How to Make Your Word 2010 Documents 508 Compliant
July 2, 2014
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
4) Edit the table number if necessary. Type a period or colon after the table number, followed by
one space. Then type a title or brief description of the table.
5) Click on “OK.”
A 508 “Best Practice” to Keep in Mind When Creating Tables
Screen readers and Braille displays read tables row-by-row across the columns. The Tab key on your
computer also navigates through tables in this order.
Consider the following simple table:
A screen reader will read out the information in this table as: attribute, cat, monkey, snake, fur, yes,
yes, no, legs, 4, 2, 0. While this provides all of the information, it is not very helpful. Organize your
table structure so that it makes sense when read from left to right, row by row.
Consider the following revised table:
Fur or No Fur
A screen reader will read the information in the more useful way: animal, fur or no fur, number of legs,
cat, fur, 4 legs, monkey, fur, 2 legs, snake, no fur, 0 legs.
Better yet, if we go into the Table Properties and check “Repeat as header row at the top of each
page,” Word will tag the cells in the header row as column headers. (See Special Requirement for
Table Header Rows on pages 44 – 47.) Assistive technology can use that designation to bind the
information to each of the cells falling below it. A screen reader could now read the data rows of our
revised table as: animal, cat, fur or no fur, fur, number of legs, 4 legs, animal, monkey, fur or no fur, fur,
number of legs, 2 legs, animal, snake, fur or no fur, no fur, number of legs, 0 legs.