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From: Julie Lewis
Date: Mon, Oct 12 2015 2:42PM
Subject: Accessibility in Financial Tables in HTML
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A couple questions about accessibility for financial tables.

Consider:

http://www.texastransparency.org/State_Finance/Budget_Finance/Reports/Certification_Revenue_Estimate/cre1415/table1.php

Question 1: In printed formats the convention for reporting negative numbers is to put them in parentheses (2,553). Is that acceptable for accessibility, or is -2,553
better?

Question 2: The title indicates that the number in the tables are in "millions of dollars," But that is nowhere in the table headers. The printed version of the table has dollar signs in front of the numbers on the first and last rows and percent signs only on the first and last rows. Does that provide enough context? Or should every cell have $ or % explicitly called out?

In the past we figured the more info in the table the better, but it's a battle with the finance folks every time we produce these tables.

I cannot find best practices or guidelines for this anywhere on the web, and at StackOverflow they snarkily said this didn't have anything to do with code.

Thanks,
Rio Brewster

From: Cliff Tyllick
Date: Mon, Oct 12 2015 3:02PM
Subject: Re: Accessibility in Financial Tables in HTML
← Previous message | Next message →

Rio, either of the conventions you've mentioned is acceptable. Both are commonly accepted, so the decision should hinge on whether one is more familiar to the audience. If sighted people are used to negative numbers being in parentheses, then blind people of the same background should be, too.

As for the "millions of dollars," dollar signs, and percent signs, I think they do provide enough context. Others might disagree, but I side with thus minimalisrl


Sent from my iPhone
Although its spellcheck often saves me, all goofs in sent messages are its fault.

> On Oct 12, 2015, at 3:42 PM, Julie Lewis < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>
>
> A couple questions about accessibility for financial tables.
>
> Consider:
>
> http://www.texastransparency.org/State_Finance/Budget_Finance/Reports/Certification_Revenue_Estimate/cre1415/table1.php
>
> Question 1: In printed formats the convention for reporting negative numbers is to put them in parentheses (2,553). Is that acceptable for accessibility, or is -2,553
> better?
>
> Question 2: The title indicates that the number in the tables are in "millions of dollars," But that is nowhere in the table headers. The printed version of the table has dollar signs in front of the numbers on the first and last rows and percent signs only on the first and last rows. Does that provide enough context? Or should every cell have $ or % explicitly called out?
>
> In the past we figured the more info in the table the better, but it's a battle with the finance folks every time we produce these tables.
>
> I cannot find best practices or guidelines for this anywhere on the web, and at StackOverflow they snarkily said this didn't have anything to do with code.
>
> Thanks,
> Rio Brewster
> > > >

From: Cliff Tyllick
Date: Mon, Oct 12 2015 3:09PM
Subject: Re: Accessibility in Financial Tables in HTML
← Previous message | Next message →

Fat fingers, small device once again foil me!

To finish my point, I side with the minimalist approach—with less clutter around the information itself, it's easier to focus on the values, which is the real reason folks read the document.

Cliff Tyllick
Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services

Sent from my iPhone
Although its spellcheck often saves me, all goofs in sent messages are its fault.

> On Oct 12, 2015, at 4:02 PM, Cliff Tyllick < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>
> Rio, either of the conventions you've mentioned is acceptable. Both are commonly accepted, so the decision should hinge on whether one is more familiar to the audience. If sighted people are used to negative numbers being in parentheses, then blind people of the same background should be, too.
>
> As for the "millions of dollars," dollar signs, and percent signs, I think they do provide enough context. Others might disagree, but I side with thus minimalisrl
>
>
> Sent from my iPhone
> Although its spellcheck often saves me, all goofs in sent messages are its fault.
>
>> On Oct 12, 2015, at 3:42 PM, Julie Lewis < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>>
>>
>> A couple questions about accessibility for financial tables.
>>
>> Consider:
>>
>> http://www.texastransparency.org/State_Finance/Budget_Finance/Reports/Certification_Revenue_Estimate/cre1415/table1.php
>>
>> Question 1: In printed formats the convention for reporting negative numbers is to put them in parentheses (2,553). Is that acceptable for accessibility, or is -2,553
>> better?
>>
>> Question 2: The title indicates that the number in the tables are in "millions of dollars," But that is nowhere in the table headers. The printed version of the table has dollar signs in front of the numbers on the first and last rows and percent signs only on the first and last rows. Does that provide enough context? Or should every cell have $ or % explicitly called out?
>>
>> In the past we figured the more info in the table the better, but it's a battle with the finance folks every time we produce these tables.
>>
>> I cannot find best practices or guidelines for this anywhere on the web, and at StackOverflow they snarkily said this didn't have anything to do with code.
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Rio Brewster
>> >> >> >>

