Scope attribute should be used correctly on tables
How to Fix the Problem
If you are using HTML5, check that the
scope attribute is only
being used on
th elements. If you are using HTML 4, check that
scope attribute is only being used on
Finally, check that the value of the scope is either
col, but nothing else.
scope attribute values to all
th elements that
do not have one.
The markup necessary to convey the relationship between header cells and data
cells in data tables that are not complex can be accomplished using the
scope attribute. The
scope attribute tells the
browser and screen reader that everything under the column is related to the
header at the top, and everything to the right of the row header is related to
Applying the scope attribute to a table in markup looks like this:
<table> <caption><strong>Greensprings Running Club Personal Bests</strong></caption> <tr> <th scope="col">Name</th> <th scope="col">1 mile</th> <th scope="col">5 km</th> <th scope="col">10 km</th> </tr> <tr> <th scope="row">Mary</th> <td>8:32</td> <td>28:04</td> <td>1:01:16</td> </tr> <tr> <th scope="row">Betsy</th> <td>7:43</td> <td>26:47</td> <td>55:38</td> </tr> <tr> <th scope="row">Matt</th> <td>7:55</td> <td>27:29</td> <td>57:04</td> </tr> <tr> <th scope="row">Todd</th> <td>7:01</td> <td>24:21</td> <td>50:35</td> </tr> </table>
Note that the top headers for Name, 1 mile, 5 km and 10 km are all marked up
th elements, as are the row headers for Mary, Betsy, Matt
and Todd. Each of these header cells have also been given the
scope attribute values of
row depending on whether they are column or row header cells.
Why it Matters
scope attribute makes table navigation much easier for screen
reader users, provided that it is used correctly. Incorrectly used,
scope can make table navigation much harder and less efficient.
A screen reader operates under the assumption that a table has a header and that this header specifies a scope. Because of the way screen readers function, having an accurate header makes viewing a table far more accessible and more efficient for people who use the device.
scope attribute must be used correctly on tables in
accordance with either HTML4 or HTML5 specifications to enable efficient table
navigation for screen reader users.
The Algorithm (in simple terms)
Ensures that the scope attribute is used correctly on tables.