Re: aria-label usage in table cells

I can only speak to how we test in DHS. Our script would fail that standard. Guess it depends on the customer, user community, and any regulatory groups that the code has to clear. We're pretty strict on government apps.

From: Devarshi Pant []
Sent: Friday, June 20, 2014 03:22 PM Eastern Standard Time
Cc: Sailesh Panchang <>; WAI Interest Group <>
Subject: Re: aria-label usage in table cells

I am with you on comparable access, but who is at fault here -- developer, browser, business, or spec? Isn't the title attribute supposed to be exposed to sighted keyboard only users?  Spec says "This attribute offers advisory information about the element for which it is set."

A case in point, and it may be extended to large data tables where column / row headers are not visible to all user groups - H65: Using the title attribute to identify form controls when the label element cannot be used ( - Question: can a project team using standard code claim compliance because the title attribute serves screen reader and mouse users and possibly other user groups , but not sighted keyboard only users? Would it be advisable to fail that page even though the team used standard code (or at least tried)?

On Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 5:18 PM, SALES, TERRY LYNN <<>> wrote:
Just remember that any data available only via mouse over is not compliant.  There must be a way for mobility challenged keyboard only users to access the same information.

Terry Lynn Sales
Architecture and Engineering
Section 508 SME
Cargo Systems Program Directorate/OIT
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
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-----Original Message-----
From: Sailesh Panchang [<>]
Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 5:06 PM
To: WAI Interest Group
Subject: Re: aria-label usage in table cells

Yes the title might help a mouse user to get to that content if he thinks of  mousing over every cell. But a sighted keyboard user will be at a loss.
If it is important content for all users and not just something to aid VI users then the UI needs a serious look. Content should be usable first to all then  one should make sure it is accessible too.
And sure, one can introduce a B or SPAN tag with off-screen content programattically just like any other attribute / element.
Aria-label on static TD content  may not get exposed by SRs.

On 6/18/14, Devarshi Pant <<>> wrote:
> Sailesh -- I agree with your suggestion regarding the use of
> off-screen text, but then business rules often trump accessibility.
> They could make a case that a mouse user would need to know the
> associated header cells when they hover on a data cell in a large
> table. Don't think we can touch and push their minds. Coming back to
> the use of off-screen text, can it be applied on the fly when working with dynamic content?
> Can aria-label be effective and dynamically updated? Something like:
> <TD aria-label="Process Step of xyz is RECOMMENDATION REVIEW, D means
> case is in diary" headers=processStepHdr align=middle>RECOMMENDATION
> REVIEW <FONT class=pending>D</FONT> </TD> William -- Unfortunately its
> an intranet site and cannot be accessed from outside. Attaching a
> screenshot of the table.
> thanks,
> Devarshi
> On Wed, Jun 18, 2014 at 10:53 AM, Sailesh Panchang <
><>> wrote:
>> Hi Devarshi,
>> Pardon me if I have not fully understood the example. Yet I'll take a
>> shot.
>> Consider using  off-screen text with CSS within the TD in place of
>> the title attributes to provide access to whatever text you want the
>> screen reader user to get to. This pre-supposes other user groups do
>> not have problems in getting to the content of the table cell. I also
>> note the use of a headers attribute with a single value in it ...
>> intriguing.
>> Regards,
>> Sailesh Panchang
>> On 6/17/14, Devarshi Pant <<>> wrote:
>> > Hi Olaf,
>> > The two title attributes inside the <TD> compliment the static
>> > text, even though they don't serve the purpose of passing on the
>> > info to a screen reader. Yes, there is some degree of duplication
>> > but I believe the intent (by a well-meaning developer) here is to
>> > tie in the 'process step' with
>> its
>> > color indicator, 'case is in diary' etc...
>> > -devarshi
>> > On Jun 17, 2014 5:16 PM, "Olaf Drümmer"
>> > <<>>
>> > wrote:
>> >
>> >> Hi Devarshi,
>> >>
>> >> aren't you simply duplicating information? The value of the title
>> >> attribute just repeats what is defined by the TD content and the
>> >> associated TH cell content.
>> >>
>> >> Olaf
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> On 17 Jun 2014, at 22:23, Devarshi Pant <<>>
>> >> wrote:
>> >>
>> >> > I am testing a data table with static text in <TD> followed by a
>> >> > red
>> >> color text indicator. For some reason, our developers have used
>> >> title attributes on <td> in hopes of making the info accessible,
>> >> not knowing that title attributes will be voiced (at least by JAWS
>> >> when properly
>> >> configured)
>> >> on links, form controls, images, etc., but not on static text.
>> >> Here is
>> an
>> >> example code:
>> >> > <TD title="Process Step of xxxxxxx is DETERMINATION REVIEW"
>> >> headers=processStepHdr align=middle>DETERMINATION REVIEW <FONT
>> >> class=pending title="This case is in Diary.">D</FONT> </TD>
>> >> > JAWS 13 [IE8] announces "Determination review D"
>> >> > A few things like the deprecated font tag and an over dependence
>> >> > on
>> >> title attributes may be an affront to some, but that's how it is.
>> >> My question is: can aria-label attribute or any other technique be
>> >> used to convey an updated value / indicator (case in diary; not in
>> >> diary,
>> >> etc.)
>> >> within a data cell without changing the look and feel?
>> >> > Thanks,
>> >> > Devarshi
>> >>
>> >>
>> >

Received on Friday, 20 June 2014 19:47:04 UTC