Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) 1.2

W3C Editor's Draft

This version:
https://w3c.github.io/aria/
Latest published version:
https://www.w3.org/TR/wai-aria-1.2/
Latest editor's draft:
https://w3c.github.io/aria/
Latest Recommendation:
https://www.w3.org/TR/wai-aria-1.1/
Editors:
Joanmarie Diggs (Igalia, S.L.)
James Nurthen (Adobe)
Michael Cooper (W3C)
Former editors:
Shane McCarron (Spec-Ops) (Editor until 2018)
Richard Schwerdtfeger (Knowbility) (Editor until October 2017)
James Craig (Apple Inc.) (Editor until May 2016)
Participate:
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Abstract

Accessibility of web content requires semantic information about widgets, structures, and behaviors, in order to allow assistive technologies to convey appropriate information to persons with disabilities. This specification provides an ontology of roles, states, and properties that define accessible user interface elements and can be used to improve the accessibility and interoperability of web content and applications. These semantics are designed to allow an author to properly convey user interface behaviors and structural information to assistive technologies in document-level markup. This version adds features new since WAI-ARIA 1.1 [wai-aria-1.1] to improve interoperability with assistive technologies to form a more consistent accessibility model for [HTML] and [SVG2]. This specification complements both [HTML] and [SVG2].

This document is part of the WAI-ARIA suite described in the WAI-ARIA Overview.

Status of This Document

This section describes the status of this document at the time of its publication. Other documents may supersede this document. A list of current W3C publications and the latest revision of this technical report can be found in the W3C technical reports index at https://www.w3.org/TR/.

The Accessible Rich Internet Applications Working Group seeks feedback on any aspect of the specification. When submitting feedback, please consider issues in the context of the companion documents. To comment, file an issue in the W3C ARIA GitHub repository. If this is not feasible, send email to public-aria@w3.org (comment archive). In-progress updates to the document may be viewed in the publicly visible editors' draft.

This document was published by the Accessible Rich Internet Applications Working Group as an Editor's Draft.

GitHub Issues are preferred for discussion of this specification. Alternatively, you can send comments to our mailing list. Please send them to public-aria@w3.org (archives).

Publication as an Editor's Draft does not imply endorsement by the W3C Membership. This is a draft document and may be updated, replaced or obsoleted by other documents at any time. It is inappropriate to cite this document as other than work in progress.

This document was produced by a group operating under the W3C Patent Policy. W3C maintains a public list of any patent disclosures made in connection with the deliverables of the group; that page also includes instructions for disclosing a patent. An individual who has actual knowledge of a patent which the individual believes contains Essential Claim(s) must disclose the information in accordance with section 6 of the W3C Patent Policy.

This document is governed by the 1 March 2019 W3C Process Document.

1. Introduction

This section is non-normative.

The goals of this specification include:

WAI-ARIA is a technical specification that provides a framework to improve the accessibility and interoperability of web content and applications. This document is primarily for developers creating custom widgets and other web application components. Please see the WAI-ARIA Overview for links to related documents for other audiences, such as WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices [WAI-ARIA-PRACTICES-1.2] that introduces developers to the accessibility problems that WAI-ARIA is intended to solve, the fundamental concepts, and the technical approach of WAI-ARIA.

This document currently handles two aspects of roles: user interface functionality and structural relationships. For more information and use cases, see WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices [WAI-ARIA-PRACTICES-1.2] for the use of roles in making interactive content accessible.

Roles defined by this specification are designed to support the roles used by platform accessibility APIs. Declaration of these roles on elements within dynamic web content is intended to support interoperability between the web content and assistive technologies that utilize accessibility APIs.

The schema to support this standard has been designed to be extensible so that custom roles can be created by extending base roles. This allows user agents to support at least the base role, and user agents that support the custom role can provide enhanced access. Note that much of this could be formalized in [XMLSCHEMA11-2]. However, being able to define similarities between roles, such as baseConcepts and more descriptive definitions, would not be available in XSD.

WAI-ARIA 1.2 is a member of the WAI-ARIA 1.2 suite that defines how to expose semantics of WAI-ARIA and other web content languages to accessibility APIs.

1.1 Rich Internet Application Accessibility

The domain of web accessibility defines how to make web content usable by persons with disabilities. Persons with certain types of disabilities use assistive technologies (AT) to interact with content. Assistive technologies can transform the presentation of content into a format more suitable to the user, and can allow the user to interact in different ways. For example, the user may need to, or choose to, interact with a slider widget via arrow keys, instead of dragging and dropping with a mouse. In order to accomplish this effectively, the software needs to understand the semantics of the content. Semantics is the science of meaning; in this case, used to assign roles, states, and properties that apply to user interface and content elements as a human would understand. For instance, if a paragraph is semantically identified as such, assistive technologies can interact with it as a unit separable from the rest of the content, knowing the exact boundaries of that paragraph. An adjustable range slider or collapsible list (a.k.a. a tree widget) are more complex examples, in which various parts of the widget have semantics that need to be properly identified for assistive technologies to support effective interaction.

New technologies often overlook semantics required for accessibility, and new authoring practices often misuse the intended semantics of those technologies. Elements that have one defined meaning in the language are used with a different meaning intended to be understood by the user.

For example, web application developers create collapsible tree widgets in HTML using CSS and JavaScript even though HTML has no semantic tree element. To a non-disabled user, it may look and act like a collapsible tree widget, but without appropriate semantics, the tree widget may not be perceivable to, or operable by, a person with a disability because assistive technologies may not recognize the role. Similarly, web application developers create interactive button widgets in SVG using JavaScript even though SVG has no semantic button element. To a non-disabled user, it may look and act like a button widget, but without appropriate semantics, the button widget may not be perceivable to, or operable by, a person with a disability because assistive technologies may not recognize the role.

The incorporation of WAI-ARIA is a way for an author to provide proper semantics for custom widgets to make these widgets accessible, usable, and interoperable with assistive technologies. This specification identifies the types of widgets and structures that are commonly recognized by accessibility products, by providing an ontology of corresponding roles that can be attached to content. This allows elements with a given role to be understood as a particular widget or structural type regardless of any semantics inherited from the implementing host language. Roles are a common property of platform accessibility APIs which assistive technologies use to provide the user with effective presentation and interaction.

The Roles Model includes interaction widgets and elements denoting document structure. The Roles Model describes inheritance and details the attributes each role supports. Information about mapping of roles to accessibility APIs is provided by the Core Accessibility API Mappings [CORE-AAM-1.2].

Roles are element types and will not change with time or user actions. Role information is used by assistive technologies, through interaction with the user agent, to provide normal processing of the specified element type.

States and properties are used to declare important attributes of an element that affect and describe interaction. They enable the user agent and operating system to properly handle the element even when the attributes are dynamically changed by client-side scripts. For example, alternative input and output technology, such as screen readers and speech dictation software, need to be able to recognize and effectively manipulate and communicate various interaction states (e.g., disabled, checked) to the user.

While it is possible for assistive technologies to access these properties directly through the Document Object Model [DOM], the preferred mechanism is for the user agent to map the states and properties to the accessibility API of the operating system. See the Core Accessibility API Mappings [CORE-AAM-1.2] and the Accessible Name and Description Computation [ACCNAME-1.2] for details.

Figure 1.0 illustrates the relationship between user agents (e.g., browsers), accessibility APIs, and assistive technologies. It describes the "contract" provided by the user agent to assistive technologies, which includes typical accessibility information found in the accessibility API for many of our accessible platforms for GUIs (role, state, selection, event notification, relationship information, and descriptions). The DOM, usually HTML, acts as the data model and view in a typical model-view-controller relationship, and JavaScript acts as the controller by manipulating the style and content of the displayed data. The user agent conveys relevant information to the operating system's accessibility API, which can be used by any assistive technologies, such as screen readers.

The contract model with accessibility APIs

Figure 1: The contract model with accessibility APIs

For more information see WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices for the use of roles in making interactive content accessible.

Users of alternate input devices need keyboard accessible content. The new semantics, when combined with the recommended keyboard interactions provided in WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices, will allow alternate input solutions to facilitate command and control via an alternate input solution.

WAI-ARIA introduces navigational landmarks through its Roles Model and the XHTML role landmarks, which can help persons with dexterity and vision impairments by providing for improved keyboard navigation. WAI-ARIA may also be used to assist persons with cognitive learning disabilities. The additional semantics allow authors to restructure and substitute alternative content as needed.

Assistive technologies need the ability to support alternative inputs by getting and setting the current value of widget states and properties. Assistive technologies also need to determine what objects are selected and manage widgets that allow multiple selections, such as list boxes and grids.

Speech-based command and control systems can benefit from WAI-ARIA semantics like the role attribute to assist in conveying audio information to the user. For example, upon encountering an element with a role of menu with child elements of role menuitem each containing text content representing a different flavor, a speech system might state to the user, "Select one of three choices: chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla."

WAI-ARIA is intended to be used as a supplement for native language semantics, not a replacement. When the host language provides a feature that provides equivalent accessibility to the WAI-ARIA feature, use the host language feature. WAI-ARIA should only be used in cases where the host language lacks the needed role, state, and property indicators. Use a host language feature that is as similar as possible to the WAI-ARIA feature, then refine the meaning by adding WAI-ARIA. For instance, a multi-selectable grid could be implemented as a table, and then WAI-ARIA used to clarify that it is an interactive grid, not just a static data table. This allows for the best possible fallback for user agents that do not support WAI-ARIA and preserves the integrity of the host language semantics.

1.2 Target Audience

This specification defines the basic model for WAI-ARIA, including roles, states, properties, and values. It impacts several audiences:

Each conformance requirement indicates the audience to which it applies.

Although this specification is applicable to the above audiences, it is not specifically targeted to, nor is it intended to be the sole source of information for, any of these audiences. The following documents provide important supporting information:

1.3 User Agent Support

WAI-ARIA relies on user agent support for its features in two ways:

Aside from using WAI-ARIA markup to improve what is exposed to accessibility APIs, user agents behave as they would natively. Assistive technologies react to the extra information in the accessibility API as they already do for the same information on non-web content. User agents that are not assistive technologies, however, need do nothing beyond providing appropriate updates to the accessibility API.

The WAI-ARIA specification neither requires nor forbids user agents from enhancing native presentation and interaction behaviors on the basis of WAI-ARIA markup. Mainstream user agents might expose WAI-ARIA navigational landmarks (for example, as a dialog box or through a keyboard command) with the intention to facilitate navigation for all users. User agents are encouraged to maximize their usefulness to users, including users without disabilities.

WAI-ARIA is intended to provide missing semantics so that the intent of the author may be conveyed to assistive technologies. Generally, authors using WAI-ARIA will provide the appropriate presentation and interaction features. Over time, host languages may add WAI-ARIA equivalents, such as new form controls, that are implemented as standard accessible user interface controls by the user agent. This allows authors to use them instead of custom WAI-ARIA enabled user interface components. In this case the user agent would support the native host language feature. Developers of host languages that implement WAI-ARIA are advised to continue supporting WAI-ARIA semantics when they do not adversely conflict with implicit host language semantics, as WAI-ARIA semantics more clearly reflect the intent of the author if the host language features are inadequate to meet the author's needs.

1.4 Co-Evolution of WAI-ARIA and Host Languages

WAI-ARIA is intended to augment semantics in supporting languages like [HTML] and [SVG2], or to be used as an accessibility enhancement technology in other markup-based languages that do not explicitly include support for ARIA. It clarifies semantics to assistive technologies when authors create new types of objects, via style and script, that are not yet directly supported by the language of the page, because the invention of new types of objects is faster than standardized support for them appears in web languages.

It is not appropriate to create objects with style and script when the host language provides a semantic element for that type of object. While WAI-ARIA can improve the accessibility of these objects, accessibility is best provided by allowing the user agent to handle the object natively. For example, it's better to use an h1 element in HTML than to use the heading role on a div element.

It is expected that, over time, host languages will evolve to provide semantics for objects that currently can only be declared with WAI-ARIA. This is natural and desirable, as one goal of WAI-ARIA is to help stimulate the emergence of more semantic and accessible markup. When native semantics for a given feature become available, it is appropriate for authors to use the native feature and stop using WAI-ARIA for that feature. Legacy content may continue to use WAI-ARIA, however, so the need for user agents to support WAI-ARIA remains.

While specific features of WAI-ARIA may lose importance over time, the general possibility of WAI-ARIA to add semantics to web pages is expected to be a persistent need. Host languages may not implement all the semantics WAI-ARIA provides, and various host languages may implement different subsets of the features. New types of objects are continually being developed, and one goal of WAI-ARIA is to provide a way to make such objects accessible, because web authoring practices often advance faster than host language standards. In this way, WAI-ARIA and host languages both evolve together but at different rates.

Some host languages exist to create semantics for features other than the user interface. For example, SVG expresses the semantics behind production of graphical objects, not of user interface components that those objects may represent. Host languages might, by design, not provide native semantics that map to WAI-ARIA features. In these cases, WAI-ARIA could be adopted as a long-term approach to add semantic information to user interface components.

1.5 Authoring Practices

1.5.1 Authoring Tools

Many of the requirements in the definitions of WAI-ARIA roles, states, and properties can be checked automatically during the development process, similar to other quality control processes used for validating code. To assist authors who are creating custom widgets, authoring tools may compare widget roles, states, and properties to those supported in WAI-ARIA as well as those supported in related and cross-referenced roles, states, and properties. Authoring tools may notify authors of errors in widget design patterns, and may also prompt developers for information that cannot be determined from context alone. For example, a scripting library can determine the labels for the tree items in a tree view, but would need to prompt the author to label the entire tree. To help authors visualize a logical accessibility structure, an authoring environment might provide an outline view of a web resource based on the WAI-ARIA markup.

In both HTML and SVG, tabindex is an important way browsers support keyboard focus navigation for implementations of WAI-ARIA; authoring and debugging tools may check to make sure tabindex values are properly set. For example, error conditions may include cases where more than one treeitem in a tree has a tabindex value greater than or equal to 0, where tabindex is not set on any treeitem, or where aria-activedescendant is not defined when the element with the role tree has a tabindex value of greater than or equal to 0.

1.5.2 Testing Practices and Tools

The accessibility of interactive content cannot be confirmed by static checks alone. Developers of interactive content should test for device-independent access to widgets and applications, and should verify accessibility API access to all content and changes during user interaction.

1.6 Assistive Technologies

Programmatic access to accessibility semantics is essential for assistive technologies. Most assistive technologies interact with user agents, like other applications, through a recognized accessibility API. Perceivable objects in the user interface are exposed to assistive technologies as accessible objects, defined by the accessibility API interfaces. To do this properly, accessibility information – role, states, properties as well as contextual information – needs to be accurately conveyed to the assistive technologies through the accessibility API. When a state change occurs, the user agent provides the appropriate event notification to the accessibility API. Contextual information, in many host languages like HTML, can be determined from the DOM itself as it provides a contextual tree hierarchy.

While some assistive technologies interact with these accessibility APIs, others may access the content directly from the DOM. These technologies can restructure, simplify, style, or reflow the content to help a different set of users. Common use cases for these types of adaptations may be the aging population, persons with cognitive impairments, or persons in environments that interfere with use of their tools. For example, the availability of regional navigational landmarks may allow for a mobile device adaptation that shows only portions of the content at any one time based on its semantics. This could reduce the amount of information the user needs to process at any one time. In other situations it may be appropriate to replace a custom user interface control with something that is easier to navigate with a keyboard, or touch screen device.

2. Important Terms

This section is non-normative.

While some terms are defined in place, the following definitions are used throughout this document.

Accessibility API

Operating systems and other platforms provide a set of interfaces that expose information about objects and events to assistive technologies. Assistive technologies use these interfaces to get information about and interact with those widgets. Examples of accessibility APIs are Microsoft Active Accessibility [MSAA], Microsoft User Interface Automation [UI-AUTOMATION], MSAA with UIA Express [UIA-EXPRESS], the Mac OS X Accessibility Protocol [AXAPI], the Linux/Unix Accessibility Toolkit [ATK] and Assistive Technology Service Provider Interface [AT-SPI], and IAccessible2 [IAccessible2].

Accessibility Tree

Tree of accessible objects that represents the structure of the user interface (UI). Each node in the accessibility tree represents an element in the UI as exposed through the accessibility API; for example, a push button, a check box, or container.

Accessible Description

An accessible description provides additional information, related to an interface element, that complements the accessible name. The accessible description might or might not be visually perceivable.

