[Athen] screen readers recognizing tables on webpages

Gaeir Dietrich gdietrich at htctu.net
Mon Sep 19 12:07:23 PDT 2016

I know in Word, you would need to mark the header row on the table for it to
interact properly with a screen reader. I have been told that Canvas also
allows the header row to be marked, so I would suspect that improper mark-up
is the problem.


Gaeir (rhymes with "fire") Dietrich
HTCTU Director


From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On
Behalf Of Robert Beach
Sent: Monday, September 19, 2016 11:53 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network (athen-list at u.washington.edu)
Subject: [Athen] screen readers recognizing tables on webpages

Hey all,

I had a very interesting situation. I was working in Canvas and came across
a list of items. Supposedly this was a table with three columns. In
Internet Explorer, neither JAWS nor NVDA would recognize it as a table but
did read the information. Unfortunately I could not tell what items were in
which columns. Using FireFox, JAWS still did not recognize the table, but
NVDA did.

Is this a matter of the way the instructor created the table? Is it a
matter of the LMS using non-standard code? I would like to let the
instructor know how to fix this if it is possible for him to do so.


Robert Lee Beach

Assistive Technology Specialist

Kansas City Kansas Community College

7250 State Avenue

Kansas City, KS 66112

Phone: 913-288-7671

Email: rbeach at kckcc.edu

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