In Microsoft Word, it is important to make sure all tables are accessible to those using screen readers. This helps those using screen readers to make sense of the data contained in a table. You should only use a table when it's necessary to convey relationships between pieces of data, and not for layout purposes. When using tables in a Word document, keep them as simple as possible. If necessary, split complex tables into multiple smaller tables. Be sure to designate a header row and use column headings to help describe the data in the table, as well as repeat the column headings on each page the table appears on. You should also ensure the table has alternative text, to describe the contents of the table for those using screen readers.
There are multiple parts to the process of making a table accessible. The first involves making sure the table has a header row designated. The "Table Style Options" section of the ribbon on thecontextual tab lets you indicate that your data has a header row.
To add a table with a header row to a Word document:
Column headings help describe the content in a table, and should be present to help users understand the content.
To add column headings to a table in Word:
Column headings should be repeated at the top of a table if the table spans multiple pages.
To repeat the column headings:
To add alternative text for tables, use thetab of the "Table Properties" dialog box:
For instructions for creating an accessible table in Word 2013, see the section on tables in WebAim's Microsoft Word 2013 accessible documents guide.