Making tables accessible

Tables can cause particular issues with accessibility. It is important to pay attention to a few details to make sure that a screen reader will read the table content in the right order, and that users with special needs can get the key messages and information from the table.

Key tips to make tables accessible are as follows:

However, because document publishing software and screen readers are constantly evolving, there are few hard-and-fast rules governing table accessibility. The following advice is based on the principle that simplest is best – simplifying your table structures will improve accessibility for all readers.

Tip. Tables should be structured and formatted effectively during the writing stage so that they are fully accessible. Editing and reformatting tables that are not accessible in the later stages of the publication process can be time consuming.

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