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RE: using table headers as form labels


From: sean keegan
Date: Oct 10, 2003 11:49AM

We have run into this as well (and I have to agree with Tim that there
is no good solution).

We have suggested to our web developers at colleges to use the title tag
in order to provide access even though it does not strictly follow the
Section 508 requirements for a form. The only other method that web
developers were comfortable with was to redesign the form if they had to
use the label tag.

I have not done testing with HPR, but JAWS 4.x and WE 4.211 both work
with this title tag feature. The critical part is to make sure the
information in the title="" tag communicates the correct row and column
field information.

Take care,

Sean Keegan
Web Accessibility Instructor
High Tech Center Training Unit of the
California Community Colleges
Cupertino, CA

-----Original Message-----
From: Tim Harshbarger [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2003 1:06 PM
Subject: RE: using table headers as form labels


I have asked the question before. I finally drew the conclusion that
is no good solution.

The only other idea I might suggest is to use the title attribute to
all the controls.

I think as long as someone insists the labels must appear in a tabular
format, it is a difficult problem to solve. I do believe it can be
with the fieldset, legend, and label elements, but then you don't end up
with the table format people seem to prefer.
>-----Original Message-----
>Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2003 2:33 PM
>Subject: RE: using table headers as form labels
>All of the responses to the original question about forms and
>tables have provided some good information, but I don't think
>that any of them directly addressed the problem that was
>originally asked.
>The problem is not so much with tables per se, but with form
>labels. The original query referenced a page that was using
>table headers to perform the function of form labels. This
>makes sense to most visual users, but it does create problems
>for those who use screen readers.
>It is a problem that I have seen before, and which others have
>wondered about, but I don't recall ever seeing a satisfactory answer.
>I created a test page at
>http://www.webaim.org/temp/table-form.htm to see if I could
>come up with a good solution, but, to be honest, none of the
>solutions that I came up with are good enough.
>Please visit the test page and read my comments about each of
>the tests, then see if you can come up with something better.
>I'm hopeful that either someone else has already thought of a
>solution, or that we can come up with one as a result of this
>Thanks for your input.
>Paul Bohman
>Technology Coordinator
>WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind)
>Center for Persons with Disabilities
>Utah State University
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Kremers, Lindsay M. [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
>Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2003 11:28 AM
>I am writing to you because Bobby is causing the current
>problem I am having and I hope you can assist me in overcoming
>it. I have been browsing through the discussion forum and am
>not finding results to my question. I have a page that has
>multiple input fields and limited text to use as labels. It is
>set up in a table with the checkboxes and text boxes listed in
>a separate columns. Is it possible to set a label tag in the
><th> and connect all the following input fields to that label?
> Here is an example of what I am trying to create... <<labels.html>>
>Obviously there is issues with the labeling on this page. I
>read in different forums that people place a display:none in
>the label tag, but I feel that defeats the purpose
>Accessibility. What do you suggest for this page? I read
>fieldsets can be used but I feel that is not the case in this
>page. Please help. Thanks!
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