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Re: Asking for views on using h1-h6 heading markup insidedatatables


From: Karlen Communications
Date: Aug 30, 2017 8:54AM

From a best practices point of view in accessible document design, we don't put headings in tables. Headings are navigational structures and you don't typically navigate to a single cell in a table. Once we do land on that cell, we have to use the table reading and navigation commands to move around the table anyway.

As someone who, like Kelly, uses a screen reader, I find it annoying to navigate to a single cell in a table. As someone who writes books and provides training on accessible document design, it is a "just say NO!"

I know, you now have two perspectives. It has always been a best practice not to use tables for design layout and adding headings to table cells is part of that concept/poor design.

We have to focus on good design, not compensating for people not knowing how to use their adaptive technology.

Cheers, Karen

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of KellyFord
Sent: August 30, 2017 10:36 AM
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List' < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Asking for views on using h1-h6 heading markup inside data tables

Strictly from the screen reader usability side, in your example, the headings make the page more usable in my view. In my experience more screen reader users know about heading navigation versus the commands to navigate through a table with different table navigation commands.

I'd also ask though about something you mentioned on the page about the services themselves being available as another cell with text that isn't reported as a link. Your page says about this:

There is actually a link to the respective service in the last column (not reproduced here) which can be triggered using ENTER (but is not announced as link).

In my experience, many screen reader users won't know they can press enter here without an actionable role being communicated i.e. link.


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Detlev Fischer
Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 8:14 AM
Subject: [WebAIM] Asking for views on using h1-h6 heading markup inside data tables

In the context of the test of a public services portal that lists many services in a data table, the question came up whether it adds or takes away from screen reader accessibility when the names of the services in cells are marked up with headings mark-up (in addition to the column header markup). Would that just create confusion, or afford quicker access for screen reader users calling up a list of headings or using headings shortcuts rather than table navigation?

I have creatred a page that has a simplified example, the first version without heading markup and th esecond with h3 headings for the service names in the first column:

I would be interested both in your views regarding practical screen reader usability and regarding WCAG 2.0 conformance.


Detlev Fischer
testkreis c/o feld.wald.wiese
Thedestr. 2, 22767 Hamburg

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