[Athen] Changing Reading Order of Tables

Karlen Communications info at karlencommunications.com
Wed Dec 30 07:01:56 PST 2015

This is me shrieking!

Do not use Text Boxes to imitate a table! Do not draw a Table!

When you do, the content might look like a table but there is no
relationship between the text boxes or drawn table elements. A drawn table
is even more "offensive" because adaptive technology has no idea what it is
and says nothing when confronted with it. It also ends up being a giant
tornado vortex that draws other content into it and you can't separate it
again. Quite messy!

Just because a document author wants something done, doesn't mean it is
either good design or even plausible/possible in terms of document design
never mind accessible document design. Oddly enough, I'm involved in a
similar conversation on another list.a document author wants to do something
illogical and is frustrated that they can't. Sigh.

Tables are tables and there is a way to read them and a way not to. Just
create a table! Maybe think about the design of the content before you begin
plunking tables and text boxes everywhere.

I know this is not the answer you hoped for.apologies if I sound terse.it is
the shrieking! LOL

Maybe take a look at the proper use of tables and how to create accessible
placeholders in PowerPoint:


Perhaps if the document author understood a bit more about the barriers
being created, they might learn how to do something other than tables? She
said hopefully..

Cheers, Karen


From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On
Behalf Of Adam Kosakowski
Sent: December 30, 2015 9:22 AM
To: 'athen-list at u.washington.edu' <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Athen] Changing Reading Order of Tables

Hello wise Athen-ers!

Happy New Year! A colleague of mine is learning how to make accessible
PowerPoints, but she likes tables. She wants her tables to be screen read
column by column, top to bottom instead of row by row, left to right. After
some Google searching I came up with pretty much nothing. Is this reasonably
feasible or should I encourage her to learn to love an alternative like text
boxes that look like the columns she desires?

Thanks in advance!


Adam Kosakowski, M.Ed.

Assistive Technology Specialist and Math Specialist, University Assistant

AccessAbility Services

Western Connecticut State University

181 White Street, Higgins Annex 017

Danbury, CT 06810

Telephone: 203-837-8225 TTY: 203-837-3235 FAX: 203-837-8848

Email: kosakowskia at wcsu.edu <mailto:kosakowskia at wcsu.edu>

www.wcsu.edu/accessability <http://www.wcsu.edu/accessability>

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