Accessible Name

The accessible name is the name of a user interface element. Each platform accessibility API provides the accessible name property. The value of the accessible name may be derived from a visible (e.g., the visible text on a button) or invisible (e.g., the text alternative that describes an icon) property of the user interface element. See related accessible description.

A simple use for the accessible name property may be illustrated by an "OK" button. The text "OK" is the accessible name. When the button receives focus, assistive technologies may concatenate the platform's role description with the accessible name. For example, a screen reader may speak "push-button OK" or "OK button". The order of concatenation and specifics of the role description (e.g., "button", "push-button", "clickable button") are determined by platform accessibility APIs or assistive technologies.

Accessible object

A node in the accessibility tree of a platform accessibility API. Accessible objects expose various states, properties, and events for use by assistive technologies. In the context of markup languages (e.g., HTML and SVG) in general, and of WAI-ARIA in particular, markup elements and their attributes are represented as accessible objects.

Assistive Technologies

Hardware and/or software that:

  • relies on services provided by a user agent to retrieve and render Web content
  • works with a user agent or web content itself through the use of APIs, and
  • provides services beyond those offered by the user agent to facilitate user interaction with web content by people with disabilities

This definition may differ from that used in other documents.

Examples of assistive technologies that are important in the context of this document include the following:

  • screen magnifiers, which are used to enlarge and improve the visual readability of rendered text and images;
  • screen readers, which are most-often used to convey information through synthesized speech or a refreshable Braille display;
  • text-to-speech software, which is used to convert text into synthetic speech;
  • speech recognition software, which is used to allow spoken control and dictation;
  • alternate input technologies (including head pointers, on-screen keyboards, single switches, and sip/puff devices), which are used to simulate the keyboard;
  • alternate pointing devices, which are used to simulate mouse pointing and clicking.
Attribute

In this specification, attribute is used as it is in markup languages. Attributes are structural features added to elements to provide information about the states and properties of the object represented by the element.

Class

A set of instance objects that share similar characteristics.

Deprecated

A deprecated role, state, or property is one which has been outdated by newer constructs or changed circumstances, and which may be removed in future versions of the WAI-ARIA specification. User agents are encouraged to continue to support items identified as deprecated for backward compatibility. For more information, see Deprecated Requirements in the Conformance section.

Desktop focus event

Event from/to the host operating system via the accessibility API, notifying of a change of input focus.

Element

In this specification, element is used as it is in markup languages. Elements are the structural elements in markup language that contains the data profile for objects.

Event

A programmatic message used to communicate discrete changes in the state of an object to other objects in a computational system. User input to a web page is commonly mediated through abstract events that describe the interaction and can provide notice of changes to the state of a document object. In some programming languages, events are more commonly known as notifications.

Graphical Document

A document containing graphic representations with user-navigable parts. Charts, maps, diagrams, blueprints, and dashboards are examples of graphical documents. A graphical document is composed using any combination of symbols, images, text, and graphic primitives (shapes such as circles, points, lines, paths, rectangles, etc).

Hidden

Indicates that the element is not visible, perceivable, or interactive to any user. An element is considered hidden if it or any one of its ancestor elements is not rendered or is explicitly hidden.

Informative

Content provided for information purposes and not required for conformance. Content required for conformance is referred to as normative.

Keyboard Accessible

Accessible to the user using a keyboard or assistive technologies that mimic keyboard input, such as a sip and puff tube. References in this document relate to WCAG 2.1 Guideline 2.1: Make all functionality available from a keyboard [WCAG21].

Landmark

A type of region on a page to which the user may want quick access. Content in such a region is different from that of other regions on the page and relevant to a specific user purpose, such as navigating, searching, perusing the primary content, etc.

Live Region

Live regions are perceivable regions of a web page that are typically updated as a result of an external event when user focus may be elsewhere. These regions are not always updated as a result of a user interaction. Examples of live regions include a chat log, stock ticker, or a sport scoring section that updates periodically to reflect game statistics. Since these asynchronous areas are expected to update outside the user's area of focus, assistive technologies such as screen readers have either been unaware of their existence or unable to process them for the user. WAI-ARIA has provided a collection of properties that allow the author to identify these live regions and process them: aria-live, aria-relevant, aria-atomic, and aria-busy.

Managed State

Accessibility API state that is controlled by the user agent, such as focus and selection. These are contrasted with "unmanaged states" that are typically controlled by the author. Nevertheless, authors can override some managed states, such as aria-posinset and aria-setsize. Many managed states have corresponding CSS pseudo-classes, such as :focus, and pseudo-elements, such as ::selection, that are also updated by the user agent.

Nemeth Braille

The Nemeth Braille Code for Mathematics is a braille code for encoding mathematical and scientific notation. See Nemeth Braille on Wikipedia.

Node

Basic type of object in the DOM tree or accessibility tree. DOM nodes are further specified as Element or Text nodes, among other types. The nodes of an accessibility tree are accessible objects.

Normative

Required for conformance. By contrast, content identified as informative or "non-normative" is not required for conformance.

Object

In the context of user interfaces, an item in the perceptual user experience, represented in markup languages by one or more elements, and rendered by user agents.

In the context of programming, the instantiation of one or more classes and interfaces which define the general characteristics of similar objects. An object in an accessibility API may represent one or more DOM objects. Accessibility APIs have defined interfaces that are distinct from DOM interfaces.
Ontology

A description of the characteristics of classes and how they relate to each other.

Operable

Usable by users in ways they can control. References in this document relate to WCAG 2.1 Principle 2: Content must be operable [WCAG21]. See Keyboard Accessible.

Owned Element

An 'owned element' is any DOM descendant of the element, any element specified as a child via aria-owns, or any DOM descendant of the owned child.

Perceivable

Presentable to users in ways they can sense. References in this document relate to WCAG 2.1 Principle 1: Content must be perceivable [WCAG21].

Property

Attributes that are essential to the nature of a given object, or that represent a data value associated with the object. A change of a property may significantly impact the meaning or presentation of an object. Certain properties (for example, aria-multiline) are less likely to change than states, but note that the frequency of change difference is not a rule. A few properties, such as aria-activedescendant, aria-valuenow, and aria-valuetext are expected to change often. See clarification of states versus properties.

Relationship

A connection between two distinct things. Relationships may be of various types to indicate which object labels another, controls another, etc.

Role

Main indicator of type. This semantic association allows tools to present and support interaction with the object in a manner that is consistent with user expectations about other objects of that type.

Semantics

The meaning of something as understood by a human, defined in a way that computers can process a representation of an object, such as elements and attributes, and reliably represent the object in a way that various humans will achieve a mutually consistent understanding of the object.

State

A state is a dynamic property expressing characteristics of an object that may change in response to user action or automated processes. States do not affect the essential nature of the object, but represent data associated with the object or user interaction possibilities. See clarification of states versus properties.

User Agent

Any software that retrieves, renders and facilitates end user interaction with Web content. This definition may differ from that used in other documents.

Valid IDREF

A reference to a target element in the same document that has a matching ID

Widget

Discrete user interface object with which the user can interact. Widgets range from simple objects that have one value or operation (e.g., check boxes and menu items), to complex objects that contain many managed sub-objects (e.g., trees and grids).

3. Conformance

The main content of Accessible Rich Internet Applications is normative and defines requirements that impact conformance claims. Introductory material, appendices, sections marked as "non-normative" and their subsections, diagrams, examples, and notes are informative (non-normative). Non-normative material provides advisory information to help interpret the guidelines but does not create requirements that impact a conformance claim.

Normative sections provide requirements that user agents must follow for an implementation to conform to this specification. The keywords MUST, MUST NOT, REQUIRED, SHALL, SHALL NOT, SHOULD, RECOMMENDED, MAY, and OPTIONAL in this document are to be interpreted as described in Keywords for use in RFCs to indicate requirement levels [RFC2119]. RFC-2119 keywords are formatted in uppercase and contained in an element with class="rfc2119". When the keywords shown above are used, but do not share this format, they do not convey formal information in the RFC 2119 sense, and are merely explanatory, i.e., informative. As much as possible, such usages are avoided in this specification.

Normative sections provide requirements that authors, user agents and assistive technologies MUST follow for an implementation to conform to this specification.

Non-normative (informative) sections provide information useful to understanding the specification. Such sections may contain examples of recommended practice, but it is not required to follow such recommendations in order to conform to this specification.

3.1 Non-interference with the Host Language

WAI-ARIA processing by the user agent MUST NOT interfere with the normal operation of the built-in features of the host language.

If a CSS selector includes a WAI-ARIA attribute (e.g., input[aria-invalid="true"]), user agents MUST update the visual display of any elements matching (or no longer matching) the selector any time the attribute is added/changed/removed in the DOM. The user agent MAY alter the mapping of the host language features into an accessibility API, but the user agent MUST NOT alter the DOM in order to remap WAI-ARIA markup into host language features.

3.2 All WAI-ARIA in DOM

A conforming user agent which implements a document object model that does not conform to the W3C DOM specification MUST include the content attribute for role and its WAI-ARIA role values, as well as the WAI-ARIA States and Properties in the DOM as specified by the author, even though processing may affect how the elements are exposed to accessibility APIs. Doing so ensures that each role attribute and all WAI-ARIA states and properties, including their values, are in the document in an unmodified form so other tools, such as assistive technologies, can access them. A conforming W3C DOM meets this criterion.

3.3 Assistive Technology Notifications Communicated to Web Applications

Assistive technologies, such as speech recognition systems and alternate input devices for users with mobility impairments, require the ability to control a web application in a device-independent way. WAI-ARIA states and properties reflect the current state of rich internet application components. The ability for assistive technologies to notify web applications of necessary changes is essential because it allows these alternative input solutions to control an application without being dependent on the standard input device which the user is unable to effectively control directly.

User agents MUST provide a method to notify the web application when a change occurs to states or properties in the system accessibility API. Likewise, web application authors SHOULD update the web application accordingly when notified of a change request from the user agent or assistive technology.

Note

Many state and properties can be changed by assistive technologies through existing accessibility APIs by responding to a default action event. For example, the aria-selected state of a tab in a tabpanel can be changed by triggering the default action on the element.

3.4 Conformance Checkers

Any application or script verifying document conformance or validity SHOULD include a test for all of the normative author requirements in this specification. If testing for a given requirement, conformance checkers MUST issue an error if an author "MUST" requirement isn't met, and MUST issue a warning if an author "SHOULD" requirement isn't met.

3.5 Deprecated Requirements

As the technology evolves, sometimes new ways to meet a use case become available, that work better than a feature that was previously defined. But because of existing implementation of the older feature, that feature cannot be removed from the conformance model without rendering formerly conforming content non-conforming. In this case, the older feature is marked as "deprecated". This indicates that the feature is allowed in the conformance model and expected to be supported by user agents, but it is recommended that authors do not use it for new content. In future versions of the specification, if the feature is no longer widely used, the feature could be removed and no longer expected to be supported by user agents.

4. Using WAI-ARIA

Complex web applications become inaccessible when assistive technologies cannot determine the semantics behind portions of a document or when the user is unable to effectively navigate to all parts of it in a usable way (see WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices). WAI-ARIA divides the semantics into roles (the type defining a user interface element) and states and properties supported by the roles.

Authors need to associate elements in the document to a WAI-ARIA role and the appropriate states and properties (aria-* attributes) during its life-cycle, unless the elements already have the appropriate implicit WAI-ARIA semantics for states and properties. In these instances the equivalent host language states and properties take precedence to avoid a conflict while the role attribute will take precedence over the implicit role of the host language element.

4.1 WAI-ARIA Roles

A WAI-ARIA role is set on an element using a role attribute, similar to the role attribute defined in Role Attribute [ROLE-ATTRIBUTE].

<li role="menuitem">Open file…</li>

The definition of each role in the model provides the following information :

Attaching a role gives assistive technologies information about how to handle each element. When WAI-ARIA roles override host language semantics, there are no changes in the DOM, only in the accessibility tree.

User agents MUST use the first token in the sequence of tokens in the role attribute value that matches the name of any non-abstract WAI-ARIA role. The following steps will correctly identify the applicable WAI-ARIA role:

  1. Use the rules of the host language to detect that an element has a role attribute and to identify the attribute value string for it.
  2. Separate the attribute value string for that attribute into a sequence of whitespace-free substrings by separating on whitespace.
  3. Compare the substrings to all the names of the non-abstract WAI-ARIA roles. Case-sensitivity of the comparison inherits from the case-sensitivity of the host language.
  4. Use the first such substring in textual order that matches the name of a non-abstract WAI-ARIA role.

4.2 WAI-ARIA States and Properties

WAI-ARIA provides a collection of accessibility states and properties which are used to support platform accessibility APIs on various operating system platforms. Assistive technologies may access this information through an exposed user agent DOM or through a mapping to the platform accessibility API. When combined with roles, the user agent can supply the assistive technologies with user interface information to convey to the user at any time. Changes in states or properties will result in a notification to assistive technologies, which could alert the user that a change has occurred.

In the following example, a list item (html:li) has been used to create a checkable menu item, and JavaScript events will capture mouse and keyboard events to toggle the value of aria-checked. A role is used to make the behavior of this simple widget known to the user agent. Attributes that change with user actions (such as aria-checked) are defined in the states and properties section.

<li role="menuitemcheckbox" aria-checked="true">Sort by Last Modified</li>

Some accessibility states, called managed states, are controlled by the user agent. Examples of managed state include keyboard focus and selection. Managed states often have corresponding CSS pseudo-classes (such as :focus and ::selection) to define style changes. In contrast, the states in this specification are typically controlled by the author and are called unmanaged states. Some states are managed by the user agent, such as aria-posinset and aria-setsize, but the author can override them if the DOM is incomplete and would cause the user agent calculation to be incorrect. User agents map both managed and unmanaged states to the platform accessibility APIs.

Most modern user agents support CSS attribute selectors ([CSS3-SELECTORS]), and can allow the author to create UI changes based on WAI-ARIA attribute information, reducing the amount of scripts necessary to achieve equivalent functionality. In the following example, a CSS selector is used to determine whether or not the text is bold and an image of a check mark is shown, based on the value of the aria-checked attribute.

[aria-checked="true"] { font-weight: bold; }
[aria-checked="true"]::before { background-image: url(checked.gif); }

If CSS is not used to toggle the visual representation of the check mark, the author could include additional markup and scripts to manage an image that represents whether or not the menuitemcheckbox is checked.

<li role="menuitemcheckbox" aria-checked="true">
  <img src="checked.gif" role="presentation" alt="">
  <!-- note: additional scripts required to toggle image source -->
  Sort by Last Modified
</li>

4.3 Managing Focus and Supporting Keyboard Navigation

When using standard HTML interactive elements and simple WAI-ARIA widgets, application developers can manipulate the tab order or associate keyboard shortcuts with elements in the document.

WAI-ARIA includes a number of "managing container" widgets, also known as "composite" widgets. When appropriate, the container is responsible for tracking the last descendant that was active (the default is usually the first item in the container). It is essential that a container maintain a usable and consistent strategy when focus leaves a container and is then later refocused. While there may be exceptions, it is recommended that when a previously focused container is refocused, the active descendant be the same element as the active descendant when the container was last focused. Exceptions include cases where the contents of a container widget have changed, and widgets like a menubar where the user expects to always return to the first item when focus leaves the menu bar. For example, if the second item of a tree group was the active descendant when the user tabbed out of the tree group, then the second item of the tree group remains the active descendant when the tree group gets focus again. The user may also activate the container by clicking on one of the descendants within it. When the container or its active descendant has focus, the user may navigate through the container by pressing additional keys, such as the arrow keys, to change the currently active descendant. Any additional press of the main navigation key (generally the TAB key) will move out of the container to the next widget.

Usable keyboard navigation in a rich internet application is different from the tabbing paradigm among interactive elements, such as links and form controls, in a static document. In rich internet applications, the user tabs to significantly complex widgets, such as a menu or spreadsheet, and uses the arrow keys to navigate within the widget. The changes that WAI-ARIA introduces to keyboard navigation make this enhanced accessibility possible. In WAI-ARIA, any element can be keyboard focusable. In addition to host language mechanisms such as tabindex, aria-activedescendant provides another mechanism for keyboard operation. Most other aspects of WAI-ARIA widget development depend on keyboard navigation functioning properly.

When implementing aria-activedescendant as described below, the user agent keeps the DOM focus on the container element or on an input element that controls the container element. However, the user agent communicates desktop focus events and states to the assistive technology as if the element referenced by aria-activedescendant has focus. User agents are not expected to validate that the active descendant is a descendant of the container element. It is the responsibility of the user agent to ensure that keyboard events are processed at the element that has DOM focus. Any keyboard events directed at the active descendant bubble up to the DOM element with focus for processing.