From: Olaf Drümmer
Date: Mon, Oct 12 2015 3:15PM
Subject: Re: Accessibility in Financial Tables in HTML
← Previous message | Next message →

Hi Rio,

> On 12.10.2015, at 22:42, Julie Lewis < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Question 1: In printed formats the convention for reporting negative numbers is to put them in parentheses (2,553). Is that acceptable for accessibility, or is -2,553
> better?

the biggest impact will be for text-to-speech based presentation, and the question boils down to: do text-to-speech technologies typically speak out parentheses, or minus signs (which may be coded as dashes or hyphens)? What about - 2553? What about −2553 (that’s the mathematical minus sign before the number)?

Text-to-speech on Mac OS X 10.10 speaks
minus 2,553 for the ‘usual minus/dash/hyphen’ (U+002D)
minus sign 2,553 for the mathematical minus sign (U+2212)
2,555 for - 2,553 (because of the space character)
2,555 for 2,553 in parentheses

From a pragmatic point of view I would choose the ‘usual minus/dash/hyphen’ (more typical) or mathematical minus sign (more “correct” but some text-to-speech technologies might not be prepared to speak out much outside "ordinary characters").

> Question 2: The title indicates that the number in the tables are in "millions of dollars," But that is nowhere in the table headers. The printed version of the table has dollar signs in front of the numbers on the first and last rows and percent signs only on the first and last rows. Does that provide enough context? Or should every cell have $ or % explicitly called out?

this does not have anything to do with accessibility, but with usability

> In the past we figured the more info in the table the better,

this can be wrong from a usability point of view - because there is already so much information in such tables, they do not get any better if you add more.


Just my 2 cents…

Olaf



> but it's a battle with the finance folks every time we produce these tables.
>
> I cannot find best practices or guidelines for this anywhere on the web, and at StackOverflow they snarkily said this didn't have anything to do with code.
>
> Thanks,
> Rio Brewster
> > > >

From: Julie Lewis
Date: Tue, Oct 13 2015 12:54PM
Subject: Re: Accessibility in Financial Tables in HTML
← Previous message | Next message →

Sorry if I don¹t do this right ­ it¹s been a looong time since I
participated in an email only list-serv.

I wrote:
> The printed version of the table has dollar signs in front of the
>numbers on the first and last rows
> and percent signs only on the first and last rows. Does that provide
>enough context? Or should every
> cell have $ or % explicitly called out?

Olaf said:
Å this does not have anything to do with accessibility, but with usability

I reply:

I disagree. From a usability perspective it¹s pretty clear that less is
more. The question is whether a non-sighted user will have enough context
to figure out what the numbers mean if they are just traversing the table.

The header for percent change is self-explanatory, but the headers for the
dollar amounts aren¹t unless the user actually listens to the title.

Since HTML5 has deprecated the table summary tag, (why oh why did they do
that?) that may not be an option going forward.

It¹s a bummer that MacOS doesn¹t read the parentheses, since that¹s a much
cleaner way of representing negatives than relying on a dash.

Regards,
Rio

From: Olaf Drümmer
Date: Tue, Oct 13 2015 1:22PM
Subject: Re: Accessibility in Financial Tables in HTML
← Previous message | Next message →

> On 13.10.2015, at 20:54, Julie Lewis < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>
> I disagree. From a usability perspective it¹s pretty clear that less is
> more. The question is whether a non-sighted user will have enough context
> to figure out what the numbers mean if they are just traversing the table.

… are we discussing non-sightedness specifically?

What if a user with a different type of disability would find it easier if there is less information?

