OSCQR – Standard #24

OSCQR – Standard #24

When possible, information is displayed in a linear format instead of as a table.

Review These Explanations

The code that is used to generate tables on online pages does not work well with screen readers that are used by learners with visual disabilities. Tables tend to distort the information, making it hard to process smoothly, and reading in these situations becomes choppy and distorted.

In order for screen readers to scan code properly, the table needs to be structured properly so that a learner who is blind, low-vision and/or using a screen reader can process the auditory output that is generated.

The Web Accessibility Guidelines published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) refer to these issues with table programming and display as information relationship and meaningful sequence issues that need to be addressed.

To avoid these issues, present information as text in paragraphs, bulleted lists, etc.

Refresh Your Course with These Ideas

General Suggestions

Avoid using tables, but if you do need to display data tables:

  • Follow the guidelines for creating an accessible table (See Standard 26).
  • Web Accessibility: Tables
  • Write a narrative description of the table, and include a link to a downloadable version of the table.
  • Listen to how your table appears in a screen reader. Download a free version of JAWS to understand how course content is accessible to the visually impaired student using this tool.


Explore Related Resources

Layout Tables, and Data Tables
If you code tables properly, someone using a screen reader will also be able to scan through the table and understand it.

Tables Concepts Tutorial
This tutorial shows you how to apply appropriate structural markup to tables.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is developed through the W3C process in cooperation with individuals and organizations around the world, with a goal of proving a single shared standard for web content accessibility that meets the needs of individuals, organizations, and governments internationally.

Share What You Know

OSCQR has been developed by a community of online practitioners interested in quality course design. There are numerous opportunities for community members to offer suggestions, donate resources, and help with future development.

Discuss this standard in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

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