WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Re: Column headers are not navigable in grid


From: Jonathan Cohn
Date: Dec 20, 2017 8:59AM


Accessibility is not a one shoe fits all type of problem. You need to look
at what services the grid is providing to the client and then determine the
optimal way to allow those with limited mobility and/or perception to
easily perform those functions. So depending on if rows are selectable,
items are editable and various other functionality you may or may not be
providing you can then start to build patterns of use.

If you unplug your mouse, can you perform the sort w/o hitting arrow keys
100 times? Can a blind person determine what is selected and what the sort
order is? Is it clear what the grid represents even when lost somewhere in
the middle of the grid?

It might be that you configure control-up and control-down to change the
sort order of your grid. The only problem with this is:

1. OS and screen readers often think control and arrow keys should be used
to move by sentence and paragraph.
2. How will your clients know that these keystrokes are available.
3. What happens for mobile.

These questions need to be answered by the person designing the User
You might decide that sorting the table is not a significant use case, and
that you will delay fixing the fact that arrow keys won't allow you to
access the sort controls. Accessibility will usually be a compromise not
an absolute. So, you can look at Brian's sortable grid that was designed
with the ability that one can easily sort accessibly but if you have user
cases that conflict with his plug and play widgets then your designers will
need to determine an approach that is universal for your unique

On 20 December 2017 at 02:33, Vemaarapu Venkatesh <
<EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:

> Jonathan and Bryan, thank you so much for your valuable suggestions.
> Let me describe the behavior in the other table where the sort is
> accessible. All the column headers in the first row is navigable with tab
> key where users can't arrow down/up or left/ right and the second column is
> having sort icon. Able to toggle it with enter key. But the concern is only
> after reaching row 2 arrow key navigation is possible in the table but not
> able to use arrow keys in row1. Is that ok if arrow key navigation is not
> possible when focus is on column headers? Or instead of tab navigation the
> same arrow key navigation should be enable through column headers also.
> Thanks,
> Venkatesh
> > > > >