Accessible Web Tables

What Is a Table?

Web tables represent and organize data within web pages. They should not be used to enhance web content.

Why Are Accessible Tables Important?

Web audiences using assistive technologies can comprehensibly access data from tables if these tables are designed accessibly. A screen reader reads each cell of the table out loud, left to right and top to bottom. Accessible markup is necessary to ensure that the assistive technology user can obtain accurate data.

Best Practices For Tables

  • Plan the contents of the table.
  • Use a title (caption) for the table.
  • Use descriptive and concise row and column heading labels.
  • Use each table cell to relay only one piece of information or data.
  • Do not merge cell contents.

Quick Tips

  • Use a simple layout.
  • Do not use tables as a substitute for web content.

Example Of A Table

Simple (Accessible) Data Table

Starting Salaries By Degree Type and Year
Degree 2008 2009 2010 2011
Bachelor's $48,094 $42,853 $49,368 $47,547
Master's $61,175 $60,954 $70,666 $69,837
Doctorate $68,826 $60,919 $78,370 $61,749

Resources

Cascade Instructions on How To Add a Table

Adding tables using Cascade