Making Accessible Tables for Your Website

Posted February 3rd, 2007

Have you ever had trouble trying to code accessible tables on your Web site? I could never remember the codes myself. I always needed to have Mike Paciello‘s book, Web Accessibility for People with Disabilities opened up to the pages with all the codes for making accessible tables.

Now Frank Palinkas has made a practical tool for anyone who is trying to learn how to code accessible tables. In the Fast Track Tutorials section, there is a tutorial called Creating Accessible Tabular Data Tables. One nice advantage is that you can simply copy the code from his tutorial and paste it into your HTML editor to prepare the correct code. (Paste it into the code-view.)

If you are brand new to standards and accessibility and wonder what accessible tables are, then Frank’s tutorial is definitely for you. He made the tutorial as a demonstration of web standards and accessibility methods for the proper way of making tables. You see, tables on websites are for data, not layout. I hope most people do realize this, but there are still extra steps that should be taken for making tables that can be read in a screen reader. Try out the tutorial and start coding accessible tables today.

Frank will be presenting at the WritersUA conference in San Diego, California, March 25-28. He promises to be on his standards-and-accessibility soapbox!

(Disclaimer: I was one of the people who helped test Frank’s tutorial. I am promoting it because of my interest in web standards and accessibility.)


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