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Data grid - Accessibility

The data grid has complete accessibility support. For instance, every cell is accessible using the keyboard.

Guidelines

The most commonly encountered conformance guidelines for accessibility are:

  • WCAG - Globally accepted standard
  • ADA - US Department of Justice
  • Section 508 - US federal agencies

WCAG 2.0 has three levels of conformance; A, AA, and AAA (in order of conformance). As meeting WCAG 2.0 level AA guidelines also meets the ADA and Section 508 standards, it's likely the standard that most organizations will want to target.

The WAI-ARIA authoring practices provides valuable insight on how to make the grid highly accessible.

Density

You can change the density of the rows and the column header.

Density selector

To enable the density selector, you need to compose a toolbar containing the GridToolbarDensitySelector component and apply it using the Toolbar property in the grid components prop.

The user can change the density of the data grid by using the density selector from the toolbar.

<DataGrid
  {...data}
  components={{
    Toolbar: CustomToolbar,
  }}
/>

To hide the density selector add the disableDensitySelector prop to the data grid.

Density prop

The vertical density of the data grid can be set using the density prop. The density prop applies the values determined by the rowHeight and headerHeight props if supplied. The user can override this setting with the toolbar density selector if provided.

<DataGrid
  {...data}
  density="compact"
  components={{
    Toolbar: CustomToolbar,
  }}
/>

Keyboard navigation

The grid responds to keyboard interactions from the user and emits events when key presses happen on the grid cells.

Tab sequence

According to WAI-ARIA, only one of the focusable elements contained by the grid should be included in the page tab sequence. For an element to be included in the tab sequence, it needs to have a tabIndex value of zero or greater.

When a cell of the grid is focused, the first inner element with tabIndex={0} will receive the focus. If there is no element with tabIndex={0}, the focus is set on the cell itself.

In the example below, the first grid does not remove links from the tab sequence, which implies having to pass through all the links before accessing the pagination controls. This behavior makes it complicated to navigate between elements when using large datasets.

Without focus management

Correct focus management

If you are customizing cell rendering with the renderCell method, you become responsible for removing focusable elements from the page tab sequence. To do so, use the tabIndex prop passed to the renderCell params to know if the rendered cell has focus and so if the inner elements should be removed from the tab sequence.

renderCell: (params) => (
  <Box>
    <Link tabIndex={params.tabIndex} href="/#">
      more info
    </Link>
  </Box>
);

Use the arrow keys to move the focus.

Keys Description
Arrow Left Navigate between cell elements
Arrow Bottom Navigate between cell elements
Arrow Right Navigate between cell elements
Arrow Up Navigate between cell elements
Home Navigate to the first cell of the current row
End Navigate to the last cell of the current row
Ctrl+Home Navigate to the first cell of the first row
Ctrl+End Navigate to the last cell of the last row
Space Navigate to the next scrollable page
Page Up Navigate to the previous scrollable page
Page Down Navigate to the next scrollable page
Space Toggle row children expansion when grouping cell is focused

Selection

Keys Description
Shift+Space Select the current row
Shift+Arrow Up/Down Select the current row and the row above or below
Shift+ Click on cell Select the range of rows between the first and the last clicked rows
Ctrl+A Select all rows
Ctrl+C Copy the currently selected row(s)
Alt+C Copy the currently selected row(s) including headers
Ctrl+ Click on cell Enable multi-selection
Ctrl+ Click on a selected row Deselect the row

Sorting

Keys Description
Ctrl+ Click on header Enable multi-sorting
Shift+ Click on header Enable multi-sorting
Shift+Enter Enable multi-sorting when column header is focused
Enter Sort column when column header is focused
Ctrl+Enter Open column menu when column header is focused

Group & pivot

Keys Description
Ctrl+Enter Toggles the detail panel of a row

Key assignment conventions

The above key assignments are for Windows and Linux. On macOS:

  • replace Ctrl with ⌘ Command
  • replace Alt with ⌥ Option

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