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Re: Reading tables in JAWS


From: Steve Green
Date: Feb 4, 2014 2:47PM

I agree that experienced users generally don't read pages continuously, but the exception is data tables. In our user testing we find that almost no one uses the table navigation commands - they all 'arrow' through tables. The only person I can recall who did use table navigation was a JAWS trainer, and even he could make no sense of complex tables with either multiple levels of headings or colspans or rowspans. It was just impossible to construct a mental model of what he was hearing even though the tables were marked up correctly.

Steve Green

-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Hewitt,Susan (DSHS)
Sent: 04 February 2014 21:34
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Reading tables in JAWS

That has not been my observation with JAWS users. Granted, it has a big learning curve so newer users may be unfamiliar with all of its features. But experienced users are not reading every page continuously (in fact I think most rarely do this.) This is why it's important to use semantic markup. It's much easier for the user to navigate the page by heading, or links, or landmarks - whatever helps them find what they're looking for.

As far as tables...can you imagine just arrowing down or reading a large, complex table continuously? Without the JAWS table commands - and a properly marked up table - it easily can become impossible for a user to understand that table..

-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Andrews, David B (DEED)
Sent: Tuesday, February 04, 2014 3:25 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Reading tables in JAWS

JAWS does have a set of "table reading commands," but it is my observation that most users don't know, or use them. Most people just arrow down, or read continuously, I suspect.


-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Johnson, Melissa
Sent: Thursday, January 30, 2014 11:19 AM
Subject: [WebAIM] Reading tables in JAWS

Hi all,

I'm trying to better understand how JAWS users read tables. I have my own expectations of what I think JAWS should do, however, these are based on how I view the Web as a sighted user. Any insight as to how actual users of JAWS software scan and read tables is greatly appreciated, as are any links to additional information. (Note that I have reviewed the WebAIM information, WCAG 2.0, various YouTube videos, and a few other random sites.)

Thank you in advance,


Melissa Johnson

Senior Instructional Designer | Professional Services | Pearson eCollege
tel: 303.658.1647 | email: <EMAIL REMOVED>

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