United States Department of Veterans Affairs
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Training for Testing HTML for 508 Compliance

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Testing for §1194.22 (h): Data Tables (Markup)

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Testing with AT

When using a screen reader, the most common way to navigate a table is to use specific key combinations and the arrow keys to move across the rows of the table and down the columns. Listen to verify that the screen reader announces the header information, as well as the information contained in each cell.

Two commonly used screen readers are JAWS and Window-Eyes. The steps for navigating tables with these two tools are provided here.

Table Reading Commands for JAWS

Here is a list of common JAWS commands used to navigate a table:

  • To move to the beginning of a table, press T.
  • Use Alt + Ctrl + right or left arrow to move through each of the cells in a row. JAWS should announce the column header, the contents of the current cell and the column number.
  • Use Windows Key + up or down arrow to read through the entire previous or next row.
  • Use Alt + Ctrl + up or down arrow to move through the cells in columns. JAWS should announce the row header, the contents of the current cell and the row number.
  • To hear information about the current table cell, use Alt + Ctrl + Numpad 5. JAWS should announce the row and column position, read the current row and column headers, and read the contents of the cell.

Table Reading Commands for Window-Eyes

Here is a list of common Window-Eyes commands used to navigate a table:

  • To move to the beginning of a table, press T.
  • Use Control + Shift + H, then hit H repeatedly until Window-Eyes says, “column and row”
  • To turn Table Mode on, use Ctrl + plus
  • To turn Table Mode off, use Ctrl + Shift + minus
  • Use Insert + right or left arrow to move through each of the cells in a row. Window-Eyes should announce the column header, the contents of the current cell and the column number.
  • Use Insert + up or down arrow to read cells in a column. Window-Eyes should announce the row header, the contents of the current cell and the row number.

Pass/Fail

Use the following criteria to make your evaluation of the related checkpoints:

PASS

Pass the following tests:

  • Screen reader announces the table cell header and contents.
  • Every header cell relevant to understanding the data cell is announced.

FAIL

Fail the following test:

  • Screen reader fails to announce all row or column header information necessary to understand each data cell.

Select Next to continue learning about testing for this requirement.

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