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Re: Asking for views on using h1-h6 headingmarkupinsidedatatables

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From: Jonathan Avila
Date: Aug 30, 2017 7:30PM


> But I have found legitimate needs for subheads within tables used for statistical data, such as a government agency's table I reviewed today. These are data tables, not layout tables.

I agree - I have seen situations where we need headings within data tables because there can be large amounts of data in table cells that is indeed tabular data. Ideally the user agents and AT should be smart enough to figure out a heading structure within a cell might be specific to that cell rather than relative to the document as a whole -- but unfortunately this has never been well adopted.

Jonathan

Jonathan Avila
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Level Access, inc. (formerly SSB BART Group, inc.)
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-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Chagnon | PubCom
Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2017 9:24 PM
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List' < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Asking for views on using h1-h6 heading markup inside data tables

Agree with Karen's and others' comments.



But I have found legitimate needs for subheads within tables used for statistical data, such as a government agency's table I reviewed today. These are data tables, not layout tables.



I don't think table subheads like the samples below should use the same tags as H1 to H6 used for navigation in the main document. Instead, I'd like the WAI committee to consider specific table subhead tags that will notify the user that they're entering a new section of content in the table, and maybe even let the user navigate within the table by these table subheads.



A small snippet of a sample table like this is below.

It has two subcategories for Social Security and Major Health Care Programs, along with their subtotals.




Item

2016

2017

2018


Social Security


Old-Age and Survivors Insurance

767

796

841


Disability Insurance

144

143

147


Subtotal

910

939

988


Major Health Care Programs


Medicare

692

701

711


Medicaid

368

385

410


Health insurance subsidies and related spending

42

51

61


Children's Health Insurance Program

14

15

13


Subtotal

1,117

1,152

1,194



I don’t know what to call these items, maybe table section headers would work. Their purpose is to signal the reader that they are entering a new section of data within the table.



One technique we use with this type of table is to write a table summary that describes the table’s structure, such as “This table contains several subsections of data with individual subtotals for each subsection: Social Security, Major Health Care Programs,” etc.



--Bevi Chagnon