4.3.1 Information for Authors

If the author removes the element with focus, the author SHOULD move focus to a logical element. Similarly, authors SHOULD not scroll the element with focus off screen unless the user performed a scrolling action.

Authors SHOULD ensure that all interactive elements are focusable and that all parts of composite widgets are either focusable or have a documented alternative method to achieve their function.

Authors MUST manage focus on the following container roles:

User agents that support WAI-ARIA expand the usage of host language mechanisms such as tabindex, focus, and blur to allow them on all elements. Where the host language supports it, authors MAY add any element such as a div, span, or img to the default tab order by setting tabindex="0". In addition, any item with tabindex equal to a negative integer is focusable via script or a mouse click, but is not part of the default tab order. This is supported in both [HTML] and [SVG2].

Authors MAY use aria-activedescendant to inform assistive technologies which descendant of a widget element is treated as having keyboard focus in the user interface if the role of the widget element supports aria-activedescendant. This is often a more convenient way of providing keyboard navigation within widgets, such as a listbox, where the widget occupies only one stop in the page Tab sequence and other keys, typically arrow keys, are used to focus elements inside the widget.

Typically, the author will use host language semantics to put the widget in the Tab sequence (e.g., tabindex="0" in HTML) and aria-activedescendant to point to the ID of the currently active descendant. The author, not the user agent, is responsible for styling the currently active descendant to show it has keyboard focus. The author cannot use :focus to style the currently active descendant since the actual focus is on the container.

More information on managing focus can be found in the Developing a Keyboard Interface section of the WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices.

4.3.2 Information for User Agents

The user agent MUST do the following to implement aria-activedescendant:

  1. Implement the host language method for keyboard navigation so that widgets that support aria-activedescendant may be included in the tab order.
  2. For platforms that expose desktop focus or accessibility API focus separately from DOM focus, do not expose the focused state in the accessibility API for any element when it has DOM focus and also has aria-activedescendant which points to a valid ID reference.
  3. When the aria-activedescendant attribute changes on an element that currently has DOM focus, remove the focused state from the previously focused object and fire an accessibility API desktop focus event on the new element referenced by aria-activedescendant. If aria-activedescendant is cleared or does not point to an element in the current document, fire a desktop focus event for the object that had the attribute change.
  4. Apply the following accessibility API states to any element with an ID attribute that can be referenced by an element with both an aria-activedescendant attribute and has DOM focus. There are two ways an element can be referenced by aria-activedescendant. One way is when it is owned by an element with aria-activedescendant and the other is when it is owned by an element that is controlled by an element with role of combobox, textbox or searchbox with an aria-activedescendant attribute:
    1. Focusable, if the element also has a WAI-ARIA role. The element needs to be focusable because it could be referenced by the aria-activedescendant attribute. Native elements that have no role attribute do not need to be checked; their native semantics determine the focusable state.
    2. Focused, whenever the element is the target of the aria-activedescendant attribute and the element with the aria-activedescendant attribute has DOM focus.

When an assistive technology uses its platform's accessibility API to request a change of focus, user agents MUST do the following:

  1. Remove the platform's focused state from the previously focused object.
  2. Set the DOM focus:
    1. If the element can take DOM focus, the user agent MUST set the DOM focus to it.
    2. Otherwise, if the current element has an ID and the ID is referenced by the aria-activedescendant attribute of an element that is focusable, the user agent MUST set DOM focus to the element that has the aria-activedescendant attribute.
      Note

      An element with an ID can be referenced when it is owned by a container element that has the aria-activedescendant attribute or by a container element that is controlled by an element that has the aria-activedescendant attribute (e.g. see combobox). Otherwise the aria-activedescendant attribute reference indicates an author error.

      Note

      The inability to set DOM focus to the containing element indicates an author error.

    3. Otherwise, the user agent MAY attempt to set DOM focus to the child element itself.
  3. If the current element has an ID and is owned by either a container element with both an aria-activedescendant attribute and has DOM focus, or by a container element that is controlled by an element with both an aria-activedescendant attribute and has DOM focus, the user agent MUST set the accessibility API focused state and fire an accessibility API focus event on the element identified by the value of aria-activedescendant.

5. The Roles Model

This section defines WAI-ARIA roles and describes their characteristics and properties.

The roles, their characteristics, the states and properties they support, and specification of how they may be used in markup, shall be considered normative.

In order to reflect the content in the DOM, user agents SHOULD map the role attribute to the appropriate value in the implemented accessibility API, and user agents SHOULD update the mapping when the role attribute changes.

5.1 Relationships Between Concepts

The Roles Model uses the following relationships to relate WAI-ARIA roles to each other and to concepts from other specifications, such as HTML.

5.1.1 Superclass Role

The role that the current subclassed role extends in the Roles Model. This extension causes all the properties and constraints of the superclass role to propagate to the subclass role. Other than well known stable specifications, inheritance may be restricted to items defined inside this specification, so that external items cannot be changed and affect inherited classes.

5.1.2 Subclass Roles

Informative list of roles for which this role is the superclass. This is provided to facilitate reading of the specification but adds no new information.

Informative data about a similar or related idea from other specifications. Concepts that are related are not necessarily identical. Related concepts do not inherit properties from each other. Hence if the definition of one concept changes, the properties, behavior, and definition of its related concept is not affected.

For example, a progress bar is like a status indicator. Therefore, the progressbar widget has a related concept which includes status. However, if the definition of status is modified, the definition of a progressbar is not affected.

5.1.4 Base Concept

Informative data about objects that are considered prototypes for the role. Base concept is similar to type, but without inheritance of limitations and properties. Base concepts are designed as a substitute for inheritance for external concepts. A base concept is like a related concept except that the base concept is almost identical to the role definition.

For example, the checkbox defined in this document has similar functionality and anticipated behavior to a <input[type="checkbox"]> defined in [HTML]. Therefore, a checkbox has an [HTML] checkbox as a baseConcept. However, if the original [HTML] checkbox baseConcept definition is modified, the definition of a checkbox in this document will not be affected, because there is no actual inheritance of the respective type.

5.2 Characteristics of Roles

Roles are defined and described by their characteristics. Characteristics define the structural function of a role, such as what a role is, concepts behind it, and what instances the role can or must contain. In the case of widgets this also includes how it interacts with the user agent based on mapping to HTML forms. States and properties from WAI-ARIA that are supported by the role are also indicated.

Roles define the following characteristics.

5.2.1 Abstract Roles

Values
Boolean

Abstract roles are the foundation upon which all other WAI-ARIA roles are built. Content authors MUST NOT use abstract roles because they are not implemented in the API binding. User agents MUST NOT map abstract roles to the standard role mechanism of the accessibility API. Abstract roles are provided to help with the following:

  1. Organize the Roles Model and provide roles with a meaning in the context of known concepts.
  2. Streamline the addition of roles that include necessary features.

5.2.2 Required States and Properties

States and properties specifically required for the role and subclass roles. Content authors MUST provide a non-empty value for required states and properties. Content authors MUST NOT use the value undefined for required states and properties, unless undefined is an explicitly-supported value of that state or property.

When an object inherits from multiple ancestors and one ancestor indicates that property is supported while another ancestor indicates that it is required, the property is required in the inheriting object.

Note

A host language attribute with the appropriate implicit WAI-ARIA semantic fulfills this requirement.

5.2.3 Supported States and Properties

States and properties specifically applicable to the role and child roles. Content authors MAY provide values for supported states and properties, but need not in cases where default values are sufficient. User agents MUST map all supported states and properties for the role to an accessibility API. If the state or property is undefined and it has a default value for the role, user agents SHOULD expose the default value.

Note

A host language attribute with the appropriate implicit WAI-ARIA semantic fulfills this requirement.

5.2.4 Inherited States and Properties

Informative list of properties that are inherited by a role from superclass roles. States and properties are inherited from superclass roles in the Roles Model, not from ancestor elements in the DOM tree. These properties are not explicitly defined on the role, as the inheritance of properties is automatic. This information is provided to facilitate reading of the specification. The set of supported states and properties combined with inherited states and properties forms the full set of states and properties supported by the role.

5.2.5 Prohibited States and Properties

List of states and properties that are prohibited on a role. Authors MUST NOT specify a prohibited state or property.

Note

A host language attribute with the appropriate implicit WAI-ARIA semantic would also prohibit a state or property in this section.

5.2.6 Required Owned Elements

Any element that will be owned by the element with this role. For example, an element with the role list will own at least one element with the role listitem.

When multiple roles are specified as required owned elements for a role, at least one instance of one required owned element is expected. This specification does not require an instance of each of the listed owned roles. For example, a menu should have at least one instance of a menuitem, menuitemcheckbox, or menuitemradio. The menu role does not require one instance of each.

There may be times that required owned elements are missing, for example, while editing or while loading a data set. When a widget is missing required owned elements due to script execution or loading, authors MUST mark a containing element with aria-busy equal to true. For example, until a page is fully initialized and complete, an author could mark the document element as busy.

Note

A role that has 'required owned elements' does not imply the reverse relationship. While processing of a role may be incomplete without elements of given roles present as descendants, elements with roles in this list do not always have to be found within elements of the given role. See required context role for requirements about the context where elements of a given role will be contained.

Note

An element with a subclass role of the 'required owned element' does not fulfill this requirement. For example, the listbox role requires ownership of an element using the option or group role. Although the group role is the superclass of row, adding an owned element with a role of row will not fulfill the requirement that listbox owns an option or a group.

Note

An element with the appropriate implicit WAI-ARIA semantic fulfills this requirement.

5.2.7 Required Context Role

The required context role defines the owning container where this role is allowed. If a role has a required context, authors MUST ensure that an element with the role is contained inside (or owned by) an element with the required context role. For example, an element with role listitem is only meaningful when contained inside (or owned by) an element with role list.

Note

A role that has 'required context role' does not imply the reverse relationship. While an element with the given role needs to appear within an element of the listed role(s) in order to be meaningful, elements of the listed roles do not always need descendant elements of the given role in order to be meaningful. See required owned elements for requirements about elements that require presence of a given descendant to be processed properly.

Note

An element with the appropriate implicit WAI-ARIA semantic fulfills this requirement.

5.2.8 Accessible Name Calculation

Values
One of the following values:
  1. author: name comes from values provided by the author in explicit markup features such as the aria-label attribute, the aria-labelledby attribute, or the host language labeling mechanism, such as the alt or title attributes in HTML, with HTML title attribute having the lowest precedence for specifying a text alternative.
  2. contents: name comes from the text value of the element node. Although this may be allowed in addition to "author" in some roles, this is used in content only if higher priority "author" features are not provided. Priority is defined by the accessible name and description computation algorithm [ACCNAME-1.2].
  3. encapsulation: name comes from the text value of the element node with role label that is the closest ancestor. Although "encapsulation" may be allowed in addition to "author" and "contents" in some roles, "encapsulation" is used only if higher priority "author" features are not provided. Priority is defined by the accessible name and description computation algorithm.
  4. legend: name comes from the text value of the first descendant element node with the role of legend. Although "legend" may be allowed in addition to "author" in some roles, "legend" is used in content only if higher priority "author" features are not provided. Priority is defined by the accessible name and description computation algorithm.
  5. prohibited: the element has no name. Authors MUST NOT use the aria-label or aria-labelledby attributes to name the element.
5.2.8.1 Name Computation

Name Computation is defined in the Accessible Name and Description specification.

5.2.8.2 Description Computation

Description Computation is defined in the Accessible Name and Description specification.

5.2.8.3 Accessible Name and Description Computation

Accessible Name and Description Computation is defined in the Accessible Name and Description specification.

5.2.8.4 Roles Supporting Name from Author
5.2.8.5 Roles Supporting Name from Content
5.2.8.6 Roles Supporting Name from Encapsulation
5.2.8.7 Roles Supporting Name from Legend
5.2.8.8 Roles which cannot be named (Name prohibited)

5.2.9 Presentational Children

Values

Boolean (true | false)

The DOM descendants are presentational. User agents SHOULD NOT expose descendants of this element through the platform accessibility API. If user agents do not hide the descendant nodes, some information may be read twice.

5.2.10 Implicit Value for Role

Many states and properties have default values. Occasionally, the default value when used on a given role should be different from the usual default. Roles that require a state or property to have a non-standard default value indicate this in the "Implicit Value for Role". This is expressed in the form "Default for state or property name is new default value". Roles that define this have the new default value for the state or property if the author does not provide an explicit value.

5.3 Categorization of Roles

To support the current user scenario, this specification categorizes roles that define user interface widgets (sliders, tree controls, etc.) and those that define page structure (sections, navigation, etc.). Note that some assistive technologies provide special modes of interaction for regions marked with role application or document.

A visual description of the relationships among roles is available in the ARIA 1.2 Class Diagram.

Roles are categorized as follows:

  1. Abstract Roles
  2. Widget Roles
  3. Document Structure Roles
  4. Landmark Roles
  5. Live Region Roles
  6. Window Roles

5.3.1 Abstract Roles

The following roles are used to support the WAI-ARIA Roles Model for the purpose of defining general role concepts.

Abstract roles are used for the ontology. Authors MUST NOT use abstract roles in content.

5.3.2 Widget Roles

The following roles act as standalone user interface widgets or as part of larger, composite widgets.

The following roles act as composite user interface widgets. These roles typically act as containers that manage other, contained widgets.

5.3.3 Document Structure Roles

The following roles describe structures that organize content in a page. Document structures are not usually interactive.

5.3.4 Landmark Roles

The following roles are regions of the page intended as navigational landmarks. All of these roles inherit from the landmark base type and all are imported from the Role Attribute [ROLE-ATTRIBUTE]. The roles are included here in order to make them clearly part of the WAI-ARIA Roles Model.

5.3.5 Live Region Roles

The following roles are live regions and may be modified by live region attributes.

5.3.6 Window Roles

The following roles act as windows within the browser or application.

5.4 Definition of Roles

Below is an alphabetical list of WAI-ARIA roles to be used by authors.

Abstract roles are used for the ontology. Authors MUST NOT use abstract roles in content.

alert
A type of live region with important, and usually time-sensitive, information. See related alertdialog and status.
alertdialog
A type of dialog that contains an alert message, where initial focus goes to an element within the dialog. See related alert and dialog.
application
A structure containing one or more focusable elements requiring user input, such as keyboard or gesture events, that do not follow a standard interaction pattern supported by a widget role.
article
A section of a page that consists of a composition that forms an independent part of a document, page, or site.
associationlist
A section containing associationlistitemkey and associationlistitemvalue elements.
associationlistitemkey
A single key item in an association list.
associationlistitemvalue
A single value item in an association list.
banner
A landmark that contains mostly site-oriented content, rather than page-specific content.
blockquote
A section of content that is quoted from another source.
button
An input that allows for user-triggered actions when clicked or pressed. See related link.
caption
Visible content that names, and may also describe, a figure, table, grid, or treegrid.
cell
A cell in a tabular container. See related gridcell.
checkbox
A checkable input that has three possible values: true, false, or mixed.
code
A section whose content represents a fragment of computer code.
columnheader
A cell containing header information for a column.
combobox
An input that controls another element, such as a listbox or grid, that can dynamically pop up to help the user set the value of the input.
command (abstract role)
A form of widget that performs an action but does not receive input data.
comment
A comment contains content expressing reaction to other content.
complementary
A landmark that is designed to be complementary to the main content at a similar level in the DOM hierarchy, but remaining meaningful when separated from the main content.
composite (abstract role)
A widget that may contain navigable descendants or owned children.
contentinfo
A landmark that contains information about the parent document.
definition
A definition of a term or concept. See related term.
deletion
A deletion contains content that is marked as removed or content that is being suggested for removal. See related insertion.
dialog
A dialog is a descendant window of the primary window of a web application. For HTML pages, the primary application window is the entire web document, i.e., the body element.
directory
[Deprecated in ARIA 1.2] A list of references to members of a group, such as a static table of contents.
document
An element containing content that assistive technology users may want to browse in a reading mode.
emphasis
One or more emphasized characters. See related strong.
feed
A scrollable list of articles where scrolling may cause articles to be added to or removed from either end of the list.
figure
A perceivable section of content that typically contains a graphical document, images, code snippets, or example text. The parts of a figure MAY be user-navigable.
form
A landmark region that contains a collection of items and objects that, as a whole, combine to create a form. See related search.
generic
A nameless container element that has no semantic meaning on its own.
grid
A composite widget containing a collection of one or more rows with one or more cells where some or all cells in the grid are focusable by using methods of two-dimensional navigation, such as directional arrow keys.
gridcell
A cell in a grid or treegrid.
group
A set of user interface objects that is not intended to be included in a page summary or table of contents by assistive technologies.
heading
A heading for a section of the page.
img
A container for a collection of elements that form an image.
input (abstract role)
A generic type of widget that allows user input.
insertion
An insertion contains content that is marked as added or content that is being suggested for addition. See related deletion.
label
A visible name or caption for a user interface component.
landmark (abstract role)
A perceivable section containing content that is relevant to a specific, author-specified purpose and sufficiently important that users will likely want to be able to navigate to the section easily and to have it listed in a summary of the page. Such a page summary could be generated dynamically by a user agent or assistive technology.
legend
A visible name or caption for a group of related user interface components.
link
An interactive reference to an internal or external resource that, when activated, causes the user agent to navigate to that resource. See related button.
list
A section containing listitem elements. See related listbox.
listbox
A widget that allows the user to select one or more items from a list of choices. See related combobox and list.
listitem
A single item in a list or directory.
log
A type of live region where new information is added in meaningful order and old information may disappear. See related marquee.
main
A landmark containing the main content of a document.
mark
Content which is marked or highlighted for reference or notation purposes, due to the content's relevance in the enclosing context.
marquee
A type of live region where non-essential information changes frequently. See related log.
math
Content that represents a mathematical expression.
meter
An element that represents a scalar measurement within a known range, or a fractional value. See related progressbar.
menu
A type of widget that offers a list of choices to the user.
menubar
A presentation of menu that usually remains visible and is usually presented horizontally.
menuitem
An option in a set of choices contained by a menu or menubar.
menuitemcheckbox
A menuitem with a checkable state whose possible values are true, false, or mixed.
menuitemradio
A checkable menuitem in a set of elements with the same role, only one of which can be checked at a time.
navigation
A landmark containing a collection of navigational elements (usually links) for navigating the document or related documents.
none
An element whose implicit native role semantics will not be mapped to the accessibility API. See synonym presentation.
note
A section whose content is parenthetic or ancillary to the main content of the resource.
option
A selectable item in a listbox.
paragraph
A paragraph of content.
presentation
An element whose implicit native role semantics will not be mapped to the accessibility API. See synonym none.
progressbar
An element that displays the progress status for tasks that take a long time.
radio
A checkable input in a group of elements with the same role, only one of which can be checked at a time.
radiogroup
A group of radio buttons.
range (abstract role)
An element representing a range of values.
region
A landmark containing content that is relevant to a specific, author-specified purpose and sufficiently important that users will likely want to be able to navigate to the section easily and to have it listed in a summary of the page. Such a page summary could be generated dynamically by a user agent or assistive technology.
roletype (abstract role)
The base role from which all other roles inherit.
row
A row of cells in a tabular container.
rowgroup
A structure containing one or more row elements in a tabular container.
rowheader
A cell containing header information for a row.
scrollbar
A graphical object that controls the scrolling of content within a viewing area, regardless of whether the content is fully displayed within the viewing area.
search
A landmark region that contains a collection of items and objects that, as a whole, combine to create a search facility. See related form and searchbox.
searchbox
A type of textbox intended for specifying search criteria. See related textbox and search.
section (abstract role)
A renderable structural containment unit in a document or application.
sectionhead (abstract role)
A structure that labels or summarizes the topic of its related section.
select (abstract role)
A form widget that allows the user to make selections from a set of choices.
separator
A divider that separates and distinguishes sections of content or groups of menuitems.
slider
An input where the user selects a value from within a given range.
spinbutton
A form of range that expects the user to select from among discrete choices.
status
A type of live region whose content is advisory information for the user but is not important enough to justify an alert, often but not necessarily presented as a status bar.
strong
Content that is important, serious, or urgent. See related emphasis.
structure (abstract role)
A document structural element.
subscript
One or more subscripted characters. See related superscript.
suggestion
A single proposed change to content.
superscript
One or more superscripted characters. See related superscript.
switch
A type of checkbox that represents on/off values, as opposed to checked/unchecked values. See related checkbox.
tab
A grouping label providing a mechanism for selecting the tab content that is to be rendered to the user.
table
A section containing data arranged in rows and columns. See related grid.
tablist
A list of tab elements, which are references to tabpanel elements.
tabpanel
A container for the resources associated with a tab, where each tab is contained in a tablist.
term
A word or phrase with a corresponding definition. See related definition.
textbox
A type of input that allows free-form text as its value.
time
An element that represents a specific point in time.
timer
A type of live region containing a numerical counter which indicates an amount of elapsed time from a start point, or the time remaining until an end point.
toolbar
A collection of commonly used function buttons or controls represented in compact visual form.
tooltip
A contextual popup that displays a description for an element.
tree
A widget that allows the user to select one or more items from a hierarchically organized collection.
treegrid
A grid whose rows can be expanded and collapsed in the same manner as for a tree.
treeitem
An option item of a tree. This is an element within a tree that may be expanded or collapsed if it contains a sub-level group of tree item elements.
widget (abstract role)
An interactive component of a graphical user interface (GUI).
window (abstract role)
A browser or application window.

alert role

A type of live region with important, and usually time-sensitive, information. See related alertdialog and status.

Alerts are used to convey messages that may be immediately important to users. In the case of audio warnings, alerts provide an accessible alternative for hearing-impaired users. The alert role is applied to the element containing the alert message. An alert is a specialized form of the status role, which is processed as an atomic live region.

Alerts are assertive live regions, which means they cause immediate notification for assistive technology users. If the operating system allows, the user agent SHOULD fire a system alert event through the accessibility API when the WAI-ARIA alert is created.

Neither authors nor user agents are required to set or manage focus to an alert in order for it to be processed. Since alerts are not required to receive focus, authors SHOULD NOT require users to close an alert. If an author desires focus to move to a message when it is conveyed, the author SHOULD use alertdialog instead of alert.

Elements with the role alert have an implicit aria-live value of assertive, and an implicit aria-atomic value of true.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Subclass Roles:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Implicit Value for Role: Default for aria-live is assertive.
Default for aria-atomic is true.

alertdialog role

A type of dialog that contains an alert message, where initial focus goes to an element within the dialog. See related alert and dialog.

Alert dialogs are used to convey messages to alert the user. The alertdialog role goes on the node containing both the alert message and the rest of the dialog. Content authors SHOULD make alert dialogs modal by ensuring that, while the alertdialog is shown, keyboard and mouse interactions only operate within the dialog. See aria-modal.

Unlike alert, alertdialog can receive a response from the user. For example, to confirm that the user understands the alert being generated. When the alert dialog is displayed, authors SHOULD set focus to an active element within the alert dialog, such as a form control or confirmation button. The user agent SHOULD fire a system alert event through the accessibility API when the alert is created, provided one is specified by the intended accessibility API.

Authors SHOULD use aria-describedby on an alertdialog to reference the alert message element in the dialog. If they do not, an assistive technology can resort to its internal recovery mechanism to determine the contents of the alert message.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Accessible Name Required: True

application role

A structure containing one or more focusable elements requiring user input, such as keyboard or gesture events, that do not follow a standard interaction pattern supported by a widget role.

Some user agents and assistive technologies have a browse mode where standard input events, such as up and down arrow key events, are intercepted and used to control a reading cursor. This browse mode behavior prevents elements that do not have a widget role from receiving and using such keyboard and gesture events to provide interactive functionality.

When there is a need to create an element with an interaction model that is not supported by any of the WAI-ARIA widget roles, authors MAY give that element role application. And, when a user navigates into an element with role application, assistive technologies that intercept standard input events SHOULD switch to a mode that passes most or all standard input events through to the web application.

For example, a presentation slide editor uses arrow keys to change the positions of textbox and image elements on the slide. There are not any WAI-ARIA widget roles that correspond to such an interaction model so an author could give the slide container role application, an aria-roledescription of "Slide Editor", and use aria-describedby to provide instructions.

Because only the focusable elements contained in an application element are accessible to users of some assistive technologies, authors MUST use one of the following techniques to ensure all non-decorative static text or image content inside an application is accessible:

  1. Associate the content with a focusable element using aria-labelledby or aria-describedby.
  2. Place the content in a focusable element that has role document or article.
  3. Manage focus of owned elements as described in Managing Focus, updating the value of aria-activedescendant to reference the element containing the focused content.
Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: structure
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Accessible Name Required: True

article role

A section of a page that consists of a composition that forms an independent part of a document, page, or site.

An article is not a navigational landmark, but may be nested to form a discussion where assistive technologies could pay attention to article nesting to assist the user in following the discussion. An article could be a forum post, a magazine or newspaper article, a web log entry, a user-submitted comment, or any other independent item of content. It is independent in that its contents could stand alone, for example in syndication. However, the element is still associated with its ancestors; for instance, contact information that applies to a parent body element still covers the article as well. When nesting articles, the child articles represent content that is related to the content of the parent article. For instance, a web log entry on a site that accepts user-submitted comments could represent the comments as articles nested within the article for the web log entry. Author, heading, date, or other information associated with an article does not apply to nested articles.

When the user navigates to an element assigned the role of article, assistive technologies that typically intercept standard keyboard events SHOULD switch to document browsing mode, as opposed to passing keyboard events through to the web application. Assistive technologies MAY provide a feature allowing the user to navigate the hierarchy of any nested article elements.

When an article is in the context of a feed, the author MAY specify values for aria-posinset and aria-setsize.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: document
Subclass Roles:
Related Concepts:
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

associationlist role

A section containing associationlistitemkey and associationlistitemvalue elements.

Association lists contain children whose role is associationlistitemkey and associationlistitemvalue to represent a list of key items each having one or more values.

Author requirements for elements whose role is associationlist:

  • MUST only use an element with role associationlistitemkey as the first child in the associationlist.
  • MUST contain at least one element with role associationlistitemkey.
  • Each element with role associationlistitemkey SHOULD have at least one following sibling element with role associationlistitemvalue.
Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Base Concept: HTML dl
Required Owned Elements:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

associationlistitemkey role

A single key item in an association list.

Author requirements for elements whose role is associationlistitemkey:

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Base Concept: HTML dt
Related Concepts:
Required Context Role: associationlist
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

associationlistitemvalue role

A single value item in an association list.

Author requirements for elements whose role is associationlistitemvalue:

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Base Concept: HTML dd
Related Concepts:
Required Context Role: associationlist
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

blockquote role

A section of content that is quoted from another source.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Related Concepts:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

button role

An input that allows for user-triggered actions when clicked or pressed. See related link.

Buttons are mostly used for discrete actions. Standardizing the appearance of buttons enhances the user's recognition of the widgets as buttons and allows for a more compact display in toolbars.

Buttons support the optional attribute aria-pressed. Buttons with a non-empty aria-pressed attribute are toggle buttons. When aria-pressed is true the button is in a "pressed" state, when aria-pressed is false it is not pressed. If the attribute is not present, the button is a simple command button.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: command
Base Concept: <button> in [HTML]
Related Concepts:
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • contents
  • author
Accessible Name Required: True
Children Presentational: True

caption role

Visible content that names, and may also describe, a figure, table, grid, or treegrid.

When using caption authors SHOULD ensure:

  • The caption is a direct child of a figure, table, grid, or treegrid.
  • The caption is the first child of a table, grid, or treegrid.
  • The caption is the first or last child of a figure.

Authors SHOULD set aria-labelledby on the parent figure, table, grid, or treegrid to reference the element with role caption. However, if a caption contains content that serves as both a name and description for its parent, authors MAY instead set aria-labelledby to reference an element within the caption that contains a concise name, and set aria-describedby to reference an element within the caption that contains the descriptive content.

<div role="table" aria-labelledby="name" aria-describedby="desc">
   <div role="caption">
     <div id="name">Contest Entrants</div>
     <div id="desc">
       This table shows the total number of entrants (500) the
       contest accepted over the past four weeks.
     </div>
   </div>
   <!-- ... -->
Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Related Concepts:
Required Context Role:
Inherited States and Properties:
Prohibited States and Properties:
Name From: prohibited

cell role

A cell in a tabular container. See related gridcell.

Authors MUST ensure elements with role cell are contained in, or owned by, an element with the role row.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Subclass Roles:
Base Concept: <td> in [HTML]
Required Context Role: row
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • contents
  • author

checkbox role

A checkable input that has three possible values: true, false, or mixed.

The aria-checked attribute of a checkbox indicates whether the input is checked (true), unchecked (false), or represents a group of elements that have a mixture of checked and unchecked values (mixed). Many checkboxes do not use the mixed value, and thus are effectively boolean checkboxes.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: input
Subclass Roles:
Related Concepts:
Required States and Properties:
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • contents
  • encapsulation
  • author
Accessible Name Required: True
Children Presentational: True

code role

A section whose content represents a fragment of computer code.

The primary purpose of the code role is to inform assistive technologies that the content is computer code and thus may require special presentation, in particular with respect to synthesized speech. More specifically, screen readers and other tools which provide text-to-speech presentation of content SHOULD prefer full punctuation verbosity to ensure common symbols (e.g. "-") are spoken.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Related Concepts:
Inherited States and Properties:
Prohibited States and Properties:
Name From: prohibited

columnheader role

A cell containing header information for a column.

columnheader can be used as a column header in a table or grid. It could also be used in a pie chart to show a similar relationship in the data.

The columnheader establishes a relationship between it and all cells in the corresponding column. It is the structural equivalent to an HTML th element with a column scope.

Authors MUST ensure elements with role columnheader are contained in, or owned by, an element with the role row.

Applying the aria-selected state on a columnheader MUST not cause the user agent to automatically propagate the aria-selected state to all the cells in the corresponding column. An author MAY choose to propagate selection in this manner depending on the specific application.

While the columnheader role can be used in both interactive grids and non-interactive tables, the use of aria-readonly and aria-required is only applicable to interactive elements. Therefore, authors SHOULD NOT use aria-required or aria-readonly in a columnheader that descends from a table, and user agents SHOULD NOT expose either property to assistive technologies unless the columnheader descends from a grid.

Note

Because cells are organized into rows, there is not a single container element for the column. The column is the set of gridcell elements in a particular position within their respective row containers.

Note: Usage of aria-disabled

While aria-disabled is currently supported on columnheader, in a future version the working group plans to prohibit its use on elements with role columnheader except when the element is in the context of a grid or treegrid.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role:
Base Concept: <th[scope="col"]> in [HTML]
Required Context Role: row
Supported States and Properties: aria-sort
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • contents
  • author
Accessible Name Required: True

combobox role

An input that controls another element, such as a listbox or grid, that can dynamically pop up to help the user set the value of the input.

Editor's note: Major Changes to combobox role in ARIA 1.2

The Guidance for combobox has changed significantly in ARIA 1.2 due to problems with implementation of the previous patterns. Authors and developers of User Agents, Assistive Technologies, and Conformance Checkers are advised to review this section carefully to understand the changes. Explanation of the changes is available in the ARIA repository wiki.

A combobox functionally combines a named input field with the ability to assist value selection via a supplementary popup element. A combobox input MAY be either a single-line text field that supports editing and typing or an element that only displays the current value of the combobox. If the combobox supports text input and provides autocompletion behavior as described in aria-autocomplete, authors MUST set aria-autocomplete on the combobox element to the value that corresponds to the provided behavior.

Typically, the initial state of a combobox is collapsed. In the collapsed state, only the combobox element and a separate, optional popup control button are visible. A combobox is said to be expanded when both the combobox element showing its current value and its associated popup element are visible. Authors MUST set aria-expanded to true on an element with role combobox when it is expanded and false when it is collapsed.

Authors MUST ensure the popup element associated with a combobox has a role of listbox, tree, grid, or dialog. Authors MUST set aria-controls on a combobox element to a value that refers to the combobox popup element.

Elements with the role combobox have an implicit aria-haspopup value of listbox. If the combobox popup element has a role other than listbox, authors MUST specify a value for aria-haspopup that corresponds to the role of its popup.

If the user interface includes an additional icon that allows the visibility of the popup to be controlled via pointer and touch events, authors SHOULD ensure that element has role button, that it is focusable but not included in the page Tab sequence, and that it is not a descendant of the element with role combobox. In addition, to be keyboard accessible, authors SHOULD provide keyboard mechanisms for moving focus between the combobox element and elements contained in the popup. For example, one common convention is that Down Arrow moves focus from the input to the first focusable descendant of the popup element. If the popup element supports aria-activedescendant, in lieu of moving focus, such keyboard mechanisms can control the value of aria-activedescendant on the combobox element. When a descendant of the popup element is active, authors MAY set aria-activedescendant on the combobox to a value that refers to the active element within the popup while focus remains on the combobox element.

User agents MUST expose the value of elements with role combobox to assistive technologies. The value of a combobox is represented by one of the following:

  • If the combobox element is a host language element that provides a value, such as an HTML input element, the value of the combobox is the value of that element.
  • Otherwise, the value of the combobox is represented by its descendant elements and can be determined using the same method used to compute the name of a button from its descendant content.
    <label for="tag_combo">Tag</label>
  <input type="text" id="tag_combo"
      role="combobox" aria-autocomplete="list"
      aria-haspopup="listbox" aria-expanded="true"
      aria-controls="popup_listbox" aria-activedescendant="selected_option">
<ul role="listbox" id="popup_listbox">
   <li role="option">Zebra</li>
   <li role="option" id="selected_option">Zoom</li>
</ul>
Editor's note: Validity changes combobox for ARIA 1.2

Please review the following carefully. As a result of these changes a combobox following the ARIA 1.1 combobox specification will no longer conform with the ARIA specification.

Note

The structural requirements for combobox defined by this version of the specification are different from the requirements defined by ARIA 1.0 and ARIA 1.1:

  • The ARIA 1.0 specification required the input element with the combobox role to be a single-line text field and reference the popup element with aria-owns instead of aria-controls.
  • The ARIA 1.1 specification, which was not broadly supported by assistive technologies, required the combobox to be a non-focusable element with two required owned elements -- a focusable textbox and a popup element controlled by the textbox.
  • The changes introduced in ARIA 1.2 improve interoperability with assistive technologies and enable authors to create presentations of combobox that more closely imitate a native HTML select element.

The features and behaviors of combobox implementations vary widely. Consequently, there are many important authoring considerations. See the WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices for additional details on implementing combobox design patterns.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: input
Related Concepts:
Required States and Properties:
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Accessible Name Required: True
Implicit Value for Role: Default for aria-haspopup is listbox.

command abstract role

A form of widget that performs an action but does not receive input data.

Note

command is an abstract role used for the ontology. Authors should not use this role in content.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Is Abstract: True
Superclass Role: widget
Subclass Roles:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

comment role

A comment contains content expressing reaction to other content.

Comments can annotate any visible content, from small spans of text, to other comments, to entire articles. Authors SHOULD identify the relationships between comments and the commented content, as follows:

  1. If the comment is a reply to another comment:
    • If all ancestor comments are available in the DOM, make each reply comment a semantic descendant of the comment to which it is replying, either by making it a DOM descendant element or by using aria-owns.
    • Alternatively, if all ancestor comments are not in the DOM, such as when comments are paginated, the hierarchical level MAY be indicated via aria-level. Additional group positional information MAY be indicated via aria-posinset and aria-setsize.
  2. Otherwise, if the comment relates to other content in the page:
    • Provide aria-details on the element containing the commented content with a value refering to the element with role comment.
    • If there are multiple comments related to the same commented content, either provide a value for aria-details on the commented content that refers to each individual comment, or use aria-details to refer to a parent container of the comments. If aria-details refers to an element containing comments rather than comment elements, authors SHOULD assign a role of group or region to the referenced container.

If the author has not explicitly declared aria-level, aria-posinset, or aria-setsize for a comment element, user agents MUST automatically compute the missing values and expose them to assistive technologies.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: article
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • contents
  • author

complementary role

A landmark that is designed to be complementary to the main content at a similar level in the DOM hierarchy, but remaining meaningful when separated from the main content.

There are various types of content that would appropriately have this role. For example, in the case of a portal, this may include but not be limited to show times, current weather, related articles, or stocks to watch. The complementary role indicates that contained content is relevant to the main content. If the complementary content is completely separable from the main content, it may be appropriate to use a more general role.

User agents SHOULD treat elements with the role of complementary as navigational landmarks.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: landmark
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

composite abstract role

A widget that may contain navigable descendants or owned children.

Authors SHOULD ensure that a composite widget exists as a single navigation stop within the larger navigation system of the web page. Once the composite widget has focus, authors SHOULD provide a separate navigation mechanism for users to navigate to elements that are descendants or owned children of the composite element.

Note

composite is an abstract role used for the ontology. Authors should not use this role in content.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Is Abstract: True
Superclass Role: widget
Subclass Roles:
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

contentinfo role

A landmark that contains information about the parent document.

Examples of information included in this region of the page are copyrights and links to privacy statements.

User agents SHOULD treat elements with the role of contentinfo as navigational landmarks.

Within any document or application, the author SHOULD mark no more than one element with the contentinfo role.

Note

Because document and application elements can be nested in the DOM, they may have multiple contentinfo elements as DOM descendants, assuming each of those is associated with different document nodes, either by a DOM nesting (e.g., document within document) or by use of the aria-owns attribute.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: landmark
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

definition role

A definition of a term or concept. See related term.

Authors SHOULD identify the element being defined by giving that element a role of term and referencing it with the aria-labelledby attribute or by making the element with role term a descendant of the element with role definition.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

deletion role

A deletion contains content that is marked as removed or content that is being suggested for removal. See related insertion.

Deletions are typically used to either mark differences between two versions of content or to designate content suggested for removal in scenarios where multiple people are revising content.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Related Concepts:
Inherited States and Properties:
Prohibited States and Properties:
Name From: prohibited

dialog role

A dialog is a descendant window of the primary window of a web application. For HTML pages, the primary application window is the entire web document, i.e., the body element.

Dialogs are most often used to prompt the user to enter or respond to information. A dialog that is designed to interrupt workflow is usually modal. See related alertdialog.

Authors MUST provide an accessible name for a dialog, which can be done with the aria-label or aria-labelledby attribute.

Authors SHOULD ensure that all dialogs (both modal and non-modal) have at least one focusable descendant element. Authors SHOULD focus an element in the modal dialog when it is displayed, and authors SHOULD manage focus of modal dialogs.

Note

In the description of this role, the term "web application" does not refer to the application role, which specifies specific assistive technology behaviors.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: window
Subclass Roles:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Accessible Name Required: True

directory role

[Deprecated in ARIA 1.2] A list of references to members of a group, such as a static table of contents.

Note

As exposed by accessibility APIs, the directory role is essentially equivalent to the list role. So, using directory does not provide any additional benefits to assistive technology users. Authors are advised to treat directory as deprecated and to use list, or a host language's equivalent semantics instead.

A directory is a static table of contents, whether linked or unlinked. This includes tables of contents built with lists, including nested lists. Dynamic tables of contents, however, might use a tree role instead.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: list
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

document role

An element containing content that assistive technology users may want to browse in a reading mode.

When user agent focus moves to an element assigned the role of document, assistive technologies having a reading mode for browsing static content MAY switch to that reading mode and intercept standard input events, such as Up or Down arrow keyboard events, to control the reading cursor.

Because assistive technologies that have a reading mode default to that mode for all elements except for those with either a widget or application role, the only circumstance where the document role is useful for changing assistive technology behavior is when the element with role document is a focusable child element of a widget or application. For example, given an application element which contains some static rich text, the author can apply role document to the element containing the text and give it a tabindex of 0. When a screen reader user presses the Tab key and places focus on the document element, the user will be able to read the text with the screen reader's reading cursor.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: structure
Subclass Roles:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Accessible Name Required: False

emphasis role

One or more emphasized characters. See related strong.

The purpose of the emphasis role is to stress or emphasize content. It is not for communicating changes in typographical presentation that do not impact the meaning of the content. Authors SHOULD use the emphasis role only if its absence would change the meaning of the content.

The emphasis role is not intended to convey importance; for that purpose, the strong role is more appropriate.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Related Concepts:
Inherited States and Properties:
Prohibited States and Properties:
Name From: prohibited

feed role

A scrollable list of articles where scrolling may cause articles to be added to or removed from either end of the list.

A feed enables users of assistive technologies that have a document browse mode, such as screen readers, to use the browse mode reading cursor to both read and scroll through a stream of rich content that may continue scrolling infinitely by loading more content as the user reads. In a feed, assistive technologies provide a web application with signals of the user's reading cursor movement by moving user agent focus, enabling the application to both add new content and visually position content as the user browses the page. The feed also lets authors inform assistive technologies when additions and removals are occurring so assistive technologies can more reliably update their reading view without disrupting reading or degrading performance.

For example, a feed could be used to present a stream of news stories where each article contains a story with text, links, images, and comments as well as widgets for sharing and commenting. As a screen reader user reads and interacts with each story and moves the screen reader reading cursor from story to story, each story scrolls into view and, as needed, new stories are loaded.

A feed is a container element whose children have role article. When articles are added or removed from either or both ends of a feed, authors SHOULD set aria-busy to true on the feed element before the changes are made and set it to false after the changes are complete. Authors SHOULD avoid inserting or removing articles in the middle of a feed. These requirements help assistive technologies gracefully respond to changes in the feed content that occur simultaneously with user commands to move the reading cursor within the feed.

Authors SHOULD make each article in a feed focusable and ensure that the application scrolls an article into view when user agent focus is set on the article or one of its descendant elements. For example, in HTML, each article element should have a tabindex value of either -1 or 0.

When an assistive technology reading cursor moves from one article to another, assistive technologies SHOULD set user agent focus on the article that contains the reading cursor. If the reading cursor lands on a focusable element inside the article, the assistive technology MAY set focus on that element in lieu of setting focus on the containing article.

Because the ability to scroll to another article with an assistive technology reading cursor depends on the presence of another article in the page, authors SHOULD attempt to load additional articles before user agent focus reaches an article at either end of the set of articles that has been loaded. Alternatively, authors MAY include an article at either or both ends of the loaded set of articles that includes an element, such as a button, that lets the user request more articles to be loaded.

In addition to providing a brief label, authors MAY apply aria-describedby to article elements in a feed to suggest to screen readers which elements to speak after the label when users navigate by article. Screen readers MAY provide users with a way to quickly scan feed content by speaking both the label and accessible description when navigating by article, enabling the user to ignore repetitive or less important elements, such as embedded interaction widgets, that the author has left out of the description.

Authors SHOULD provide keyboard commands for moving focus among articles in a feed so users who do not utilize an assistive technology that provides article navigation features can use the keyboard to navigate the feed.

If the number of articles available in a feed supply is static, authors MAY specify aria-setsize on article elements in that feed. However, if the total number is extremely large, indefinite, or changes often, authors MAY set aria-setsize to -1 to communicate the unknown size of the set.

See the WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices for additional details on implementing a feed design pattern.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: list
Required Owned Elements: article
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Accessible Name Required: False

figure role

A perceivable section of content that typically contains a graphical document, images, code snippets, or example text. The parts of a figure MAY be user-navigable.

Authors SHOULD provide a reference to the figure from the main text, but the figure need not be displayed at the same location as the referencing element. Authors MAY reference text serving as a caption using aria-describedby. Authors MAY provide a label using aria-label or MAY reference text serving as a label using aria-labelledby.

Assistive technologies SHOULD enable users to quickly navigate to figures. Mainstream user agents MAY enable users to quickly navigate to figures.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Related Concepts:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Accessible Name Required: False

form role

A landmark region that contains a collection of items and objects that, as a whole, combine to create a form. See related search.

A form may contain a mix of host language form controls, scripted controls, and hyperlinks. Authors are reminded to use native host language semantics to create form controls whenever possible. If the purpose of a form is to submit search criteria, authors SHOULD use the search role instead of the generic form role.

Authors MUST give each element with role form a brief label that describes the purpose of the form. Authors SHOULD reference a visible label with aria-labelledby if a visible label is present. Authors SHOULD include the label inside of a heading whenever possible. The heading MAY be an instance of the standard host language heading element or an instance of an element with role heading.

If an author uses a script to submit a form based on a user action that would otherwise not trigger an onsubmit event (for example, a form submission triggered by the user changing a form element's value), the author SHOULD provide the user with advance notification of the behavior.

User agents SHOULD treat elements with the role of form as navigational landmarks.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: landmark
Base Concept: <form> in [HTML]
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Accessible Name Required: true

generic role

A nameless container element that has no semantic meaning on its own.

The generic role is intended for use as the implicit role of generic elements in host languages (such as HTML div or span), so is primarily for implementors of user agents. Authors SHOULD NOT use this role in content. Authors MAY use presentation or none to remove implicit accessibility semantics, or a semantic container role such as group to semantically group descendants in a named container.

Like an element with role presentation, an element with role generic can provide a limited number of accessible states and properties for its descendants, such as aria-live attributes. However, unlike elements with role presentation, generic elements are exposed in accessibility APIs so that assistive technologies can gather certain properties such as layout and bounds.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: structure
Related Concepts:
Inherited States and Properties:
Prohibited States and Properties:
Name From: prohibited

grid role

A composite widget containing a collection of one or more rows with one or more cells where some or all cells in the grid are focusable by using methods of two-dimensional navigation, such as directional arrow keys.

The grid role does not imply a specific visual, e.g., tabular, presentation. It describes relationships among elements. It may be used for purposes as simple as grouping a collection of checkboxes or navigation links or as complex as creating a full-featured spreadsheet application.

The cell elements of a grid have role gridcell. Authors MAY designate a cell as a row or column header by using either the rowheader or columnheader role in lieu of the gridcell role. Authors MUST ensure elements with role gridcell, columnheader, or rowheader are owned by elements with role row, which are in turn owned by an element with role rowgroup, or grid.

To be keyboard accessible, authors SHOULD manage focus of descendants of a grid as described in Managing Focus. When a user is navigating the grid content with a keyboard, authors SHOULD set focus as follows:

  • If a gridcell contains a single interactive widget that will not consume arrow key presses when it receives focus, such as a checkbox, button, or link, authors MAY set focus on the interactive element contained in that cell. This allows the contained widget to be directly operable.
  • Otherwise, authors SHOULD ensure the element that receives focus is a gridcell, rowheader, or columnheader element.

Authors SHOULD provide a mechanism for changing to an interaction or edit mode that allows users to navigate and interact with content contained inside a focusable cell if that focusable cell contains any of the following:

  • a widget that requires arrow keys to operate, e.g., a combobox or radiogroup
  • multiple interactive elements
  • editable content

For example, if a cell in a spreadsheet contains a combobox or editable text, the Enter key might be used to activate a cell interaction or editing mode when that cell has focus so the directional arrow keys can be used to operate the contained combobox or textbox. Depending on the implementation, pressing Enter again, Tab, Escape, or another key may switch the application back to the grid navigation mode.

Authors MAY use a gridcell to display the result of a formula, which could be editable by the user. In a spreadsheet application, for example, a gridcell may show a value calculated from a formula until the user activates the gridcell for editing when a textbox appears in the gridcell containing the formula in an editable state.

If aria-readonly is set on an element with role grid, user agents MUST propagate the value to all gridcell elements owned by the grid and expose the value in the accessibility API. An author MAY override the propagated value of aria-readonly for an individual gridcell element.

In a grid that provides cell content editing functions, if the content of a focusable gridcell element is not editable, authors MAY set aria-readonly to true on the gridcell element. However, the value of aria-readonly, whether specified for a grid or individual cells, only indicates whether the content contained in cells is editable. It does not represent availability of functions for navigating or manipulating the grid itself.

An unspecified value for aria-readonly does not imply that a grid or a gridcell contains editable content. For example, if a grid presents a collection of elements that are not editable, such as a collection of link elements representing dates in a datepicker, it is not necessary for the author to specify a value for aria-readonly.

Authors MAY indicate that a focusable gridcell is selectable as the object of an action with the aria-selected attribute. If the grid allows multiple gridcells to be selected, the author SHOULD set aria-multiselectable to true on the element with role grid.

Since WAI-ARIA can augment an element of the host language, a grid can reuse the elements and attributes of a native table, such as an HTML table element. For example, if an author applies the grid role to an HTML table element, the author does not need to apply the row and gridcell roles to the descendant HTML tr and td elements because the user agent will automatically make the appropriate translations. When the author is reusing a native host language table element and needs a gridcell element to span multiple rows or columns, the author SHOULD apply the appropriate host language attributes instead of WAI-ARIA aria-rowspan or aria-colspan properties.

See the WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices for additional details on implementing grid design patterns.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role:
Subclass Roles:
Base Concept: <table> in [HTML]
Required Owned Elements:
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Accessible Name Required: True

gridcell role

A cell in a grid or treegrid.

A gridcell may be focusable, editable, and selectable. A gridcell may have relationships such as aria-controls to address the application of functional relationships.

If an author intends a gridcell to have a row header, column header, or both, and if the relevant headers cannot be determined from the DOM structure, authors SHOULD explicitly indicate which header cells are relevant to the gridcell by applying aria-describedby on the gridcell and referencing elements with role rowheader or columnheader.

In a treegrid, authors MAY define a gridcell as expandable by using the aria-expanded attribute. If the aria-expanded attribute is provided, it applies only to the individual cell. It is not a proxy for the container row, which also can be expanded. The main use case for providing this attribute on a gridcell is pivot table behavior.

Authors MUST ensure elements with role gridcell are contained in, or owned by, an element with the role row.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role:
Subclass Roles:
Base Concept: <td> in [HTML]
Required Context Role: row
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • contents
  • author

group role

A set of user interface objects that is not intended to be included in a page summary or table of contents by assistive technologies.

Contrast with region, which is a grouping of user interface objects that will be included in a page summary or table of contents.

Authors SHOULD use a group to form a logical collection of items in a widget, such as children in a tree widget forming a collection of siblings in a hierarchy. However, when a group is used in the context of a listbox, authors MUST limit its children to option elements. Therefore, proper handling of group by authors and assistive technologies is determined by the context in which it is provided.

Authors MAY nest group elements. If a section is significant enough to warrant inclusion in the web page's table of contents, the author SHOULD assign it a role of region or a standard landmark role.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Subclass Roles:
Related Concepts:
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • author
  • legend

heading role

A heading for a section of the page.

To ensure elements with a role of heading are organized into a logical outline, authors MUST use the aria-level attribute to indicate the proper nesting level.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: sectionhead
Related Concepts:
Required States and Properties: aria-level
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • contents
  • author
Accessible Name Required: True

img role

A container for a collection of elements that form an image.

An img can contain captions and descriptive text, as well as multiple image files that when viewed together give the impression of a single image. An img represents a single graphic within a document, whether or not it is formed by a collection of drawing objects. In order for elements with a role of img to be perceivable, authors MUST provide a label using the aria-label or aria-labelledby attribute.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Related Concepts:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Accessible Name Required: True
Children Presentational: True

input abstract role

A generic type of widget that allows user input.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Is Abstract: True
Superclass Role: widget
Subclass Roles:
Supported States and Properties: aria-disabled
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

insertion role

An insertion contains content that is marked as added or content that is being suggested for addition. See related deletion.

Insertions are typically used to either mark differences between two versions of content or to designate content suggested for addition in scenarios where multiple people are revising content.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Related Concepts:
Inherited States and Properties:
Prohibited States and Properties:
Name From: prohibited

label role

A visible name or caption for a user interface component.

An element with role label can provide an accessible name for a user interface component if it is programmatically associated with the element. Authors MAY associate an element with role label with another element by using one of two methods:

  • encapsulation: The element with role label contains the element it names.
  • reference: The element with role label is referenced by the element it names via the aria-labelledby attribute.

The encapsulation method of naming is supported only if the element being named has one of the following roles:

Authors SHOULD ensure that:

  • All elements with role label are associated with one or more other elements.
  • When an element with role label is activated by touch or a pointer and its associated element is focusable, focus moves to the associated element. If more than one focusable element is associated with the same label, focus moves to the first element.
Editor's note

Implementation of the label role as described here is currently unlikely. At this time it is anticipated that the label role will not be available in the ARIA 1.3 release

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Base Concept: <label> in [HTML]
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • contents
  • author
Accessible Name Required: True

landmark abstract role

A perceivable section containing content that is relevant to a specific, author-specified purpose and sufficiently important that users will likely want to be able to navigate to the section easily and to have it listed in a summary of the page. Such a page summary could be generated dynamically by a user agent or assistive technology.

Authors designate the purpose of the content by assigning a role that is a subclass of the landmark role and, when needed, by providing a brief, descriptive label.

Elements with a role that is a subclass of the landmark role are known as landmark regions or navigational landmark regions. Assistive technologies SHOULD enable users to quickly navigate to landmark regions. Mainstream user agents MAY enable users to quickly navigate to landmark regions.

Note

landmark is an abstract role used for the ontology. Authors should not use this role in content.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Is Abstract: True
Superclass Role: section
Subclass Roles:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Accessible Name Required: False

legend role

A visible name or caption for a group of related user interface components.

A element with role legend element can provide an accessible name for elements with grouping roles if it is progammatically associated with the element. Authors MAY associate an element with role legend with an element by using one of two methods:

  • legend: The element contains an element with role legend element. If the element contains more than one element with role legend, only the first descendant element with role legend is used for computing the accessible name.
  • reference: The element with role legend is referenced by the element it names via the aria-labelledby attribute.

The legend method of naming is supported only if the element being named has one of the following grouping roles:

Authors SHOULD ensure that:

  • All elements with role legend are associated with one or more elements with grouping roles.
  • When an element with role legend is activated by touch or a pointer, focus moves to the first focusable element in the associated group of user interface components.
Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Base Concept: <legend> in [HTML]
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • contents
  • author
Accessible Name Required: True

list role

A section containing listitem elements. See related listbox.

Lists contain children whose role is listitem.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Subclass Roles:
Base Concept:
Required Owned Elements: listitem
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

listbox role

A widget that allows the user to select one or more items from a list of choices. See related combobox and list.

Items within the list are static and, unlike standard HTML select elements, may contain images. List boxes contain children whose role is option or elements whose role is group which in turn contains children whose role is option.

To be keyboard accessible, authors SHOULD manage focus of option descendants for all instances of this role, as described in Managing Focus.

Elements with the role listbox have an implicit aria-orientation value of vertical.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role:
Related Concepts:
Required Owned Elements:
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • encapsulation
  • author
Accessible Name Required: True
Implicit Value for Role: Default for aria-orientation is vertical.

listitem role

A single item in a list or directory.

Authors MUST ensure elements whose role is listitem are contained in, or owned by, an element whose role is list.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Subclass Roles:
Base Concept: <li> in [HTML]
Required Context Role:
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

log role

A type of live region where new information is added in meaningful order and old information may disappear. See related marquee.

Examples include chat logs, messaging history, game log, or an error log. In contrast to other live regions, in this role there is a relationship between the arrival of new items in the log and the reading order. The log contains a meaningful sequence and new information is added only to the end of the log, not at arbitrary points.

Elements with the role log have an implicit aria-live value of polite.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Implicit Value for Role: Default for aria-live is polite.

main role

A landmark containing the main content of a document.

This marks the content that is directly related to or expands upon the central topic of the document. The main role is a non-obtrusive alternative for "skip to main content" links, where the navigation option to go to the main content (or other landmarks) is provided by the user agent through a dialog or by assistive technologies.

User agents SHOULD treat elements with the role of main as navigational landmarks.

Within any document or application, the author SHOULD mark no more than one element with the main role.

Note

Because document and application elements can be nested in the DOM, they may have multiple main elements as DOM descendants, assuming each of those is associated with different document nodes, either by a DOM nesting (e.g., document within document) or by use of the aria-owns attribute.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: landmark
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

mark role

Content which is marked or highlighted for reference or notation purposes, due to the content's relevance in the enclosing context.

Example uses for mark include:

  • Highlighting text in a quotation which is of special interest but is not marked in the original source material, comparable to using a highlighter pen to mark passages of a print article.
  • Indicating portions of the content that are relevant to the user's current activity, such as highlighting text matches found by a search feature.

Authors SHOULD NOT use mark for purely decorative styling such as syntax highlighting.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Related Concepts:
Inherited States and Properties:
Prohibited States and Properties:
Name From: prohibited

marquee role

A type of live region where non-essential information changes frequently. See related log.

Common usages of marquee include stock tickers and ad banners. The primary difference between a marquee and a log is that logs usually have a meaningful order or sequence of important content changes.

Elements with the role marquee have an implicit aria-live value of off.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

math role

Content that represents a mathematical expression.

Content with the role math is intended to be marked up in an accessible format such as MathML [MathML3], or with another type of textual representation such as TeX or LaTeX, which can be converted to an accessible format by native browser implementations or a polyfill library.

While it is not ideal to use an image of a mathematical expression, there exists a significant amount of legacy content where images are used to represent mathematical expressions. Authors SHOULD ensure that images of math are labeled by text that describes the mathematical expression as it might be spoken.

Note

Browsers that support native implementations of MathML are able to provide a more robust, accessible math experience than can be accomplished with plain text approximations of math. Some rendering engines have close integration with screen readers that allow spacial touch exploration of the formula and refreshable braille display output in the Nemeth Braille format. This level of integration is not supported with images of mathematical formulas, even if the author provides a plain text approximation.

At the time of this writing, some mainstream browsers do not support MathML natively, and must be retrofit using a JavaScript polyfill library. When authoring math content, use native MathML wherever possible, and test thoroughly. Use a polyfill library or provide a fallback image with a text alternative approximation if necessary.

MathML Example with Embedded TeX Annotation

<!-- Note: Use a JavaScript polyfill library to ensure
     this renders in user agents that do not support MathML. -->
<!-- The math element has an implicit role="math". -->
<math xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1998/Math/MathML">
  <mrow>
    <mi>x</mi>
    <mo>=</mo>
    <mfrac>
      <mrow>
        <mo form="prefix"></mo>
        <mi>b</mi>
        <mo>±</mo>
        <msqrt>
          <msup>
            <mi>b</mi>
            <mn>2</mn>
          </msup>
          <mo></mo>
          <mn>4</mn>
          <mo>&#x2062;<!-- &InvisibleTimes; --></mo>
          <mi>a</mi>
          <mo>&#x2062;<!-- &InvisibleTimes; --></mo>
          <mi>c</mi>
        </msqrt>
      </mrow>
      <mrow>
        <mn>2</mn>
        <mo>&#x2062;<!-- &InvisibleTimes; --></mo>
        <mi>a</mi>
      </mrow>
    </mfrac>
  </mrow>
  <annotation encoding="TeX">
    x=\frac{-b\pm\sqrt{b^2-4ac}}{2a}
  </annotation>
</math>

Plain HTML or Polyfill DOM Result of the MathML Quadratic Formula

If a rendering engine does not support a native math format such as MathML, authors MAY use JavaScript to downgrade the content to a format the browser can display, such as this HTML image using a data URI and plain text alternative.

<img role="math" src="..." alt="x=⟮−b±√⟮b²−4ac⟯⟯÷2a">
Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

meter role

An element that represents a scalar measurement within a known range, or a fractional value. See related progressbar.

Authors MAY set aria-valuemin and aria-valuemax to indicate the minimum and maximum values for the meter. Otherwise, their implicit values follow the same rules as <input[type="range"]> in [HTML]:

  • If aria-valuemin is missing or not a number, it defaults to 0 (zero).
  • If aria-valuemax is missing or not a number, it defaults to 100.

The value of aria-valuenow MUST NOT fall below or exceed the computed values of aria-valuemin and aria-valuemax, respectively.

Authors SHOULD NOT use the meter role to indicate progress; the progressbar role exists to address that need.

Note

Presently, there are no WAI-ARIA properties corresponding to the low, optimum, and high attributes supported on the <meter> element in [HTML]. The addition of these properties will be considered for ARIA version 1.3.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: range
Related Concepts:
Required States and Properties: aria-valuenow
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • encapsulation
  • author
Accessible Name Required: True
Children Presentational: True
Implicit Value for Role: Default for aria-valuemin is 0.
Default for aria-valuemax is 100.

none role

An element whose implicit native role semantics will not be mapped to the accessibility API. See synonym presentation.

Note

Note regarding the ARIA 1.1 none role.

In ARIA 1.1, the working group introduced none as a synonym to the presentation role, due to author confusion surrounding the intended meaning of the word "presentation" or "presentational." Many individuals erroneously consider role="presentation" to be synonymous with aria-hidden="true", and we believe role="none" conveys the actual meaning more unambiguously.

note role

A section whose content is parenthetic or ancillary to the main content of the resource.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

option role

A selectable item in a listbox.

Authors MUST ensure elements with role option are contained in, or owned by, an element with the role listbox or group within a listbox. Options not associated with a listbox might not be correctly mapped to an accessibility API.

Elements with the role option have an implicit aria-selected value of false.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: input
Subclass Roles:
Base Concept: <option> in [HTML]
Related Concepts:
Required Context Role:
Required States and Properties:
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • contents
  • author
Accessible Name Required: True
Children Presentational: True
Implicit Value for Role: Default for aria-selected is false.

paragraph role

A paragraph of content.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Related Concepts:
Inherited States and Properties:
Prohibited States and Properties:
Name From: prohibited

presentation role

An element whose implicit native role semantics will not be mapped to the accessibility API. See synonym none.

Note

Note regarding the ARIA 1.1 none role.

In ARIA 1.1, the working group introduced none as a synonym to the presentation role, due to author confusion surrounding the intended meaning of the word "presentation" or "presentational." Many individuals erroneously consider role="presentation" to be synonymous with aria-hidden="true", and we believe role="none" conveys the actual meaning more unambiguously.

Until implementations include sufficient support for role="none", web authors are advised to use the presentation role alone role="presentation" or redundantly as a fallback to the none role role="none presentation".

The intended use is when an element is used to change the look of the page but does not have all the functional, interactive, or structural relevance implied by the element type, or may be used to provide for an accessible fallback in older browsers that do not support WAI-ARIA.

Example use cases:

  • An element whose content is completely presentational (like a spacer image, decorative graphic, or clearing element);
  • An image that is in a container with the img role and where the full text alternative is available and is marked up with aria-labelledby and (if needed) aria-describedby;
  • An element used as an additional markup "hook" for CSS; or
  • A layout table and/or any of its associated rows, cells, etc.

For any element with a role of presentation and which is not focusable, the user agent MUST NOT expose the implicit native semantics of the element (the role and its states and properties) to accessibility APIs. However, the user agent MUST expose content and descendant elements that do not have an explicit or inherited role of presentation. Thus, the presentation role causes a given element to be treated as having no role or to be removed from the accessibility tree, but does not cause the content contained within the element to be removed from the accessibility tree.

For example, according to an accessibility API, the following markup elements would appear to have identical role semantics (no role) and identical content.

<!-- 1. [role="presentation"] negates the implicit 'heading' role semantics but does not affect the contents. -->
<h1 role="presentation"> Sample Content </h1>

<!-- 2. There is no implicit role for span, so only the contents are exposed. -->
<span> Sample Content </span>

<!-- 3. Depending on styling and other factors, this role declaration is redundant in some implementations. -->
<span role="presentation"> Sample Content </span>

<!-- 4. In all cases, the element contents are exposed to accessibility APIs without any implied role semantics. -->
<!-- <> --> Sample Content <!-- </> -->

The presentation role is used on an element that has implicit native semantics, meaning that there is a default accessibility API role for the element. Some elements are only complete when additional descendant elements are provided. For example, in HTML, table elements (matching the table role) require tr descendants (the row role), which in turn require th or td children (the cell, columnheader, rowheader roles). Similarly, lists require list item children. The descendant elements that complete the semantics of an element are described in WAI-ARIA as required owned elements.

When an explicit or inherited role of presentation is applied to an element with the implicit semantic of a WAI-ARIA role that has required owned elements, in addition to the element with the explicit role of presentation, the user agent MUST apply an inherited role of presentation to any owned elements that do not have an explicit role defined. Also, when an explicit or inherited role of presentation is applied to a host language element which has required children as defined by the host language specification, in addition to the element with the explicit role of presentation, the user agent MUST apply an inherited role of presentation to any required children that do not have an explicit role defined.

In HTML, the <img> element is treated as a single entity regardless of the type of image file. Consequently, using role="presentation" or role="none" on an HTML img is equivalent to using aria-hidden="true". In order to make the image contents accessible, authors can embed the object using an <object> or <iframe> element, or use inline SVG code, and follow the accessibility guidelines for the image content.

For any element with an explicit or inherited role of presentation and which is not focusable, user agents MUST ignore role-specific WAI-ARIA states and properties for that element. For example, in HTML, a ul or ol element with a role of presentation will have the implicit native semantics of its li elements removed because the list role to which the ul or ol corresponds has a required owned element of listitem. Likewise, the implicit native semantics of an HTML table element's thead/tbody/tfoot/tr/th/td descendants will also be removed, because the HTML specification indicates that these are required structural descendants of the table element.

Note

Only the implicit native semantics of elements that correspond to WAI-ARIA required owned elements are removed. All other content remains intact, including nested tables or lists, unless those elements also have an explicit role of presentation applied.

For example, according to an accessibility API, the following markup elements would appear to have identical role semantics (no roles) and identical content.

