Data table with role grid Screen reader compatibility

Last updated: September 5, 2016

Expected Result: works in a screen reader

Actual Result: causes problems in 8 screen reader / browser combinations

Code used for this test:


        <table role='grid'>
          <tbody>
            <tr>
              <th><strong>Morning</strong></th>
              <th><strong>Afternoon</strong></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, 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, 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, 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, row one column one, morning. Column two afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2014.1FF31 Reading Speak Table with two rows and two columns, 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, row one column one, morning. Column two afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2012.3FF32 Reading Speak Table with two rows and two columns, row one column one, morning. Column two afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
Fail NVDA 2012.3IE11 ReadingTreated as data table, but no headers read out. Speak Table with two rows, row one column one, morning. Column two afternoon. Row two, column one, free. Column two, busy.
OK JAWS 17.0.2619FF48 ReadingText in brackets is only spoken when Ctrl+Alt+Numpad+5 pressed. Speak Grid with two columns and two rows. 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). Grid end.
OK JAWS 17.0.2619IE11 ReadingText in brackets is only spoken when Ctrl+Alt+Numpad+5 pressed. Speak Grid with two columns and two rows. 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). Grid end.
OK JAWS 16.0.4350FF41 ReadingText in brackets is only spoken when Ctrl+Alt+Numpad+5 pressed. Speak Grid with two columns and two rows. 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). Grid end.
OK JAWS 16.0.4350IE11 ReadingText in brackets is only spoken when Ctrl+Alt+Numpad+5 pressed. Speak Grid with two columns and two rows. 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). Grid end.
OK JAWS 15.0.9023FF31 ReadingText in brackets is only spoken when Ctrl+Alt+Numpad+5 pressed. Speak Editable grid with two columns and two rows. 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). Grid end.
OK JAWS 15.0.9023IE11 ReadingText in brackets is only spoken when Ctrl+Alt+Numpad+5 pressed. Speak Grid with two columns and two rows. 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). Grid end.
Fail JAWS 14.0.9002FF31 ReadingWhen reading header rows, the TH for the first column is read along with the TH from the current column (e.g. Morning, afternoon) when Ctrl+Alt+Numpad+5 pressed Speak Editable grid with two columns and two rows. 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). Grid end.
Fail JAWS 14.0.9002IE11 ReadingWhen reading header rows, the TH for the first column is read along with the TH from the current column (e.g. Morning, afternoon) when Ctrl+Alt+Numpad+5 pressed Speak Grid with two columns and two rows. 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). Grid end.
Fail JAWS 13.0.852FF31 ReadingTreated as layout table. Speak Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy.
Fail JAWS 13.0.852IE11 ReadingWhen reading header rows, the TH for the first column is read along with the TH from the current column (e.g. Morning, afternoon) when Ctrl+Alt+Numpad+5 pressed Speak Editable grid with two columns and two rows. 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). Grid end.
OK WindowEyes 9.2IE11 ReadingAnnounces TH headers when Ins-arrow-key table navigation used Speak Grid, two rows, two columns, morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy.
OK WindowEyes 8.4IE11 Reading Speak Table two start, two rows, two columns. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy.
OK VoiceOver OSX 10.11Safari 9.1.2 Reading Speak Table, 2 columns, 2 rows. Morning, column 1 of 2. Afternoon. Row 2 of 2, morning, free, column 1 of 2. Afternoon, busy, column 2 of 2.
OK VoiceOver OSX 10.10Safari 9.0.1 Reading Speak Table, 2 columns, 2 rows. Morning, column 1 of 2. Afternoon. Row 2 of 2, morning, free, column 1 of 2. Afternoon, busy, column 2 of 2.
Fail VoiceOver OSX 10.9Safari 7.0.3 ReadingCannot read cells Speak Table, zero columns, zero rows.
OK VoiceOver iOS 9.1Safari iOS 9.1 Reading Speak Morning, table start. Afernoon. Free. Busy, table end.
OK VoiceOver iOS 8.4Safari iOS 8.4 Reading Speak Morning, table start. Afernoon. Free. Busy, table end.
Fail VoiceOver iOS 7.1Safari iOS 7.1 ReadingTable and contents completely ignored.
OK Dolphin SR 15.05IE11 Reading Speak Table two rows, two columns, morning, column one, row one. Afternoon, column two, row one. Free, column one, row two. Busy, column two, row two.
Fail SaToGo 3.4.96.0IE11 ReadingTable and contents completely ignored.

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: