BPDCC Accessibility Research Group

Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services (CITES) and Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES)

University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign

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Teleconference Details

Date: 2008-06-27

Time: 2:00-3:00 PM EDT; 1:00-2:00 PM CDT



BPDCC Accessibility Teleconference Minutes 06/27/2008
Scribes: Nolan Crabb and Marc Thompson
Time: 2:00—3:00 EDT; 1:00—2:00 p.m. CDT


Action Items

  1. Marc agreed to send out two Word documents: a help document created with tables and images, and the same help document but with text with embedded images.

  2. Discuss research findings for MS Word (table layout vs. embedded image)

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  1. Anne-Marie Armstrong
  2. Nolan Crabb (scribe)
  3. Christie Gilson
  4. Vance Martin
  5. Hadi Rangin
  6. Marc Thompson (facilitator)

The June 27th meeting began with a discussion on tabular data in a syllabus provided by Anne Marie. She indicated if the table is a problem, she would be willing to remove it and replace it with straight textual data. Hadi warned against turning the table into text and merely leaving white space where the columns once were. He pointed out that preserving the structure of the document in a way that would make the most sense is the important thing.

Marc expressed concern about tables that are designed exclusively to deal with the layout of a specific page. How do we make the association of a tabular layout meaningful to screen reader users?

Hadi expressed the opinion that data tables are significantly different from layout tables. , and he expressed concern about using data tables to include both text and images, pointing out that layout tables would more likely be used for that purpose.

Marc questioned whether you need two tables—one for the graphical data and one for the textual data as opposed to two cells in the same table. Hadi questioned the need for a table at all where you have a situation in which the text is on one side and the graphic is on the other. Anne-Marie pointed out that Word allows for the embedding of text within an image on either side of it. She pointed out that you would still need alt-text tags to describe the image. She suggested using a caption to describe the table’s contents.

Hadi asked about the control of the border around the image and the white space within the image. Anne-Marie said the answer depends somewhat on the size of the image and amount of text being used. She said you can define the image size and text placement in the properties of the image.

Marc agreed, but cautioned that while text will indeed wrap around the image, it may still have to be manipulated so there is visual balance when text is displayed alongside an image. Marc wanted to know what screen readers actually read when they encounter embedded text within images as opposed to text and graphics as parts of tables.

Hadi wondered how the text would be linearized. Would the screen reader see it as a single object followed by a graphic?

Marc agreed to send out some help documents he had created that include embedded text with images.

Hadi asked whether as a best practice, we discourage the use of tables. Marc said he would send samples of both embedded text in an image and layout tables that include both text and images.
The meeting adjourned at 3:02 p.m. Eastern time, 2:02 p.m. Central Time.

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