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Re: "tables" mode or "links" mode?


From: Lucy Greco
Date: Aug 29, 2011 5:15PM


Jaws does have a tables mode but much to my dismay when I work with students most people don't know how to use it. Its very simple, when you're in a table you can hold down the windows key and use up down to move in a column and left write to move across the row. If the table is tagged properly with titles and so on jaws will read the header of the row or column as you the developer set it with the tag. Older versions of jaws would assume that the top row is the header row and that the far left is the header column. With modern tables, this would often lead to sort bys being read as column headers and check boxes being read as row headers. So now the default behavior is to not assume. You should always tag tables appropriately and you can choose whatever column or row you want to be the header. So for example, the first column could be check boxes the second column can be ID numbers and the third column can be names, and so on. In this case, you may want to make the name co
lumn as the header, since number or check boxes may not make sense.

Hope this helps,

Lucy Greco
Assistive Technology Specialist
Disabled Student's Program UC Berkeley
(510) 643-7591

-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Angela French
Sent: Monday, August 29, 2011 3:37 PM
To: 'WebAim Forum ( <EMAIL REMOVED> )'
Subject: [WebAIM] "tables" mode or "links" mode?

Hello and thanks for your valuable contribution to my ongoing efforts to education myself on matters of accessibility!

I am aware that there is a "links" mode and a "forms" mode for screen readers such as JAWS. Is there also something such as a "tables" mode? How does a screen reader user decide what "mode" to put the device into to read the page?

If a web page has a complex table in it that also presents links to outside sources (say documents that can be downloaded, represented by a document icon), what mode is most likely to be employed by the user? In the above example, if the page was in links mode, would the user know what the document was all about since the context of the table was important to ascertain that?

(This is related to the last email I sent out about presenting documents for download).


Angela French
Internet Specialist
State Board for Community and Technical Colleges