In general: each and every user, whether disabled in one way or another or not, will have to build a mental model to deal with this table (or any other such non-trivial document substructure). Just bumping into a random table cell out of nowhere will probably provide nobody at all with meaningful information. Each and every user will have to establish some context by reading the "stuff around the table”.


Olaf

From: Chagnon | PubCom.com
Date: Tue, Oct 13 2015 2:21PM
Subject: Re: Accessibility in Financial Tables in HTML
← Previous message | Next message →

Olaf D. wrote: "Each and every user will have to establish some context by reading the "stuff around the table”.

Exactly. Otherwise the information, whether it's one cell or an entire paragraph, is out of context.

When we develop content, it's key for us to understand human behavior, perception, comprehension, and usability, as well as accessibility by different computer technologies. Leave out any part and your communication strategy fails.

There are better ways to provide the contextual information rather than through a Summary tag. (which can be debated in another post, but basically the summary tag isn't cross-media; that is, not all forms of content--PDF, Word, InDesign, PowerPoint, EPUB, HTML, etc.--can create and render the content consistently to ALL users across ALL media.)

Julie, in your table example, is it possible to reword and slightly re-structure the table so that it a) is more accessible to AT and b) is more easily comprehended by all users? Some techniques that might work for you:

1) Include prefatory information. This has been used by academia for umpteen decades and works very well to convey the overall "summary" of the table in a standard narrative <P> body text format. Short sentence or phrase; "X and Y, January – June 2015 in thousands of dollars (US). Right column shows percentage of change from previous year." Put the prefatory info right after the table title and before the actual table tag itself.

2) If a column/row is populated with dollar amounts, then have either the collar symbol "$" or the word "dollars" in the column header. Screen readers can voice the column headers as needed, and it reminds sighted users what's in the column, also. Everyone wins.

3) Regarding negative numbers, there isn't one way to designate them visually, and we also can't rely on how screen readers will voice them. They're all over the map.

This problem won't be fixed until WAI/WCAG figures out what's the best method and then sets it as the accessibility standard that will be followed by content creators and recognized by AT software. The choices (with a sample):
Parentheses (100)
Hyphen Unicode 002D -100
En-Dash Unicode 2013 –100
Minus symbol Unicode 2212 −100

From our testing across multiple media, the Unicode minus symbol is the most accurate solution, but it is unrecognized (or ignored) by most screen reader technologies. Hyphens and en-dashes are grammatically incorrect if used to designate negative numbers because that's not their grammatical purpose. I can't count how many times our blind accessibility testers didn't know that some numbers in a table were negative.

The majority of our language glyphs, punctuation, and mathematical symbols have been mapped to the Unicode character standard for a couple of decades. Why screen readers don't already recognize the basic Unicode character set and voice them by default is beyond my comprehension.

—BJC

From: Don Mauck
Date: Tue, Oct 13 2015 3:29PM
Subject: Re: Accessibility in Financial Tables in HTML
← Previous message | Next message →

From my understanding of this thread, it seems to me that each "row" should have the math sign relevant to that row. I am however, only thinking from a screen readers perspective and realize that there are other contributing factors. What I'm not clear on, is if the intent is that each row could have a different math sign and that there will be columns of data related to a column heading.

-----Original Message-----
From: Julie Lewis [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 12:55 PM
To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Accessibility in Financial Tables in HTML

Sorry if I don¹t do this right it¹s been a looong time since I participated in an email only list-serv.

I wrote:
> The printed version of the table has dollar signs in front of the
>numbers on the first and last rows and percent signs only on the first
>and last rows. Does that provide enough context? Or should every
>cell have $ or % explicitly called out?

Olaf said:
Å this does not have anything to do with accessibility, but with usability

I reply:

I disagree. From a usability perspective it¹s pretty clear that less is more. The question is whether a non-sighted user will have enough context to figure out what the numbers mean if they are just traversing the table.

The header for percent change is self-explanatory, but the headers for the dollar amounts aren¹t unless the user actually listens to the title.

Since HTML5 has deprecated the table summary tag, (why oh why did they do
that?) that may not be an option going forward.

It¹s a bummer that MacOS doesn¹t read the parentheses, since that¹s a much cleaner way of representing negatives than relying on a dash.

Regards,
Rio

From: _mallory
Date: Thu, Oct 15 2015 5:11AM
Subject: Re: Accessibility in Financial Tables in HTML
← Previous message | Next message →

It also can't hurt to state, before the table (or maybe after, but
better before) how you denote negatives, or if the dollars are in
millions (or that it's in dollars at all)... There was a time when
I did not know of the (parentheses) convention for negative numbers,
and only learned of it when I was old enough to do taxes. So it
doesn't hurt to tell people in a quick short sentence stuff that
might be obvious or well-known to the majority of readers anyway.

If someone knows or suspects their AT won't read out a symbol,
knowing beforehand that a symbol is being used can let people
decide if they need to fiddle with their punctuation first. In
any case, can't hurt to say it.

This can give you more freedom inside the table itself.

_mallory

On Tue, Oct 13, 2015 at 02:29:03PM -0700, Don Mauck wrote:
> From my understanding of this thread, it seems to me that each "row" should have the math sign relevant to that row. I am however, only thinking from a screen readers perspective and realize that there are other contributing factors. What I'm not clear on, is if the intent is that each row could have a different math sign and that there will be columns of data related to a column heading.
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Julie Lewis [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
> Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 12:55 PM
> To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Accessibility in Financial Tables in HTML
>
> Sorry if I don¹t do this right it¹s been a looong time since I participated in an email only list-serv.
>
> I wrote:
> > The printed version of the table has dollar signs in front of the
> >numbers on the first and last rows and percent signs only on the first
> >and last rows. Does that provide enough context? Or should every
> >cell have $ or % explicitly called out?
>
> Olaf said:
> Å this does not have anything to do with accessibility, but with usability
>
> I reply:
>
> I disagree. From a usability perspective it¹s pretty clear that less is more. The question is whether a non-sighted user will have enough context to figure out what the numbers mean if they are just traversing the table.
>
> The header for percent change is self-explanatory, but the headers for the dollar amounts aren¹t unless the user actually listens to the title.
>
> Since HTML5 has deprecated the table summary tag, (why oh why did they do
> that?) that may not be an option going forward.
>
> It¹s a bummer that MacOS doesn¹t read the parentheses, since that¹s a much cleaner way of representing negatives than relying on a dash.
>
> Regards,
> Rio
>
> > > > > > >

From: Sailesh Panchang
Date: Thu, Oct 15 2015 7:20AM
Subject: Re: Accessibility in Financial Tables in HTML
← Previous message | Next message →

I agree with Cliff: "If sighted people are used to negative numbers
being in parentheses, then blind people of the same background should
be, too".
Screen reader users are expected to configure their AT as per their
needs and significance of the content they are reviewing.
Sailesh


On 10/15/15, _mallory < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> It also can't hurt to state, before the table (or maybe after, but
> better before) how you denote negatives, or if the dollars are in
> millions (or that it's in dollars at all)... There was a time when
> I did not know of the (parentheses) convention for negative numbers,
> and only learned of it when I was old enough to do taxes. So it
> doesn't hurt to tell people in a quick short sentence stuff that
> might be obvious or well-known to the majority of readers anyway.
>
> If someone knows or suspects their AT won't read out a symbol,
> knowing beforehand that a symbol is being used can let people
> decide if they need to fiddle with their punctuation first. In
> any case, can't hurt to say it.
>
> This can give you more freedom inside the table itself.
>
> _mallory
>
> On Tue, Oct 13, 2015 at 02:29:03PM -0700, Don Mauck wrote:
>> From my understanding of this thread, it seems to me that each "row"
>> should have the math sign relevant to that row. I am however, only
>> thinking from a screen readers perspective and realize that there are
>> other contributing factors. What I'm not clear on, is if the intent is
>> that each row could have a different math sign and that there will be
>> columns of data related to a column heading.
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Julie Lewis [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
>> Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 12:55 PM
>> To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
>> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Accessibility in Financial Tables in HTML
>>
>> Sorry if I don¹t do this right it¹s been a looong time since I
>> participated in an email only list-serv.
>>
>> I wrote:
>> > The printed version of the table has dollar signs in front of the
>> >numbers on the first and last rows and percent signs only on the first
>> >and last rows. Does that provide enough context? Or should every
>> >cell have $ or % explicitly called out?
>>
>> Olaf said:
>> Å this does not have anything to do with accessibility, but with usability
>>
>> I reply:
>>
>> I disagree. From a usability perspective it¹s pretty clear that less is
>> more. The question is whether a non-sighted user will have enough context
>> to figure out what the numbers mean if they are just traversing the table.
>>
>> The header for percent change is self-explanatory, but the headers for the
>> dollar amounts aren¹t unless the user actually listens to the title.
>>
>> Since HTML5 has deprecated the table summary tag, (why oh why did they do
>> that?) that may not be an option going forward.
>>
>> It¹s a bummer that MacOS doesn¹t read the parentheses, since that¹s a much
>> cleaner way of representing negatives than relying on a dash.
>>
>> Regards,
>> Rio
>>
>> >> >> at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
>> >> >> >> >> > > > > >

From: Chagnon | PubCom.com
Date: Thu, Oct 15 2015 9:05AM
Subject: Re: Accessibility in Financial Tables in HTML
← Previous message | Next message →

Sailesh wrote: "Screen reader users are expected to configure their AT as per their needs and significance of the content they are reviewing"

Yes, that's true. They should do that.
But they are mere human beings and usually don't do that, so we can't expect them to do it.

It is extremely rare for a user, disabled or not, to custom configure or adjust the settings of their software. All of us use it "out of the box."

Going back to Julie's original post: what do with negative numbers, dollar signs, and other table details:

There's no one solution or best practice at this time. You've heard a several different, solid arguments from knowledgeable people.

I think you can find some middle ground between a minimalist approach and an overwrought detailed approach that would help everyone use and understand the table quicker and with fewer comprehension errors. Unfortunately, we can't control the AT used by some people, nor their capability to use it.

So, taking a precept from the traditional publishing-editing world, write for your audience.

Here's an example on how that could translate to our accessibility world:
If your audience is the general public, you can't guarantee that they would understand that parentheses denote negative numbers, but if the audience are those who specialize in accounting, finance, or state budgeting process, then assume they do have that basic understanding.

And if someone who is sighted will be confused by the table or make errors, then assume that someone who is using a screen reader will also be in the same situation.

--Bevi Chagnon

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Sailesh Panchang
Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2015 9:20 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Accessibility in Financial Tables in HTML

I agree with Cliff: "If sighted people are used to negative numbers being in parentheses, then blind people of the same background should be, too".
Screen reader users are expected to configure their AT as per their needs and significance of the content they are reviewing.
Sailesh


On 10/15/15, _mallory < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> It also can't hurt to state, before the table (or maybe after, but
> better before) how you denote negatives, or if the dollars are in
> millions (or that it's in dollars at all)... There was a time when I
> did not know of the (parentheses) convention for negative numbers, and
> only learned of it when I was old enough to do taxes. So it doesn't
> hurt to tell people in a quick short sentence stuff that might be
> obvious or well-known to the majority of readers anyway.
>
> If someone knows or suspects their AT won't read out a symbol, knowing
> beforehand that a symbol is being used can let people decide if they
> need to fiddle with their punctuation first. In any case, can't hurt
> to say it.
>
> This can give you more freedom inside the table itself.
>
> _mallory
>
> On Tue, Oct 13, 2015 at 02:29:03PM -0700, Don Mauck wrote:
>> From my understanding of this thread, it seems to me that each "row"
>> should have the math sign relevant to that row. I am however, only
>> thinking from a screen readers perspective and realize that there are
>> other contributing factors. What I'm not clear on, is if the intent
>> is that each row could have a different math sign and that there will
>> be columns of data related to a column heading.
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Julie Lewis [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
>> Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 12:55 PM
>> To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
>> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Accessibility in Financial Tables in HTML
>>
>> Sorry if I don¹t do this right it¹s been a looong time since I
>> participated in an email only list-serv.
>>
>> I wrote:
>> > The printed version of the table has dollar signs in front of the
>> >numbers on the first and last rows and percent signs only on the
>> >first and last rows. Does that provide enough context? Or should
>> >every cell have $ or % explicitly called out?
>>
>> Olaf said:
>> Å this does not have anything to do with accessibility, but with
>> usability
>>
>> I reply:
>>
>> I disagree. From a usability perspective it¹s pretty clear that less
>> is more. The question is whether a non-sighted user will have enough
>> context to figure out what the numbers mean if they are just traversing the table.
>>
>> The header for percent change is self-explanatory, but the headers
>> for the dollar amounts aren¹t unless the user actually listens to the title.
>>
>> Since HTML5 has deprecated the table summary tag, (why oh why did
>> they do
>> that?) that may not be an option going forward.
>>
>> It¹s a bummer that MacOS doesn¹t read the parentheses, since that¹s a
>> much cleaner way of representing negatives than relying on a dash.
>>
>> Regards,
>> Rio
>>
>> >> >> archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
>> >> >> >> archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
>> > > > archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
> >

From: Sailesh Panchang
Date: Thu, Oct 15 2015 11:04AM
Subject: Re: Accessibility in Financial Tables in HTML
← Previous message | Next message →

>> But they are mere human beings and usually don't do that, so we can't expect them to do it.

So does it become the developer's responsibility then?
Where does it stand in priority when there are more hard core pressing
accessibility issues for content authors to tackle?
Specifically for SR users, most know how to navigate by character and
they do that for words they do not understand or are mispelt and the
SR does not say it right.
I am only saying, When it comes to numbers and it matters to know if
it is + or -, SR users have a responsibility.
Best Regards,
Sailesh Panchang


On 10/15/15, Chagnon | PubCom.com < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> Sailesh wrote: "Screen reader users are expected to configure their AT as
> per their needs and significance of the content they are reviewing"
>
> Yes, that's true. They should do that.
> But they are mere human beings and usually don't do that, so we can't expect
> them to do it.
>
> It is extremely rare for a user, disabled or not, to custom configure or
> adjust the settings of their software. All of us use it "out of the box."
>
> Going back to Julie's original post: what do with negative numbers, dollar
> signs, and other table details:
>
> There's no one solution or best practice at this time. You've heard a
> several different, solid arguments from knowledgeable people.
>
> I think you can find some middle ground between a minimalist approach and an
> overwrought detailed approach that would help everyone use and understand
> the table quicker and with fewer comprehension errors. Unfortunately, we
> can't control the AT used by some people, nor their capability to use it.
>
> So, taking a precept from the traditional publishing-editing world, write
> for your audience.
>
> Here's an example on how that could translate to our accessibility world:
> If your audience is the general public, you can't guarantee that they would
> understand that parentheses denote negative numbers, but if the audience are
> those who specialize in accounting, finance, or state budgeting process,
> then assume they do have that basic understanding.
>
> And if someone who is sighted will be confused by the table or make errors,
> then assume that someone who is using a screen reader will also be in the
> same situation.
>
> --Bevi Chagnon
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf
> Of Sailesh Panchang
> Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2015 9:20 AM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Accessibility in Financial Tables in HTML
>
> I agree with Cliff: "If sighted people are used to negative numbers being in
> parentheses, then blind people of the same background should be, too".
> Screen reader users are expected to configure their AT as per their needs
> and significance of the content they are reviewing.
> Sailesh
>
>
> On 10/15/15, _mallory < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
>> It also can't hurt to state, before the table (or maybe after, but
>> better before) how you denote negatives, or if the dollars are in
>> millions (or that it's in dollars at all)... There was a time when I
>> did not know of the (parentheses) convention for negative numbers, and
>> only learned of it when I was old enough to do taxes. So it doesn't
>> hurt to tell people in a quick short sentence stuff that might be
>> obvious or well-known to the majority of readers anyway.
>>
>> If someone knows or suspects their AT won't read out a symbol, knowing
>> beforehand that a symbol is being used can let people decide if they
>> need to fiddle with their punctuation first. In any case, can't hurt
>> to say it.
>>
>> This can give you more freedom inside the table itself.
>>
>> _mallory
>>
>> On Tue, Oct 13, 2015 at 02:29:03PM -0700, Don Mauck wrote:
>>> From my understanding of this thread, it seems to me that each "row"
>>> should have the math sign relevant to that row. I am however, only
>>> thinking from a screen readers perspective and realize that there are
>>> other contributing factors. What I'm not clear on, is if the intent
>>> is that each row could have a different math sign and that there will
>>> be columns of data related to a column heading.
>>>
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Julie Lewis [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
>>> Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 12:55 PM
>>> To: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
>>> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Accessibility in Financial Tables in HTML
>>>
>>> Sorry if I don¹t do this right it¹s been a looong time since I
>>> participated in an email only list-serv.
>>>
>>> I wrote:
>>> > The printed version of the table has dollar signs in front of the
>>> >numbers on the first and last rows and percent signs only on the
>>> >first and last rows. Does that provide enough context? Or should
>>> >every cell have $ or % explicitly called out?
>>>
>>> Olaf said:
>>> Å this does not have anything to do with accessibility, but with
>>> usability
>>>
>>> I reply:
>>>
>>> I disagree. From a usability perspective it¹s pretty clear that less
>>> is more. The question is whether a non-sighted user will have enough
>>> context to figure out what the numbers mean if they are just traversing
>>> the table.
>>>
>>> The header for percent change is self-explanatory, but the headers
>>> for the dollar amounts aren¹t unless the user actually listens to the
>>> title.
>>>
>>> Since HTML5 has deprecated the table summary tag, (why oh why did
>>> they do
>>> that?) that may not be an option going forward.
>>>
>>> It¹s a bummer that MacOS doesn¹t read the parentheses, since that¹s a
>>> much cleaner way of representing negatives than relying on a dash.
>>>
>>> Regards,
>>> Rio
>>>
>>> >>> >>> archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
>>> >>> >>> >>> archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
>>> >> >> >> archives at http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
>> >>
> > > http://webaim.org/discussion/archives
> >
> > > > >

