Detection of Semantic

HTML table semantics

I can't fault your tags at all. The only problem is that due to your table being quite complex, assistive technology may not be able to figure out the structure of your table.

I was going to recommend using scope but according to W3C there are some inconsistency issues.

The row and col values of the scope attribute are currently supported to a large extent by most current versions of JAWS. However, there are still some problems and WindowEyes support for scope is inconsistent. The same is true for Japanese versions of these screen readers. Versions of JAWS prior to version 5 and older versions of Window-Eyes have inconsistent support for scope.

Using scope would look like this, with scope="col" in all

elements in the first row and scope="row" for all other elements. th 1 th 2 th 3 th 4 th 5 th 6 th 7 td 1 td 2 td 3 td 4 td 5 td 6 th 8 td 7 td 8 td 9 td 10 td 11 td 12 th 9 th 10 td 13 td 14 td 15 td 16 td 17 td 18 th 11 td 19 td 20 td 21 td 22 td 23 td 24

This is W3C's recommendation:

At the current time, those who want to ensure consistent support across Assistive Technologies for tables where the headers are not in the first row/column may want to use the technique for complex tables to associate data cells with header cells in data tables. For simple tables that have headers in the first column or row we recommend the use of the th and td elements.

Let me just start off by saying this is a complete pain in order to be completely accessibly and scope will probably be fine in most cases. Here is the table using the id/header method (shudder):

th 1 th 2 th 3 th 4 th 5 th 6 th 7 td 1 td 2 td 3 td 4 td 5 td 6 th 8 td 7 td 8 td 9 td 10 td 11 td 12 th 9 th 10 td 13 td 14 td 15 td 16 td 17 td 18 th 11 td 19 td 20 td 21 td 22 td 23 td 24

What is comes down to in the end in my opinion is an accessible solution that is also maintainable in the back end. Realistically JAWS and WindowEyes will eventually fix up their bugs and using scope will be fine even for tables as complex as this. Unless you expect many users to use assistive technologies and require strict adherence to WCAG, go with scope. Markup needs to be beautiful too :)

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