Data table with CAPTION and TH Screen reader compatibility

Last updated: September 5, 2016

Expected Result: works in a screen reader

Actual Result: causes problems in 2 screen reader / browser combinations

WCAG Technique: H39: Using caption elements to associate data table captions with data tables

Code used for this test:


        <table>
          <caption>Data table caption</caption>
          <tbody>
            <tr>
              <th>Morning</th>
              <th>Afternoon</th>
            </tr>
            <tr>
              <td>Free</td>
              <td>Busy</td>
            </tr>
          </tbody>
        </table>
    

Change History

Last updated: September 5, 2016

Screen readerBrowserModeNotesWhat the user hears
OK NVDA 2016.2FF48 Reading Speak Table with two rows and two columns, data table caption. Row one column one, morning. Column two afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2016.2IE11 Reading Speak Table with two rows and two columns, data table caption. Row one column one, morning. Column two afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2015.2FF41 Reading Speak Table with two rows and two columns, data table caption. Row one column one, morning. Column two afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2015.2IE11 Reading Speak Table with two rows and two columns, data table caption. Row one column one, morning. Column two afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2014.1FF41 Reading Speak Table with two rows and two columns, data table caption. Row one column one, morning. Column two afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2014.1IE11 Reading Speak Table with two rows and two columns, data table caption. Row one column one, morning. Column two afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK JAWS 17.0.2619FF48 Reading Speak Table with two columns and two rows. Data table caption. Morning (column one, row one, morning). Afternoon (column two, row one, afternoon). Free (column one, row two, morning, free). Busy (column two, row two, afternoon, busy).
OK JAWS 17.0.2619IE11 Reading Speak Table with two columns and two rows. Data table caption. Morning (column one, row one, morning). Afternoon (column two, row one, afternoon). Free (column one, row two, morning, free). Busy (column two, row two, afternoon, busy).
OK JAWS 16.0.4350FF41 Reading Speak Table with two columns and two rows. Data table caption. Morning (column one, row one, morning). Afternoon (column two, row one, afternoon). Free (column one, row two, morning, free). Busy (column two, row two, afternoon, busy).
OK JAWS 16.0.4350IE11 Reading Speak Table with two columns and two rows. Data table caption. Morning (column one, row one, morning). Afternoon (column two, row one, afternoon). Free (column one, row two, morning, free). Busy (column two, row two, afternoon, busy).
OK JAWS 15.0.9023FF41 Reading Speak Table with two columns and two rows. Data table caption. Morning (column one, row one, morning). Afternoon (column two, row one, afternoon). Free (column one, row two, morning, free). Busy (column two, row two, afternoon, busy).
OK JAWS 15.0.9023IE11 Reading Speak Table with two columns and two rows. Data table caption. Morning (column one, row one, morning). Afternoon (column two, row one, afternoon). Free (column one, row two, morning, free). Busy (column two, row two, afternoon, busy).
Fail JAWS 14.0.9002FF41 ReadingEach preceding TH in a header row read as header when Ctrl+Alt+Numpad+5 pressed in TH cell. Speak Table with two columns and two rows. Data table caption. Morning (column one, row one, morning). Afternoon (column two, row one, morning, afternoon). Free (column one, row two, morning, free). Busy (column two, row two, afternoon, busy).
Fail JAWS 14.0.9002IE11 ReadingEach preceding TH in a header row read as header when Ctrl+Alt+Numpad+5 pressed in TH cell. Speak Table with two columns and two rows. Data table caption. Morning (column one, row one, morning). Afternoon (column two, row one, morning, afternoon). Free (column one, row two, morning, free). Busy (column two, row two, afternoon, busy).
OK WindowEyes 9.2IE11Table Speak Table, two rows, two columns, data table caption. Morning. Afternoon. Morning, free. Afternoon, busy.
OK WindowEyes 8.4IE11Table Speak Table nine, data table caption, two rows, two columns (table nine, data table caption, one R one C, morning). Morning. Afternoon. Morning, free. Afternoon, busy.
OK VoiceOver OSX 10.11Safari 9.1.2 Reading Speak Data table caption, table, two columns, two rows. Morning, column one of two. Afternoon, column two of two. Row two of two morning, free, column one of two. Afternoon, busy, column two of two.
OK VoiceOver OSX 10.10Safari 9.0.1 Reading Speak Data table caption, table, two columns, two rows. Morning, column one of two. Afternoon, column two of two. Row two of two morning, free, column one of two. Afternoon, busy, column two of two.
OK VoiceOver iOS 9.1Safari iOS 9.1Touch Speak Data table caption, table start, morning. Afternoon. Morning, free. Afternoon, busy, table end.
OK VoiceOver iOS 8.4Safari iOS 8.4Touch Speak Data table caption. Morning, table start. Afternoon. Morning, free. Afternoon, busy, table end.
OK Dolphin SR 15.05IE11 Reading Speak Table two rows, two columns, data table caption. Morning, column one, row one. Afternoon, column two, row one. Free, column one, row two. Busy, column two, row two.

SortSite rules: AccWcag1-5.1.1 AccWcag1-5.5.1

Test notes

The threshold for inclusion in these results is 5% usage in the most recent WebAIM screen reader survey. Chrome and Android still fall below the 5% threshold.

All tests were carried out with screen reader factory settings. JAWS in particular has a wide variety of settings controlling exactly what gets spoken.

Screen readers allow users to interact in different modes, and can produce very different results in each mode. The modes used in these tests are:

In the «What the user hears» column: