Enabling Visually Impaired Table Accessing


Tables remain a persistent problem for visually impaired people using screen readers. Tables are complex structures that are widely used for different purposes such as spatial layout or data summarisation. The multi-dimensional nature of tables challenges the linear interaction styles typically supported by screen readers. To read a table, a user needs to maintain coherency of, and interact with more than one dimension. In this project, we first characterise why tables are useful in print, but difficult to read in the audio. We survey the relationship between table structure, intention and the reading styles employed to use the content of tables. This project proposes an approach that supports non-visual interaction with tables. This approach is designed to support the characteristics of tables that make them such a popular and useful means of conveying information. This approach provides a small table browser called EVITA (Enabling Visually Impaired Table Access), whose aim is to enable non-visual table browsing and reading in an analogous manner to the print medium.


[2] Yeliz Yesilada, Robert Stevens, Carole Goble, Shazad Hussein. Rendering Tables in Audio: The Interaction of Structure and Reading Styles. To Appear in The Sixth International ACM SIGCAPH Conference on Assistive Technologies (ASSETS), Atlanta, USA, 2004.
[Bibtex entry]
[1] Yeliz Yesilada. Browsing Tables when you cannot see them. Master's thesis, The University of Manchester, 2000.
[Bibtex entry | .zip (.doc)]

Related Projects and References

The following list includes a number of projects that are related to improving accessibility of tables for visually impaired users:

There are also a number of projects that investigate different ways of making tables accessible on mobile devices which include:


For further information, please contact Yeliz Yesilada.