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Journal cover: Library Hi Tech

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Online from: 1983

Subject Area: Library and Information Studies

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Making Web-based tables accessible for users of screen readers

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Title:Making Web-based tables accessible for users of screen readers
Author(s):Dagmar Amtmann, (Dagmar Amtmann ( is Program Manager, University of Washington Center for Technology and Disability Studies, at Seattle, Washington, USA.), Kurt Johnson, (Kurt Johnson (kjohnson@ is Associate Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, at Seattle, Washington, USA.), Debbie Cook, (Debbie Cook (debcook@ is Director, Washington Assistive Technology Alliance, at Seattle, Washington, USA.)
Citation:Dagmar Amtmann, Kurt Johnson, Debbie Cook, (2002) "Making Web-based tables accessible for users of screen readers", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 20 Iss: 2, pp.221 - 231
Keywords:Blind people, Information technology, Internet
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/07378830210432589 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:MCB UP Ltd
Abstract:Reading and understanding information presented in tabular format have posed specific challenges for blind individuals who use screen readers to access computers. In this article the results of a study of the types of problems blind individuals using screen readers experienced, when reading tables on the World Wide Web, have been summarized. Nine blind participants were asked to extract information from tables with varying levels of complexity. The participants used combinations of commonly used screen readers and Web browsers. The presentation of information in the tables was systematically varied through use of several HTML coding methods. The participants in the study found tasks that required them to extract information from tables challenging and often frustrating. Suggestions for making tables accessible to users of screen readers are provided.

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