<!-- 1. [role="presentation"] negates the implicit 'list' and 'listitem' role semantics but does not affect the contents. -->
<ul role="presentation">
  <li> Sample Content </li>
  <li> More Sample Content </li>
</ul>

<!-- 2. There is no implicit role for "foo", so only the contents are exposed. -->
<foo>
  <foo> Sample Content </foo>
  <foo> More Sample Content </foo>
</foo>
Note

There are other WAI-ARIA roles with required children for which this situation is applicable (e.g., radiogroups and listboxes), but tables and lists are the most common real-world cases in which the presentation inheritance is likely to apply.

For any element with an explicit or inherited role of presentation, user agents MUST apply an inherited role of presentation to all host-language-specific labeling elements for the presentational element. For example, a table element with a role of presentation will have the implicit native semantics of its caption element removed, because the caption is merely a label for the presentational table.

Authors SHOULD NOT provide meaningful alternative text (for example, use alt="" in HTML) when the presentation role is applied to an image.

In the following code sample, the containing img and is appropriately labeled by the caption paragraph. In this example the img element can be marked as presentation because the role and the text alternatives are provided by the containing element.

<div role="img" aria-labelledby="caption">
  <img src="example.png" role="presentation" alt="">
  <p id="caption">A visible text caption labeling the image.</p>
</div>

In the following code sample, because the anchor (HTML a element) is acting as the treeitem, the list item (HTML li element) is assigned an explicit WAI-ARIA role of presentation to override the user agent's implicit native semantics for list items.

<ul role="tree">
  <li role="presentation">
	<a role="treeitem" aria-expanded="true">An expanded tree node</a>
  </li></ul>
Presentational Roles Conflict Resolution

There are a number of ways presentational role conflicts are resolved.

User agents MUST NOT expose elements having explicit or inherited presentational role in the accessibility tree, with these exceptions:

  • If an element is focusable, or otherwise interactive, user agents MUST ignore the presentation role and expose the element with its implicit role, in order to ensure that the element is operable.
  • If a required owned element has an explicit non-presentational role, user agents MUST ignore an inherited presentational role and expose the element with its explicit role. If the action of exposing the explicit role causes the accessibility tree to be malformed, the expected results are undefined.
  • If an element has global WAI-ARIA states or properties, user agents MUST ignore the presentation role and expose the element with its implicit role. However, if an element has only non-global, role-specific WAI-ARIA states or properties, the element MUST NOT be exposed unless the presentational role is inherited and an explicit non-presentational role is applied.

For example, aria-describedby is a global attribute and would always be applied; aria-level is not a global attribute and would therefore only apply if the element was not in a presentational state.

<!-- 1. [role="presentation"] is ignored due to the global aria-describedby property. -->
<h1 role="presentation" aria-describedby="comment-1"> Sample Content </h1>
<!-- 2. [role="presentation"] negates both the implicit 'heading' and the non-global aria-level. -->
<h1 role="presentation" aria-level="2"> Sample Content </h1>
Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: structure
Inherited States and Properties:
Prohibited States and Properties:
Name From: prohibited

progressbar role

An element that displays the progress status for tasks that take a long time.

A progressbar indicates that the user's request has been received and the application is making progress toward completing the requested action.

Authors MAY set aria-valuemin and aria-valuemax to indicate the minimum and maximum progress indicator values. Otherwise, their implicit values follow the same rules as <input[type="range"]> in [HTML]:

  • If aria-valuemin is missing or not a number, it defaults to 0 (zero).
  • If aria-valuemax is missing or not a number, it defaults to 100.

The author SHOULD supply a value for aria-valuenow unless the value is indeterminate, in which case the author SHOULD omit the aria-valuenow attribute. Authors SHOULD update this value when the visual progress indicator is updated. If the progressbar is describing the loading progress of a particular region of a page, the author SHOULD use aria-describedby to point to the status, and set the aria-busy attribute to true on the region until it is finished loading. It is not possible for the user to alter the value of a progressbar because it is always read-only.

Note

Assistive technologies generally will render the value of aria-valuenow as a percent of a range between the value of aria-valuemin and aria-valuemax, unless aria-valuetext is specified.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role:
Related Concepts:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Accessible Name Required: True
Children Presentational: True
Implicit Value for Role: Default for aria-valuemin is 0.
Default for aria-valuemax is 100.

radio role

A checkable input in a group of elements with the same role, only one of which can be checked at a time.

Authors SHOULD ensure that elements with role radio are explicitly grouped in order to indicate which ones affect the same value. This is achieved by enclosing the radio elements in an element with role radiogroup. If it is not possible to make the radio buttons DOM children of the radiogroup, authors SHOULD use the aria-owns attribute on the radiogroup element to indicate the relationship to its children.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role:
Related Concepts:
Required States and Properties:
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • contents
  • encapsulation
  • author
Accessible Name Required: True
Children Presentational: True

radiogroup role

A group of radio buttons.

A radiogroup is a type of select list that can only have a single entry checked at any one time. Authors SHOULD enforce that only one radio button in a group can be checked at the same time. When one item in the group is checked, the previously checked item becomes unchecked (its aria-checked attribute becomes false).

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: select
Related Concepts: list
Required Owned Elements: radio
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • author
  • legend
Accessible Name Required: True

range abstract role

An element representing a range of values.

Note

range is an abstract role used for the ontology. Authors should not use this role in content.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Is Abstract: True
Superclass Role: structure
Subclass Roles:
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

region role

A landmark containing content that is relevant to a specific, author-specified purpose and sufficiently important that users will likely want to be able to navigate to the section easily and to have it listed in a summary of the page. Such a page summary could be generated dynamically by a user agent or assistive technology.

Authors SHOULD limit use of the region role to sections containing content with a purpose that is not accurately described by one of the other landmark roles, such as main, complementary, or navigation.

Authors MUST give each element with role region a brief label that describes the purpose of the content in the region. Authors SHOULD reference a visible label with aria-labelledby if a visible label is present. Authors SHOULD include the label inside of a heading whenever possible. The heading MAY be an instance of the standard host language heading element or an instance of an element with role heading.

Assistive technologies SHOULD enable users to quickly navigate to elements with role region. Mainstream user agents MAY enable users to quickly navigate to elements with role region.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: landmark
Related Concepts:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Accessible Name Required: True

roletype abstract role

The base role from which all other roles inherit.

Properties of this role describe the structural and functional purpose of objects that are assigned this role. A role is a concept that can be used to understand and operate instances.

Note

roletype is an abstract role used for the ontology. Authors should not use this role in content.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Is Abstract: True
Subclass Roles:
Supported States and Properties:
Name From:
  • n/a

row role

A row of cells in a tabular container.

Rows contain cell or gridcell elements, and thus serve to organize a table, grid, or treegrid.

While the row role can be used in a table, grid, or treegrid, the semantics of aria-expanded, aria-posinset, aria-setsize, and aria-level are only applicable to the hierarchical structure of an interactive tree grid. Therefore, authors MUST NOT apply aria-expanded, aria-posinset, aria-setsize, and aria-level to a row that descends from a table or grid, and user agents SHOULD NOT expose any of these four properties to assistive technologies unless the row descends from a treegrid.

Authors MUST ensure elements with role row are contained in, or owned by, an element with the role table, grid, rowgroup, or treegrid.

Note: Usage of aria-disabled

While aria-disabled is currently supported on row, in a future version the working group plans to prohibit its on elements with role row except when the element is in the context of a grid or treegrid.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role:
Base Concept: <tr> in [HTML]
Required Context Role:
Required Owned Elements:
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • contents
  • author

rowgroup role

A structure containing one or more row elements in a tabular container.

The rowgroup role establishes a relationship between owned row elements. It is a structural equivalent to the thead, tfoot, and tbody elements in an HTML table element.

Authors MUST ensure elements with role rowgroup are contained in, or owned by, an element with the role grid, table, or treegrid.

Note

The rowgroup role exists, in part, to support role symmetry in HTML, and allows for the propagation of presentation inheritance on HTML table elements with an explicit presentation role applied.

Note

This role does not differentiate between types of row groups (e.g., thead vs. tbody), but an issue has been raised for WAI-ARIA 2.0.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: structure
Base Concept: <tbody>, <tfoot> and <thead>in [HTML]
Required Context Role:
Required Owned Elements: row
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

rowheader role

A cell containing header information for a row.

The rowheader role can be used to identify a cell as a header for a row in a table, grid, or treegrid. The rowheader establishes a relationship between it and all cells in the corresponding row. It is a structural equivalent to setting scope="row" on an HTML th element.

Authors MUST ensure elements with role rowheader are contained in, or owned by, an element with the role row.

Applying the aria-selected state on a rowheader MUST NOT cause the user agent to automatically propagate the aria-selected state to all the cells in the corresponding row. An author MAY choose to propagate selection in this manner depending on the specific application.

While the rowheader role can be used in both interactive grids and non-interactive tables, the use of aria-expanded, aria-readonly, and aria-required is only applicable to interactive elements. Therefore, authors SHOULD NOT use aria-expanded, aria-readonly, or aria-required in a rowheader that descends from a table, and user agents SHOULD NOT expose these properties to assistive technologies unless the rowheader descends from a grid or treegrid.

Note: Usage of aria-disabled

While aria-disabled is currently supported on rowheader, in a future version the working group plans to prohibit its use on elements with role rowheader except when the element is in the context of a grid or treegrid.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role:
Base Concept: <th[scope="row"]> in [HTML]
Required Context Role: row
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • contents
  • author
Accessible Name Required: True

scrollbar role

A graphical object that controls the scrolling of content within a viewing area, regardless of whether the content is fully displayed within the viewing area.

A scrollbar represents the current value and range of possible values via the size of the scrollbar and position of the thumb with respect to the visible range of the orientation (horizontal or vertical) it controls. Its orientation represents the orientation of the scrollbar and the scrolling effect on the viewing area controlled by the scrollbar. It is typically possible to add or subtract to the current value by using directional keys such as arrow keys.

Authors MUST set the aria-controls attribute on the scrollbar element to reference the scrollable area it controls.

Authors MAY set aria-valuemin and aria-valuemax to indicate the minimum and maximum thumb position. Otherwise, their implicit values follow the same rules as <input[type="range"]> in [HTML]:

  • If aria-valuemin is missing or not a number, it defaults to 0 (zero).
  • If aria-valuemax is missing or not a number, it defaults to 100.

Authors MUST set the aria-valuenow attribute to indicate the current thumb position. If aria-valuenow is missing or has an unexpected value, browsers MAY implement the repair techniques specified in the section describing handling author errors in states and properties, which are equivalent to the repair techniques for <input[type="range"]> in [HTML].

Elements with the role scrollbar have an implicit aria-orientation value of vertical.

Note

Assistive technologies generally will render the value of aria-valuenow as a percent of a range between the value of aria-valuemin and aria-valuemax, unless aria-valuetext is specified. It is best to set the values for aria-valuemin, aria-valuemax, and aria-valuenow in a manner that is appropriate for this calculation.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role:
Required States and Properties:
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Accessible Name Required: False
Children Presentational: True
Implicit Value for Role: Default for aria-orientation is vertical.
Default for aria-valuemin is 0.
Default for aria-valuemax is 100.

section abstract role

A renderable structural containment unit in a document or application.

Note

section is an abstract role used for the ontology. Authors should not use this role in content.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Is Abstract: True
Superclass Role: structure
Subclass Roles:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: n/a

sectionhead abstract role

A structure that labels or summarizes the topic of its related section.

Note

sectionhead is an abstract role used for the ontology. Authors should not use this role in content.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Is Abstract: True
Superclass Role: structure
Subclass Roles:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • contents
  • author

select abstract role

A form widget that allows the user to make selections from a set of choices.

Note

select is an abstract role used for the ontology. Authors should not use this role in content.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Is Abstract: True
Superclass Role:
Subclass Roles:
Supported States and Properties: aria-orientation
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

separator role

A divider that separates and distinguishes sections of content or groups of menuitems.

There are two types of separators: a static structure that provides only a visible boundary and a focusable, interactive widget that is also moveable. If a separator is not focusable, it is revealed to assistive technologies as a static structural element. For example, a static separator can be used to help visually divide two groups of menu items in a menu or to provide a horizontal rule between two sections of a page.

Authors MAY make a separator focusable to create a widget that both provides a visible boundary between two sections of content and enables the user to change the relative size of the sections by changing the position of the separator. A variable separator widget can be moved continuously within a range, whereas a fixed separator widget supports only two discrete positions. Typically, a fixed separator widget is used to toggle one of the sections between expanded and collapsed states.

If the separator is focusable, authors MUST set the value of aria-valuenow to a number reflecting the current position of the separator and update that value when it changes. Authors SHOULD also provide the value of aria-valuemin if it is not 0 and the value of aria-valuemax if it is not 100. If missing or not a number, the implicit values of these attributes are as follows:

  • The implicit value of aria-valuemin is 0.
  • The implicit value of aria-valuemax is 100.

In applications where there is more than one focusable separator, authors SHOULD provide an accessible name for each one.

Elements with the role separator have an implicit aria-orientation value of horizontal.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role:
Related Concepts:
Required States and Properties: aria-valuenow (if focusable)
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Children Presentational: True
Implicit Value for Role: Default for aria-orientation is horizontal.
Default for aria-valuemin is 0.
Default for aria-valuemax is 100.

slider role

An input where the user selects a value from within a given range.

A slider represents the current value and range of possible values via the size of the slider and position of the thumb. It is typically possible to add or subtract to the value by using directional keys such as arrow keys.

Authors MAY set the aria-valuemin and aria-valuemax attributes. Otherwise, their implicit values follow the same rules as <input[type="range"]> in [HTML]:

  • If aria-valuemin is missing or not a number, it defaults to 0 (zero).
  • If aria-valuemax is missing or not a number, it defaults to 100.

Authors MUST set the aria-valuenow attribute. If aria-valuenow is missing or has an unexpected value, browsers MAY implement the repair techniques specified in the section describing handling author errors in states and properties, which are equivalent to the repair techniques for <input[type="range"]> in [HTML].

Elements with the role slider have an implicit aria-orientation value of horizontal.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role:
Required States and Properties:
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Accessible Name Required: True
Children Presentational: True
Implicit Value for Role: Default for aria-orientation is horizontal.
Default for aria-valuemin is 0.
Default for aria-valuemax is 100.

spinbutton role

A form of range that expects the user to select from among discrete choices.

A spinbutton typically allows users to change its displayed value by activating increment and decrement buttons that step through a set of allowed values. Some implementations display the value in an text field that allows editing and typing but typically limits input in ways that help prevent invalid values.

Although a spinbutton is similar in appearance to many presentations of select, it is advisable to use spinbutton when working with known ranges (especially in the case of large ranges) as opposed to distinct options. For example, a spinbutton representing a range from 1 to 1,000,000 would provide much better performance than a select widget representing the same values.

Authors MAY create a spinbutton with children or owned elements, but MUST limit those elements to a textbox and/or two buttons. Alternatively, authors MAY apply the spinbutton role to a text input and create sibling buttons to support the increment and decrement functions.

To be keyboard accessible, authors SHOULD manage focus of descendants for all instances of this role, as described in Managing Focus. When a spinbutton receives focus, authors SHOULD ensure focus is placed on the textbox element if one is present, and on the spinbutton itself otherwise. Authors SHOULD also ensure the up and down arrows on a keyboard perform the increment and decrement functions and that the increment and decrement button elements are NOT included in the primary navigation ring, e.g., the Tab ring in HTML.

Authors SHOULD set the aria-valuenow attribute when the spinbutton has a value. Authors SHOULD set the aria-valuemin attribute when there is a minimum value, and the aria-valuemax attribute when there is a maximum value.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role:
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • encapsulation
  • author
Accessible Name Required: True
Implicit Value for Role: Default for aria-valuemin is that there is no minimum value.
Default for aria-valuemax is that there is no maximum value.
Default for aria-valuenow is that there is no current value.

status role

A type of live region whose content is advisory information for the user but is not important enough to justify an alert, often but not necessarily presented as a status bar.

Authors SHOULD ensure an element with role status does not receive focus as a result of change in status.

Status is a form of live region. If another part of the page controls what appears in the status, authors SHOULD make the relationship explicit with the aria-controls attribute.

Assistive technologies MAY reserve some cells of a Braille display to render the status.

Elements with the role status have an implicit aria-live value of polite and an implicit aria-atomic value of true.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Subclass Roles:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Implicit Value for Role: Default for aria-live is polite.
Default for aria-atomic is true.

strong role

Content that is important, serious, or urgent. See related emphasis.

The purpose of the strong role is to communicate strong importance, seriousness, or urgency. It is not for communicating changes in typographical presentation that are not important to the meaning of the content. Authors SHOULD use the strong role only if its absence would change the meaning of the content.

