Data table with THEAD, TFOOT but no TH Screen reader compatibility

Last updated: September 5, 2016

Expected Result: causes problems in some screen readers

Actual Result: causes problems in 24 screen reader / browser combinations

For expected failures, the results show which AT combos the failures affect. Results are recorded from the user's viewpoint, so describe the user impact of authoring errors.

Code used for this test:


        <table>
          <thead>
            <tr>
              <td><strong>Morning</strong></td>
              <td><strong>Afternoon</strong></td>
            </tr>
          </thead>
          <tfoot>
            <tr>
              <td>9am to 12pm</td>
              <td>2pm to 5pm</td>
            </tr>
          </tfoot>
          <tbody>
            <tr>
              <td>Free</td>
              <td>Busy</td>
            </tr>
          </tbody>
        </table>
    

Change History

Last updated: September 5, 2016

Screen readerBrowserModeNotesWhat the user hears
Fail NVDA 2016.2FF48 ReadingRecognized as data table, but no column headers are read out. Speak Table with three rows and two columns, row one, column one, morning. Column two, afternoon. Row three, column one, 9am to 12pm. Column two, 2pm to 5pm. Row two, column one, free. Column two, busy.
Fail NVDA 2016.2IE11 ReadingRecognized as data table, but no column headers are read out. Speak Table with three rows and two columns, row one, column one, morning. Column two, afternoon. Row two, column one, 9am to 12pm. Column two, 2pm to 5pm. Row three, column one, free. Column two, busy.
Fail NVDA 2015.2FF41 ReadingRecognized as data table, but no column headers are read out. Speak Table with three rows and two columns, row one, column one, morning. Column two, afternoon. Row three, column one, 9am to 12pm. Column two, 2pm to 5pm. Row two, column one, free. Column two, busy.
Fail NVDA 2015.2IE11 ReadingRecognized as data table, but no column headers are read out. Speak Table with three rows and two columns, row one, column one, morning. Column two, afternoon. Row two, column one, 9am to 12pm. Column two, 2pm to 5pm. Row three, column one, free. Column two, busy.
Fail NVDA 2014.1FF31 ReadingRecognized as data table, but no column headers are read out. Speak Table with three rows and two columns, row one, column one, morning. Column two, afternoon. Row three, column one, 9am to 12pm. Column two, 2pm to 5pm. Row two, column one, free. Column two, busy.
Fail NVDA 2014.1IE11 ReadingRecognized as data table, but no column headers are read out. Speak Table with three rows and two columns, row one, column one, morning. Column two, afternoon. Row two, column one, 9am to 12pm. Column two, 2pm to 5pm. Row three, column one, free. Column two, busy.
Fail NVDA 2012.3FF32 ReadingRecognized as data table, but no column headers are read out. Speak Table with three rows and two columns, row one, column one, morning. Column two, afternoon. Row three, column one, 9am to 12pm. Column two, 2pm to 5pm. Row two, column one, free. Column two, busy.
Fail NVDA 2012.3IE11 ReadingRecognized as data table, but no column headers are read out. Speak Table with three rows, row one, column one, morning. Column two, afternoon. Row three, column one, 9am to 12pm. Column two, 2pm to 5pm. Row two, column one, free. Column two, busy.
Fail JAWS 17.0.2619FF48 ReadingRecognized as data table, but no column headers are read out when Ctrl+Alt+Numpad+5 keyed. Speak Table with two columns and three rows. Morning (column one, row one, morning). Afternoon (column two, row one, afternoon). Free (column one, row two, free). Busy (column two, row two, busy). 9am to 12pm (column one, row three, 9am to 12pm). 2pm to 5pm (column two, row three, 2pm to 5pm).
Fail JAWS 17.0.2619IE11 ReadingRecognized as data table, but no column headers are read out when Ctrl+Alt+Numpad+5 keyed. Speak Table with two columns and three rows. Morning (column one, row one, morning). Afternoon (column two, row one, afternoon). Free (column one, row two, free). Busy (column two, row two, busy). 9am to 12pm (column one, row three, 9am to 12pm). 2pm to 5pm (column two, row three, 2pm to 5pm).
Fail JAWS 16.0.4350FF41 ReadingRecognized as data table, but no column headers are read out when Ctrl+Alt+Numpad+5 keyed. Speak Table with two columns and three rows. Morning (column one, row one, morning). Afternoon (column two, row one, afternoon). Free (column one, row two, free). Busy (column two, row two, busy). 9am to 12pm (column one, row three, 9am to 12pm). 2pm to 5pm (column two, row three, 2pm to 5pm).
