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Table Structure Policy question


From: Duff Johnson
Date: Dec 10, 2010 2:00PM


We have a client who has stated the following policy for the tagging of tables for accessibility purposes:

I would appreciate opinions on this policy, which has been summarized as follows:
Simple tables are defined as having:

a) no spanning cells, and
b) only 1 logical level of both row headings and column headings, and
c) only 1 actual row of column headers.

All other tables are complex tables.

1) For simple tables, the use of "scope" is perfectly acceptable.

2) For complex tables, the use of "scope" is not acceptable. The id/headers method must be used.

3) Colspan and rowspan attributes are considered to have no role in providing logical structure (since spanning cells trigger a requirement for IDs/headers under this policy).

4) In complex tables, the use of "TH" in row heading cells is said to be OPTIONAL (due to the use of the id/headers method).
I recognize this policy as related to the advice given here:


With respect to colspan and rowspan, the policy seems to be inspired by this:


Any comment?

Thank you.

Duff Johnson, CEO
Appligent Document Solutions

22 E. Baltimore Ave
Lansdowne, PA 19050
+1 610 284 4006
+1 617 553 1934 (direct)