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RE: Table headers not behaving

for

From: Paul Bohman
Date: Sep 10, 2002 9:23AM


You've run across a bug in the JAWS algorithms, which is documented in
the WebAIM tables tutorial at http://www.webaim.org/howto/tables3
(towards the bottom of the page). Connect Outloud is essentially a
scaled down version of JAWS, with the same bugs.

JAWS simply cannot handle any tables with any spanned rows or columns
correctly. It's sad, but true. Other screen readers do not have the same
problem. This is a bug specific to JAWS. IBM Home Page Reader and Window
Eyes, for example, would read this table correctly.

The only solution, unfortunately, is to change the structure of the
table. In many cases this is a difficult proposition, and it may not be
possible to restructure all such tables. In some cases, you may have to
provide an additional alternative version of the data outside of a
table, like this:

<begin example>
Rate information for "Classic Card:"
Rate for first six months: annual - 0%, monthly - 0%.
Ongoing rate: annual 13.9% - p.a., monthly - 1.09%.
APR for purchases and balance transfers: annual - 11.5% APR, monthly -
not applicable.
<end example>

I know that most developers don't like it when I tell them about this
bug in JAWS. I don't like it either, but we have to remember that JAWS
is just software, and like all software, it has its glitches.

If you're now getting worried about other potential bugs in screen
readers, don't worry too much. There are little things here and there,
but not like this one. Most of the problems have to do with lack of
support for certain accessibility features, rather than actual bugs. But
the table rowspan/columnspan issue is an actual bug. JAWS reads the
*wrong* headers when you span rows or columns.

Paul Bohman
Technology Coordinator
WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind)
www.webaim.org
Center for Persons with Disabilities
www.cpd.usu.edu
Utah State University
www.usu.edu




-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: Tuesday, September 10, 2002 7:17 AM
To: <EMAIL REMOVED>
Subject: Table headers not behaving


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I've been advising colleagues to use headers and ids in tables for more
complicated tables where scope doesn't cut it.

I've just come back from holiday to find out that some relatively simple
tables (with just one colspan and rowspan) are not behaving when using
the
CTRL + ALT to navigate around (I would expect it to announce the
headers,
but it is doing so inconsistently). And because I've just returned from
holiday, brain has yet to kick in to action, so all help greatly
appreciated
...

FYI, I am using IE5 and Connect Outloud.

Here is a snippet of an example table - can anyone tell me if this is
incorrect coding? Or is it the screen readers themselves that are not
yet up
to the job of referencing multiple headers?

Many thanks, here's the table code:

<table cellspacing="2" cellpadding="3" border="0" width="95%"
summary="Table
detailing the Classic Card Rates">
<thead>
<tr>
<th rowspan="2">&nbsp;</th>
<th colspan="2" id="product_title"><a href="#top"><img
src="../_credit-card_images/arrow-up.gif" alt="To top button" border="0"
align="right"></a>Classic Card</th>
</tr>
<tr>
<th id="annual" headers="product_title">Annual Rate</th>
<th id="monthly" headers="product_title">Monthly Rate</th
</tr>
</thead>
<tbody>
<tr>
<td class="data" scope="row">Rate for first 6 months</td>
<td class="NBSdata" headers="product_title annual">0% p.a.</td>
<td class="NBSdata" headers="product_title monthly">0% </td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td class="data" scope="row">Ongoing Rate</td>
<td class="NBSdata" headers="product_title annual">13.9% p.a.</td>
<td class="NBSdata" headers="product_title monthly">1.09%</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td class="data" scope="row">APR for Purchases & Balance
Transfers</td>
<td class="NBSdata" headers="product_title annual">11.5% APR</td>
<td class="NBSdata" headers="product_title monthly">N/A</td>
</tr>
</tbody>
</table>

Ian Lloyd, Electronic Channels
Nationwide Building Society

e-mail: <EMAIL REMOVED>
tel: 01793-655260
fax: 01793-656368


- -----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: 10 September 2002 13:54
To: <EMAIL REMOVED>
Subject: fonts in css


hello,
A while back someone posted some links that explained how to write font
definitions using inheritance so that css would be compliant with older
version of Netscape. Can you please repost those URL's? Our style
sheets
are defining font sizes using percentages for 508 compliancy but they
are
not understood by Netscape 4.0.

Thanks!
Cyndy


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