By now most of us should be pretty familiar with creating an accessible data table–use a caption, TH for row and col headers, scope attribute, and the summary. In this podcast, Dennis talks about the least familiar of these techniques–the summary attribute of the table element. The summary attribute is WCAG Checkpoint 5.5 (Priority 3).
Examples of good summary text:
- The number of employees and the foundation year of companies in Orlando, Florida, in 1988.
- A warming trend has been observed in Cache Valley, with temperatures about 5 degrees above historical averages over the last two months.
- This table charts the number of cups of coffee consumed by each senator, the type of coffee (decaf or regular), and whether taken with sugar.
- Total required by pollution control standards as of January 1, 1971. Commercial category includes stores, insurance companies and banks.
Sample Code (from 456bereastreet’s Bring on the Tables):
- W3C Definition of Summary attribute: This attribute provides a summary of the table’s purpose and structure for user agents rendering to non-visual media such as speech and Braille.
- W3C on Data Tables
- page 4 of Semantic (X)HTML Markup: Using Tables Appropriately
- WebAIM: Creating Accessible Tables
- WCAG Samurai