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This is not a complete list of the accessibilty features available with a GridView, but this is what we're doing to make ours more accessible. (Note: At this point, we are primarily focused on users who use JAWS.)

  • UseAccessibleHeader="true"
    • Property of the GridView itself
    • When the GridView is rendered as a table, using this property formats the header (first row) of the table using <th> tags instead of <td> tags. When navigating through the table with JAWS, the column header is announced prior to reading the contents of the cell.
  • AccessibleHeaderText="Description of the column"
    • Property of a TemplateField
    • When announcing the column header as described above, this descriptive text is used instead of the typically terse column headertext. It should remain concise, but will give non-sighted users a better idea of what the data item is.
  • Summary attribute
    • This property is not available in the aspx, but during page_load (or equivalent event), the Summary property can be added to the GridView with the following code (C#):
      • this.gvMyGridView.Attributes.Add("Summary", "List of Products");
    • As the page reader progresses through the rendered HTML, when the table (GridView) is encountered, the Summary is read prior to the table header and rows. This helps to give the user an overview of the data contained in the GridView.
  • RowHeaderColumn="ColumnID"
    • Property of the GridView itself
    • This is a nifty feature that allows you to define the data in all rows of the specified column to render as <th> tags so that the non-visual user would hear both the column and row headers announced when traversing the grid. Unfortunately, it is not available when using TemplateFields (which is primarily what we use), so we were not able to use this property.
  • Remember to use CssClass attributes for the style properties (HeaderStyle, SelectedRowStyle, RowStyle, AlternatingRowStyle, etc.) to conform to the guidelines that recommend using StyleSheets for all formatting so that it can be easily overridden or disabled by users with limited sight.
Posted on Thursday, April 24, 2008 2:05 PM | Back to top

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