Definition Some data tables must have an accessible description (e.g. summary) of contents of the table.
Purpose
  • Complex data tables are defined as tables with row and/or column spans, or more than one header cell (e.g. th element) in any row or column of the table.
  • An accessible description providing a summary of the organization of the table or numerical values reduces the time for users of assistive technology to explore and understand the content of a table.
  • An accessible description that includes a synopsis of the authors intended conclusions of viewing the content of a table make it easier for people using assistive technologies to understand importance of why the author provided the data table.
Mappings
  • HTML4 Legacy Techniques (Recommended)
  • HTML5 and ARIA Techniques (Recommended)
WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria

1.3.1 Info and Relationships (Level A, Primary Success Criterion)

Rule Category Tables
Scope Element
Target Resources table[summary], table[title] or aria-describedby attribute
  • table
Techniques
  • Use the summary attribute to provide a accessible description of the information in a data table.
  • Use the title attribute to provide a accessible description of the information in a data table.
  • Use the aria-describedby attribute to provide a reference to an accessible description of the information in a data table.
Manual Checks
  • Verify the content of the accessible description accurately summarizes the organization, numerical information in the table or authors intended conclusions from viewing the table.
Informational Links