From: Chagnon | PubCom.com
Date: Thu, Oct 15 2015 11:52AM
Subject: Re: Accessibility in Financial Tables in HTML
← Previous message | No next message

Sailesh wrote:
"So does it become the developer's responsibility then?"

Yes and no.

There are 3 stakeholders in accessibility:

1) Those who create and publish the content, regardless of the media, distribution method, file format, etc.

2) Those who read, access, and use the content.

3) The technology manufacturers that make the products used by people to read the content. That includes all of the AT manufacturers, as well as browser manufacturers, office software, Adobe Acrobat and its knockoffs, operating systems, etc.

All 3 stakeholders must do their part of accessibility.

As a content creator and publisher, the only part I can do is use plain language for all users, code it correctly for accessibility, visually design it for sighted users, and distribute it in formats that are accessible.

In our example from this thread, I make sure I use Unicode character 2212 for the negative numbers in my tables because of all the methods to denote a negative number, it is the most accurate way across all languages, industries, and technologies, and doesn't have multiple meanings like parentheses ( ) and the color red.

It's the job of stakeholders #2, the users, to understand what that symbol means and to set their AT to interpret it correctly.

It's the job of stakeholders #3, the technology manufacturers, to recognize, voice, and display the character in their technology.

And all 3 stakeholders do this according to the standards of WCAG, PDF/UA, etc. (who aren't stakeholders but instead are the "benevolent dictators" of this process).

If any of these stakeholders doesn't do their job, then we all fail. Personally, I think it would help greatly if someone would start citing/suing stakeholders #3. Too many of our AT don't recognize Unicode 2212 as the negative sign and either ignore it or voice it as an unknown character. It's 2015 and we've had Unicode since, what, the 1970s?

And then go on and cite/sue content creators who use the hyphen instead of the minus character for negative numbers. Or who mis-use an en-dash. And an em-dash, too. These are not new-fangled glyphs: been using them for decades since I was a typesetter and editor, and they are part of standard English grammar and punctuation. Part of this is a holdover from antique QWERTY typewriter keyboards. I have typewriters that don't have the numeral 1 and instead you use a lowercase l for that number. How accessible is that!

Sailesh wrote: "... Where does it stand in priority when there are more hard core pressing accessibility issues for content authors to tackle?"

Anyone can make an argument that every facet is just as important as the other. But that's what management/workflow specialists like myself evaluate, triage, and then create a deployment plan.

In my mind, misreading negative numbers as positive is a huge failure because it conveys the wrong information to SR users. Maybe a lawsuit based on loss of money, time, or even life/health, might prod this issue to the top of the stack.

--Bevi Chagnon

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