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Accessible (508) HTML Tables

Document Type: Standard


Content:

Tables used as a matrix for data or other information must provide a means to associate data cells with the column and row headers. Data tables with more than one row must associate data cells with column/row headers through the use of scoping or header and id attributes.

The use of the table summary attribute and caption element are optional.The summary attribute may be used if it provides meaningful descriptive information.The caption element may be used to display a title above, below or beside a table.

(Note: This standard does not apply to tables used for layout.)

Reason:

Tables used for layout do not have column/row headings.

Tables used for data/information allow sighted users to easily associate column/row headings with data cells for tables. Assistive technologies use scoping and header/id attributes to associate data cells with column/row headers.

The summary attribute is not interpreted by all assistive technologies. Summaries of the table should be in close proximity to the table should be included in the context of the document.


Requirements:

Data tables with more than one row of data must use either scoping or header/id attributes to associate data cells with row/column headings.

Simple Table: Associate data cells with heading cells through use of the scope attribute.

Complex Table: Associate data cells with heading cells through use of headers and in attributes.