[thelist] Accessibility question about legends and table captions

Matthew Bernhardt bernhardt.7 at osu.edu
Thu Sep 14 10:04:58 CDT 2006

Hello everyone,
   I'd like to get some opinions on an issue that's troubling me this  
morning. I'm working on a form that allows students to make an appointment  
with an admissions counselor - you can view the page here:

plain CSS:

"pretty" CSS:

The question I have is how to not repeat the same information in multiple  
places while still taking full advantage of accessibility options like  
table headings, fieldsets/legends, etc.

The grid of appointment times for each counselor is currently displayed in  
a table (which seems appropriate, but I'm willing to listen to  
alternatives), which means I need a table caption and summary to describe  
the contents of the table. However, each grid also wants to be grouped by  
a fieldset, which means a legend. Thus, the legend and the table caption  
seem to be identical.

Is there a way to only use one of these methods, or to combine them? In a  
screen reader, it seems that I'm having to hear the same information  
multiple times before I actually get to the meat of the table.

There are other issues with this page that are also vexing me - but if I  
can get a handle on this one, I think I'll be happy for now.

Thanks for any input,

Matt Bernhardt, bernhardt.7 at osu.edu
Webmaster  +  Fab  Lab  Coordinator
Knowlton  School   of  Architecture
The    Ohio     State    University

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