggle with it either.
Yes, as an accountant and auditor  who now tests Web content and software
for accessibility, I'll vouch for that! In fact the summary may need to be
even more detailed and longer. Throw in a row span or two into the above
table or   make the table  irregular. Without a summary for guidance, one
can spend several minutes trying to decipher   the content in a complex
table and get very very frustrated. But  a summary that explains the
structure allows one to build a mental model of the table and understand the
content as one navigates it. At times one might have to re-visit the summary
but that is OK.
Sailesh Panchang
Senior Accessibility Engineer
Deque Systems (www.deque.com)
11180 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite #400
Reston VA 21091
E-mail: sailesh.panchang@deque.com
Tel: 703-225-0380 (ext 105)
Received on Friday, 30 September 2005 18:53:06 UTC

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