WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: JAWS Screen Reader and detection of tables as layout or data


From: James Nurthen
Date: Jan 22, 2008 10:20PM

As from JAWS 8 you can use the JAWS expando datatable=1 to specify that this
is a data table, and datatable=0 to ensure the table is treated as a layout
table.If you don't use this JAWS will guess based on, amongst other things,
the presence of TH elements and the number of rows and columns in the table.
I have never seen published the exact algorithm that JAWS uses to decide
whether it is a data or layout table.

(As I'm sure someone will point out - of course the ideal is not to use
layout tables)


On Jan 22, 2008 5:59 PM, Chun Wei Ho < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:

> Hi,
> I'm in the process of making a web application web accessible. We have
> a number of table layout based pages that need translating to either
> CSS, or modified in a way that JAWS and other screen readers will
> detect them as layout pages.
> I'm working with JAWS 9.0 for Windows, and I'm rather confused as to
> how it detects whether a table is layout (which means it ignores the
> table) or data (which means it reads table with X rows and Y columns).
> It does detect most of them correctly but there are some layout tables
> that I cannot get it to detect as layout no matter what modifications
> I make.
> Is there a checklist of triggers or rule of thumb that I can follow?
> Thanks a lot :)
> CW