WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Re: complex layout tables


From: Jared Smith
Date: Jan 29, 2014 12:56PM

On Wed, Jan 29, 2014 at 12:16 PM, Olaf Drümmer wrote:

> I can't see why a style that is 'gross' hinders equal access.

At face value, it probably doesn't. But there's more to ensuring broad
accessibility than simply implementing accessibility techniques. Good
coding practices - such as clean/valid code, not using tables for
layout, defining appropriate class/id names, using clean CSS that
takes advantage of inheritance, avoiding <div>itis, not browser
sniffing, doing progressive enhancement, etc., etc. - may have little
or no direct impact on the accessibility of a particular document.
However, when developers are working with inefficient code or tools,
they inherently have less time and more difficulty in implementing
more and better accessibility.

But I do understand your point, I think. We often conflate
accessibility compliance techniques and general best practice all the
time. We hear people say that using tables for layout or invalid HTML
or using red and green colors are "inaccessible", when they don't
always automatically result in any functional accessibility issues in
a web page. But the reality is that these less-than-optimal practices
will usually be detrimental to broader accessibility efforts.