Fail JAWS 16.0.4350IE11 ReadingRecognized as data table, but no column headers are read out when Ctrl+Alt+Numpad+5 keyed. Speak Table with two columns and three rows. Morning (column one, row one, morning). Afternoon (column two, row one, afternoon). Free (column one, row two, free). Busy (column two, row two, busy). 9am to 12pm (column one, row three, 9am to 12pm). 2pm to 5pm (column two, row three, 2pm to 5pm).
Fail JAWS 15.0.9023FF31 ReadingRecognized as data table, but no column headers are read out when Ctrl+Alt+Numpad+5 keyed. Speak Table with two columns and three rows. Morning (column one, row one, morning). Afternoon (column two, row one, afternoon). Free (column one, row two, free). Busy (column two, row two, busy). 9am to 12pm (column one, row three, 9am to 12pm). 2pm to 5pm (column two, row three, 2pm to 5pm).
Fail JAWS 15.0.9023IE11 ReadingRecognized as data table, but no column headers are read out when Ctrl+Alt+Numpad+5 keyed. Speak Table with two columns and three rows. Morning (column one, row one, morning). Afternoon (column two, row one, afternoon). Free (column one, row two, free). Busy (column two, row two, busy). 9am to 12pm (column one, row three, 9am to 12pm). 2pm to 5pm (column two, row three, 2pm to 5pm).
Fail JAWS 14.0.9002FF31 ReadingRecognized as data table, but no column headers are read out when Ctrl+Alt+Numpad+5 keyed. Speak Table with two columns and three rows. Morning (column one, row one, morning). Afternoon (column two, row one, afternoon). Free (column one, row two, free). Busy (column two, row two, busy). 9am to 12pm (column one, row three, 9am to 12pm). 2pm to 5pm (column two, row three, 2pm to 5pm).
Fail JAWS 14.0.9002IE11 ReadingRecognized as data table, but no column headers are read out when Ctrl+Alt+Numpad+5 keyed. Speak Table with two columns and three rows. Morning (column one, row one, morning). Afternoon (column two, row one, afternoon). Free (column one, row two, free). Busy (column two, row two, busy). 9am to 12pm (column one, row three, 9am to 12pm). 2pm to 5pm (column two, row three, 2pm to 5pm).
OK WindowEyes 9.2IE11TableDefaults to reading top row TD cells as headers if no TH in same column. Speak Table, three rows, two columns, morning. Afternoon. Morning, 9am to 12pm. Afternoon, 2pm to 5pm. Morning, free. Afternoon, busy.
OK WindowEyes 8.4IE11TableDefaults to reading top row TD cells as headers if no TH in same column. Speak Table eleven, three rows, two columns (table eleven, one R one C, morning). Entering header, morning. Afternoon. Morning, free. Afternoon, busy. Morning, 9am to 12pm. Afternoon, 2pm to 5pm.
OK VoiceOver OSX 10.11Safari 9.1.2 ReadingTD cells inside THEAD are treated as TH cells Speak Table two columns, three rows. Morning, column one of two. Afternoon, column two of two. Row two of three, morning, free, column one of two. Afternoon, busy, column two of two. Row three of three, morning, 9am to 12pm, column one of two. Afternoon, 2pm to 5pm, column two of two.
OK VoiceOver OSX 10.10Safari 9.0.1 ReadingTD cells inside THEAD are treated as TH cells Speak Table two columns, three rows. Morning, column one of two. Afternoon, column two of two. Row two of three, morning, free, column one of two. Afternoon, busy, column two of two. Row three of three, morning, 9am to 12pm, column one of two. Afternoon, 2pm to 5pm, column two of two.
OK VoiceOver OSX 10.9Safari 7.0.3 ReadingTD cells inside THEAD are treated as TH cells Speak Table two columns, three rows. Morning, column one of two. Column two of two, afternoon. Row two of three, morning, free, column one of two. Afternoon, busy, column two of two. Row three of three, morning, 9am to 12pm, column one of two. Afternoon, 2pm to 5pm, column two of two.
OK VoiceOver iOS 9.1Safari iOS 9.1 Reading Speak Morning, table start. Afternoon. Morning, free. Afternoon, busy. Morning, 9am to 12pm. Afternoon, 2pm to 5pm, table end.
Fail VoiceOver iOS 8.4Safari iOS 8.4 ReadingRecognized as data table, but no column headers are read out. Speak Morning, table start. Afternoon. Free. Busy. 9am to 12pm. 2pm to 5pm, table end.
Fail VoiceOver iOS 7.1Safari iOS 7.1 ReadingRecognized as data table, but no column headers are read out. Speak Morning, table start. Afternoon. Free. Busy. 9am to 12pm. 2pm to 5pm. Table end.
OK Dolphin SR 15.05IE11 Reading Speak Table 3 rows, 2 columns, normal , morning, column one row one. Afternoon, column two row one. 9am to 12pm, column one row three. 2pm to 5pm, column two row three. Free, column one row two. Busy, column two row two.
OK SaToGo 3.4.96.0IE11 Reading Speak Entering table, morning. Afternoon. 9am to 12pm. 2pm to 5pm. Free. Busy. Leaving table.

SortSite rules: AccWcag1-5.1.1

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: