Why are layout tables important?

Layout tables are sometimes used to organize content. A layout table does not require row or column headers to describe the cell’s content. For example, you could create an agenda with Agenda Item (Introduction), Presenter (Chair), and Time (9 – 9:15) in a layout table. This item doesn’t mean that you are required to use layout tables when organizing information, but when you are using a table format, you must use the built-in table tools rather than creating the appearance of a table by using tabs or spaces. Layout Tables create a structure that screen readers and assistive technology can use to read information in the correct order (left to right then top to bottom).

Things to keep in mind when using layout tables:

1) You must ensure you have a reading order that matches the visual layout.
2) You must ensure the table is placed in-line so that assistive technology can access the content.