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Re: Web accessiblity and barriers examples


From: Jukka K. Korpela
Date: May 31, 2007 3:00AM

On Thu, 31 May 2007, MUHAMMAD AKRAM wrote:

> is there any website that show example of web accessibilities and
> barriers?

Just some millions of them - but it's often difficult to find examples
that demonstrate some particular problem well. Typically sites have
lots of problems, and it is difficult to estimate the impact of each of

> what am trying to do is collecting example to make prove, it is not
> enough to say that layout designed by table element may cause problem
> for screen readers, I must have example for my student to show them how
> and what problem it cause.

Yes, we need to present examples. But table layout as such is not an
accessibility problem. Its effects depend on the browser and browsing
mode. If a browser cannot read the cells of a table in an order and reads
visually by text lines, then the result is awful, but I don't think such
browsers are used much any more.

Tables for layout are generally part of a larger problem of including too
much content, and too much repetitive content at that, on one page. Layout
tables make it possible, but so does CSS positioning. For example, if you
visit the Unesco page http://www.unesco.org page, you will probably find
it excessively complex, especially if you use a screen reader. Visually,
the page is somehow tolerable, since the different parts have been
presented as blocks with backgrounds or otherwise visually grouped. If you
have to listen to the page, it's more difficult to figure out the
structure behind it. But it has been implemented using CSS rathern than
layout table, and this doesn't make it any more accessible.

Sometimes layout tables have been used to that when linearized, the
content appears in a very messed-up order. For example, there might be two
lists presented as a table with two columns, so that when read
sequentially, you get alternatingly items from each list, completely
breaking the structure. That would be a problem caused specifically by
a layout table - a poorly designed one. But such constructs have become
less common and I haven't recently encountered an example of that.

Jukka "Yucca" Korpela, http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/