The header row is the first row in a table, and it should be used to identify the topic of each column. This provides context for the data and assists screen readers in navigating the table.
It can be time-consuming to
read a table with a screen reader. Use alt text to add a short summary of the table information so that screen reader users can decide if they want to read it.
Creating Accessible Tables in Blackboard
Avoid tables nested within other tables, and merged or split cells. All of these will make it very difficult, if not impossible, for screen readers to provide helpful information about the table.
Never leave the left uppermost cell blank; it's the first cell a screen reader user will encounter. Blank cells anywhere in the table could also mislead someone using a screen reader into thinking that there's nothing more in the table.
Avoid using tables to make the layout of the page look a certain way. It's best to only use tables when presenting rows and columns of related information.