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Screenreader voicing of tables


From: Langum, Michael J
Date: Aug 27, 2010 12:06PM

Would our screenreader experts please explain how screen readers convey the column and row header information (when in Table mode).

I was told that using "scope" attributes, causes a screen reader to voice the value of the associated column-head (or row-head) cells as you move from one cell to an adjacent cell (horizontally or vertically. That is, if you move horizontally across a row, the value of the column head that changed will voiced before the value of the cell. If you move vertically up or down a column, the value of the row head that changed will be voiced before the value of the cell.

For complex tables using ID and Headers --
I was told that when using "id" and "headers" for complex tables, the screen reader will voice the value of all the cells associated in the headers attribute list. However, a complex table may have many combinations of associated header cells. Not all of these associations will change when you move from one cell to it's neighbor. If the screen reader voices the values of ALL associated headers, then there may be more information voiced than is needed.

Am I correct that the screen reader will voice the values of ALL associated headers, or just the ones that change?

-- Mike

-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Sailesh Panchang
Sent: Friday, August 27, 2010 12:06 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] The affect of "scope" attributes in <th> tags

At this time it is only JAWS that seems to support the scope attribute. Other readers like Window-Eyes and NVDA do not. Some time ago, even JAWS did not support rowspan and its use for complex tables was not recommended. And then the support for scope in JAWS had also gone awry. (I had filed a bug with Freedom Scientific then). Now the support for scope is much better with JAWS. See user agent notes for technique H63 for WCAG2 and the last resource listed on that page. Sailesh Panchang Accessibility Services Lead Deque Systems www.deque.com