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HHS Requirement 3.2 Reading Order

All tables must read from left to right, top to bottom, for proper reading order by a screen reader.

If you listen to a table being read without seeing it, you notice how quickly you can lose track of columns and rows, even when reading order is logically aligned.

Reading order and simplicity are essential to accessible tables. If tables are structured in such a way that logical relationships between data in columns and rows are not clear, persons using assistive technology can only access part of the table, or the table is conveyed as a jumble of information.

A screen reader will read information in logical order if the table has been properly created using the main menu, and if rows and columns are labeled appropriately.

Do not use tabs and spaces to input tabular data.

Four ways to help others understand your table data.

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