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RE: UA ISSUE OF THE WEEK: Table element access

From: Denis Anson <danson@miseri.edu>
Date: Tue, 12 Jan 1999 08:17:05 -0500
To: "Charles (Chuck) Oppermann" <chuckop@microsoft.com>, "Jon Gunderson" <jongund@staff.uiuc.edu>, <w3c-wai-ua@w3.org>

I think that the issues raised to apply to main stream browsers that want to
provide functionality via third party assistive technology.  The reason that
table navigation is such a hassle is that many screen readers read the
display, as that is the only way to get the information out of a program.
And, as such, as we all know, they tend to read all of one line of a row of
cells, then all of the next line of the row of cells, etc.

The issues 1 - 4 of the table navigation list mandate that all browsers
provide a means of accessing cell contents as discrete units, independent of
display on the screen.  For IE to be compatible with screen readers, it
would need to provide some mechanism for the screen reader to extract the
information a cell at a time, along with the relevant header information.

I would say that a large part of the purpose of these guidelines is to point
out the issues of access that browser designers need to address.  Many
designers do not have a firm grasp on the issues of disability access, and
even those who develop specialty browsers may think in terms on just one or
two disability types.  By describing the issues in broader terms, we can
help designers to expand on their view of the potential users of their

Denis Anson, MS, OTR
Assistant Professor
Computer Access Specialist
College Misericordia
301 Lake Street
Dallas, PA 18612

The International Organization of Assistive Technology Professionals

Member since 1989

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ua-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ua-request@w3.org]On
Behalf Of Charles (Chuck) Oppermann
Sent: Monday, January 11, 1999 6:00 PM
To: Jon Gunderson; w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Subject: RE: UA ISSUE OF THE WEEK: Table element access

I simply don't understand the proposal.  It appears that all the
Checkpoints, from 1 through 8 only apply to specialized browsers and not
mainstream browsers such as Internet Explorer.  Am I understanding this

If so, why are we telling folks like pwWebSpeak how to implement their
product?  Isn't it assumed that specialized browsers will take care of their
specialized audience?  I'm my impression that the problem of access to the
web is with the mainstream browsers that are often times forced on students
and employees.

Am I on the right track here, or have I been gone too long and missed too
much discussion.  Feel free to email me privately if you choose, or publicly
on the list.

Charles Oppermann
Program Manager, Accessibility and Disabilities Group, Microsoft Corporation
mailto:chuckop@microsoft.com  http://www.microsoft.com/enable/
"A computer on every desk and in every home, usable by everyone!"

-----Original Message-----
From: Jon Gunderson [mailto:jongund@staff.uiuc.edu]
Sent: Monday, January 11, 1999 10:28 AM
To: w3c-wai-ua@w3.org
Subject: Re: UA ISSUE OF THE WEEK: Table element access

I would like to see more discussion about table issues.  This has been a
BIG issue for the group.  Please see the issues list for background
information and a list of recent e-mails on the topic.


There is a proposal for discussion at:


Jon Gunderson, Ph.D., ATP
Coordinator of Assistive Communication and Information Technology
Division of Rehabilitation - Education Services
University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
1207 S. Oak Street
Champaign, IL 61820

Voice: 217-244-5870
Fax: 217-333-0248
E-mail: jongund@uiuc.edu
WWW:	http://www.staff.uiuc.edu/~jongund

Received on Tuesday, 12 January 1999 08:15:22 UTC

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