[Athen] Accessible tables in Word

Christine Robinson crobinson at ggc.edu
Tue Aug 14 12:16:00 PDT 2018

Keep in mind that a screen reader will read the content of the table, right to left, top to bottom - and it'll identify the column headings - so you don't need to repeat what the screen reader is already going to communicate.

Think about how, when you see a table, the first thing you do is scan for an overall idea of what it's about and why it's there.

Also think about what you would say if you were reading the document aloud to someone. Before you read the table contents, you'd probably say a sentence or two about the general content & purpose. Depending on the table, you might also note any extreme values. For example, in a table listing populations of various areas and rates of population growth, you might initially state which had the highest or lowest populations, or the highest or lowest rates of growth. But keep it brief.

That's how I do it at this point, at least, but I'm always happy to learn better ways!

Christine Robinson | Technical Trainer/Writer | Center for Teaching Excellence | Georgia Gwinnett College | Lawrenceville, GA

From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> On Behalf Of Robert Beach
Sent: Tuesday, August 14, 2018 2:58 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] Accessible tables in Word

Just F.Y.I., my understanding is the alt text for tables is going away. But, if you want to use it, I would not include that much detail. I would simply say how many rows and columns are in the table and what the table is supposed to present.

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<mailto:rbeach at kckcc.edu>

From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu>> On Behalf Of Kluesner, Bryon
Sent: Tuesday, August 14, 2018 1:51 PM
To: 'athen-list at u.washington.edu' <athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>>
Subject: [Athen] Accessible tables in Word

Hi all,

I am familiar with adding alt text to a table in Word to make it accessible for a screen reader. If the table is a 3 column, 3 row table, for example, do I need an alt text to describe the content in row 1, column 1, row 1 column 2, etc?



Bryon Kluesner, RhD
Adaptive Technology Coordinator
Disability Resource Center
Adjunct Professor
College of Health, Education & Professional Studies

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The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
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615 McCallie Avenue, Dept. 2953
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