The strong role is not intended to convey stress or emphasis; for that purpose, the emphasis role is more appropriate.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Related Concepts:
Inherited States and Properties:
Prohibited States and Properties:
Name From: prohibited

structure abstract role

A document structural element.

Roles for document structure support the accessibility of dynamic web content by helping assistive technologies determine active content versus static document content. Structural roles by themselves do not all map to accessibility APIs, but are used to create widget roles or assist content adaptation for assistive technologies.

Note

structure is an abstract role used for the ontology. Authors should not use this role in content.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Is Abstract: True
Superclass Role: roletype
Subclass Roles:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • n/a

subscript role

One or more subscripted characters. See related superscript.

The subscript role is intended to be used only to mark up typographical conventions that have specific meanings; not for typographical presentation for presentation's sake. In general, authors SHOULD use this role only if the absence of the subscript would change the meaning of the content.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Related Concepts:
Inherited States and Properties:
Prohibited States and Properties:
Name From: prohibited

suggestion role

A single proposed change to content.

For example, in an editing system that supports multiple users, one user may suggest a change, and another user would be responsible for accepting or rejecting the suggestion.

Authors MUST ensure that a suggestion contains either one insertion child or one deletion child or ensure that it contains two children where one is an insertion and the other is a deletion. Authors MUST ensure a suggestion does not contain any other children.

Authors MAY use aria-details or aria-description to associate the suggestion with related information such as comments, authoring info, and time stamps.

<p>
  The best pet is a
  <span role="suggestion">
    <span role="deletion">cat</span>
    <span role="insertion">dog</span>
  </span>
</p>

When a suggestion is accepted, authors SHOULD remove the suggestion role, indicating that the proposed revision has been made. After the suggestion role is removed, child insertion and deletion elements can either be retained to document the revision or replaced with the revised content.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Required Owned Elements:
Inherited States and Properties:
Prohibited States and Properties:
Name From: prohibited

superscript role

One or more superscripted characters. See related superscript.

The superscript role is intended to be used only to mark up typographical conventions that have specific meanings; not for typographical presentation for presentation's sake. In general, authors SHOULD use this role only if the absence of the superscript would change the meaning of the content.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Related Concepts:
Inherited States and Properties:
Prohibited States and Properties:
Name From: prohibited

switch role

A type of checkbox that represents on/off values, as opposed to checked/unchecked values. See related checkbox.

The aria-checked attribute of a switch indicates whether the input is on (true) or off (false). The mixed value is invalid, and user agents MUST treat a mixed value as equivalent to false for this role.

Note

A switch provides approximately the same functionality as a checkbox and toggle button, but makes it possible for assistive technologies to present the widget in a fashion consistent with its on-screen appearance.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: checkbox
Related Concepts:
Required States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • contents
  • encapsulation
  • author
Accessible Name Required: True
Children Presentational: True

tab role

A grouping label providing a mechanism for selecting the tab content that is to be rendered to the user.

If a tabpanel or item in a tabpanel has focus, the associated tab is the currently active tab in the tablist, as defined in Managing Focus. tablist elements, which contain a set of associated tab elements, are typically placed near a series of tabpanel elements, usually preceding it. See the WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices for details on implementing a tab set design pattern.

Authors MUST ensure elements with role tab are contained in, or owned by, an element with the role tablist.

Authors SHOULD ensure the tabpanel associated with the currently active tab is perceivable to the user.

For a single-selectable tablist, authors SHOULD hide other tabpanel elements from the user until the user selects the tab associated with that tabpanel. For a multi-selectable tablist, authors SHOULD ensure that the tab for each visible tabpanel has the aria-expanded attribute set to true, and that the tabs associated with the remaining hidden tabpanel elements have their aria-expanded attributes set to false.

In either case, authors SHOULD ensure that a selected tab has its aria-selected attribute set to true, that inactive tab elements have their aria-selected attribute set to false, and that the currently selected tab provides a visual indication that it is selected. In the absence of an aria-selected attribute on the current tab, user agents SHOULD indicate to assistive technologies through the platform accessibility API that the currently focused tab is selected.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role:
Required Context Role: tablist
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • contents
  • author
Children Presentational: True
Implicit Value for Role: Default for aria-selected is false.

table role

A section containing data arranged in rows and columns. See related grid.

The table role is intended for tabular containers which are not interactive. If the tabular container maintains a selection state, provides its own two-dimensional navigation, or allows the user to rearrange or otherwise manipulate its contents or the display thereof, authors SHOULD use grid or treegrid instead.

Authors SHOULD prefer the use of the host language's semantics for table whenever possible, such as the <table> element in [HTML].

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Subclass Roles:
Base Concept: <table> in [HTML]
Required Owned Elements:
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Accessible Name Required: True

tablist role

A list of tab elements, which are references to tabpanel elements.

To be keyboard accessible, authors SHOULD manage focus of descendants for all instances of this role, as described in Managing Focus.

For a single-selectable tablist, authors SHOULD hide other tabpanel elements from the user until the user selects the tab associated with that tabpanel. For a multi-selectable tablist, authors SHOULD ensure each visible tabpanel has its aria-expanded attribute set to true, and that the remaining hidden tabpanel elements have their aria-expanded attributes set to false.

tablist elements are typically placed near usually preceding, a series of tabpanel elements. See the WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices for details on implementing a tab set design pattern.

Elements with the role tablist have an implicit aria-orientation value of horizontal.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role:
Required Owned Elements: tab
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Implicit Value for Role: Default for aria-orientation is horizontal.

tabpanel role

A container for the resources associated with a tab, where each tab is contained in a tablist.

Authors SHOULD associate a tabpanel element with its tab, either by using the aria-controls attribute on the tab to reference the tab panel, or by using the aria-labelledby attribute on the tab panel to reference the tab.

tablist elements are typically placed near, usually preceding, a series of tabpanel elements. See the WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices for details on implementing a tab set design pattern.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Accessible Name Required: True

term role

A word or phrase with a corresponding definition. See related definition.

The term role is used to explicitly identify a word or phrase for which a definition has been provided by the author or is expected to be provided by the user.

Authors SHOULD NOT use the term role on interactive elements such as links because doing so could prevent users of assistive technologies from interacting with those elements.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Related Concepts:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

textbox role

A type of input that allows free-form text as its value.

If the aria-multiline attribute is true, the widget accepts line breaks within the input, as in an HTML textarea. Otherwise, this is a simple text box. The intended use is for languages that do not have a text input element, or cases in which an element with different semantics is repurposed as a text field.

Note

In most user agent implementations, the default behavior of the ENTER or RETURN key is different between the single-line and multi-line text fields in HTML. When user has focus in a single-line <input type="text"> element, the keystroke usually submits the form. When user has focus in a multi-line <textarea> element, the keystroke inserts a line break. The WAI-ARIA textbox role differentiates these types of boxes with the aria-multiline attribute, so authors are advised to be aware of this distinction when designing the field.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: input
Subclass Roles:
Related Concepts:
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • encapsulation
  • author
Accessible Name Required: True

time role

An element that represents a specific point in time.

Note

At the present time, there are no WAI-ARIA properties corresponding to the datetime attribute supported on <time> in [HTML]. The addition of this property will be considered for ARIA version 1.3.

Authors SHOULD limit text contents to a valid date- or time-related string, or apply this future datetime-equivalent property to the element which has role time.

Examples of valid date- or time-related strings as text contents of an element with the time role:

  • A valid month string: 2019-11
  • A valid date string: 2019-11-18
  • A valid yearless date string: 11-18
  • A valid time string: 09:54:39
  • A valid floating date and time string: 2019-11-18T14:54
  • A valid time-zone offset string: -08:00
  • A valid global date and time string: 2019-11-18T14:54Z
  • A valid week string: 2019-W47
  • Four or more ASCII digits, at least one of which is not U+0030 DIGIT ZERO (0): 0001
  • A valid duration string: 4h 18m 3s
Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Related Concepts:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

timer role

A type of live region containing a numerical counter which indicates an amount of elapsed time from a start point, or the time remaining until an end point.

The text contents of the timer object indicate the current time measurement, and are updated as that amount changes. The timer value is not necessarily machine parsable, but authors SHOULD update the text contents at fixed intervals, except when the timer is paused or reaches an end-point.

Elements with the role timer have an implicit aria-live value of off.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: status
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

toolbar role

A collection of commonly used function buttons or controls represented in compact visual form.

The toolbar is often a subset of functions found in a menubar, designed to reduce user effort in using these functions. Authors MUST supply a label on each toolbar when the application contains more than one toolbar.

Authors MAY manage focus of descendants for all instances of this role, as described in Managing Focus.

Elements with the role toolbar have an implicit aria-orientation value of horizontal.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: group
Related Concepts:
Supported States and Properties: aria-orientation
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Implicit Value for Role: Default for aria-orientation is horizontal.

tooltip role

A contextual popup that displays a description for an element.

The tooltip typically becomes visible, after a short delay, in response to a mouse hover, or after the owning element receives keyboard focus. The use of a WAI-ARIA tooltip is a supplement to the normal tooltip behavior of the user agent.

Note

Typical tooltip delays last from one to five seconds.

Authors SHOULD ensure that elements with the role tooltip are referenced through the use of aria-describedby before or at the time the tooltip is displayed.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: section
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • contents
  • author
Accessible Name Required: True

tree role

A widget that allows the user to select one or more items from a hierarchically organized collection.

To be keyboard accessible, authors SHOULD manage focus of descendants for all instances of this role, as described in Managing Focus.

Elements with the role tree have an implicit aria-orientation value of vertical.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role: select
Subclass Roles:
Required Owned Elements:
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Accessible Name Required: True
Implicit Value for Role: Default for aria-orientation is vertical.

treegrid role

A grid whose rows can be expanded and collapsed in the same manner as for a tree.

If aria-readonly is set on an element with role treegrid, user agents MUST propagate the value to all gridcell elements owned by the treegrid and expose the value in the accessibility API. An author MAY override the propagated value of aria-readonly for an individual gridcell element.

When the aria-readonly attribute is applied to a focusable gridcell, it indicates whether the content contained in the gridcell is editable. The aria-readonly attribute does not represent availability of functions for navigating or manipulating the treegrid itself.

In a treegrid that provides content editing functions, if the content of a focusable gridcell element is not editable, authors MAY set aria-readonly to true on the gridcell element. However, if a treegrid presents a collection of elements that do not support aria-readonly, such as a collection of link elements, it is not necessary for the author to specify a value for aria-readonly.

To be keyboard accessible, authors SHOULD manage focus of descendants for all instances of this role, as described in Managing Focus.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role:
Required Owned Elements:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author
Accessible Name Required: True

treeitem role

An option item of a tree. This is an element within a tree that may be expanded or collapsed if it contains a sub-level group of tree item elements.

A collection of treeitem elements to be expanded and collapsed are enclosed in an element with the group role.

Authors MUST ensure elements with role treeitem are contained in, or owned by, an element with the role group or tree.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Superclass Role:
Required Context Role:
Supported States and Properties:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • contents
  • author
Accessible Name Required: True

widget abstract role

An interactive component of a graphical user interface (GUI).

Widgets are discrete user interface objects with which the user can interact. Widget roles map to standard features in accessibility APIs. When the user navigates an element assigned any of the non-abstract subclass roles of widget, assistive technologies that typically intercept standard keyboard events SHOULD switch to an application browsing mode, and pass keyboard events through to the web application. The intent is to hint to certain assistive technologies to switch from normal browsing mode into a mode more appropriate for interacting with a web application; some user agents have a browse navigation mode where keys, such as up and down arrows, are used to browse the document, and this native behavior prevents the use of these keys by a web application.

Note

widget is an abstract role used for the ontology. Authors should not use this role in content.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Is Abstract: True
Superclass Role: roletype
Subclass Roles:
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From:
  • n/a

window abstract role

A browser or application window.

Elements with this role have a window-like behavior in a graphical user interface (GUI) context, regardless of whether they are implemented as a native window in the operating system, or merely as a section of the document styled to look like a window.

Note

In the description of this role, the term "application" does not refer to the application role, which specifies specific assistive technology behaviors.

Note

window is an abstract role used for the ontology. Authors should not use this role in content.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Is Abstract: True
Superclass Role: roletype
Subclass Roles:
Supported States and Properties: aria-modal
Inherited States and Properties:
Name From: author

6. Supported States and Properties

6.1 Clarification of States versus Properties

The terms "states" and "properties" refer to similar features. Both provide specific information about an object, and both form part of the definition of the nature of roles. In this document, states and properties are both treated as aria-prefixed markup attributes. However, they are maintained conceptually distinct to clarify subtle differences in their meaning. One major difference is that the values of properties (such as aria-labelledby) are often less likely to change throughout the application life-cycle than the values of states (such as aria-checked) which may change frequently due to user interaction. Note that the frequency of change difference is not a rule; a few properties, such as aria-valuetext are expected to change often. Because the distinction between states and properties is of little consequence to most web content authors, this specification refers to both "states" and "properties" simply as "attributes" whenever possible. See the definitions of state and property for more information.

6.2 Characteristics of States and Properties

States and properties have the characteristics described in the following sections.

Advisory information about features from this or other languages that correspond to this state or property. While the correspondence may not be exact, it is useful to help understand the intent of the state or property.

6.2.2 Used in Roles

Advisory information about roles that use this state or property. This information is provided to help understand the appropriate usage of the state or property. Use of a given state or property is not defined when used on roles other than those listed.

6.2.3 Inherits into Roles

Advisory information about roles that inherit the state or property from an ancestor role.

6.2.4 Value

Value type of the state or property. The value may be one of the following types:

true/false
Enumerated value representing either true or false. The default value for this value type is false unless otherwise specified.
tristate
Enumerated value representing true, false, mixed, or undefined values. The default value for this value type is undefined unless otherwise specified.
true/false/undefined
Enumerated value representing true, false, or undefined (not applicable). The default value for this value type is undefined unless otherwise specified. For example, an element with aria-expanded set to false is not currently expanded; an element with aria-expanded set to undefined is not expandable.
ID reference
Reference to the ID of another element in the same document
ID reference list
A list of one or more ID references.
integer
A numerical value without a fractional component.
number
Any real numerical value.
string
Unconstrained value type.
token
One of a limited set of allowed enumerated values. The default value is defined in each attribute's Values table, as specified in the Enumerated Attribute Values section.
token list
A list of one or more tokens.

These are generic types for states and properties, but do not define specific representation. See State and Property Attribute Processing for details on how these values are expressed and handled in host languages.

6.3 Enumerated Attribute Values

When the ARIA attribute definition includes a table enumerating the attribute's allowed values, that attribute is an enumerated attribute. Each value in the table is a keyword for the attribute, mapping to a state of the same name. When the values table notates one of the values as "(default)", that default value is the missing value default and invalid value default for the attribute.

6.3.1 Example Enumerated Attribute Usage

This section is non-normative.

As noted in Mapping WAI-ARIA Value Types to Languages, attributes are included in host languages, and the syntax for representation of enumerated value types is governed by the host language.

All enumerated attribute getters and setters use string values, including the boolean-like enumerated true/false type.

6.4 Translatable States and Properties

The HTML specification states that other specifications can define translatable attributes. In order to be understandable by assistive technology users, the values of the following states and properties are translatable attributes and should be translated when a page is localized:

6.5 Global States and Properties

Some states and properties are applicable to all host language elements regardless of whether a role is applied. The following global states and properties are supported by all roles and by all base markup elements unless otherwise prohibited. If a role prohibits use of any global states or properties, those states or properties are listed as prohibited in the characteristics table included in the section that defines the role.

6.6 Taxonomy of WAI-ARIA States and Properties

States and properties are categorized as follows:

  1. Widget Attributes
  2. Live Region Attributes
  3. Drag-and-Drop Attributes
  4. Relationship Attributes

6.6.1 Widget Attributes

This section contains attributes specific to common user interface elements found on GUI systems or in rich internet applications which receive user input and process user actions. These attributes are used to support the widget roles.

Widget attributes might be mapped by a user agent to platform accessibility API state, for access by assistive technologies, or they might be accessed directly from the DOM. User agents MUST provide a way for assistive technologies to be notified when states change, either through DOM attribute change events or platform accessibility API events.

6.6.2 Live Region Attributes

This section contains attributes specific to live regions in rich internet applications. These attributes may be applied to any element. The purpose of these attributes is to indicate that content changes may occur without the element having focus, and to provide assistive technologies with information on how to process those content updates. Some roles specify a default value for the aria-live attribute specific to that role. An example of a live region is a ticker section that lists updating stock quotes.

6.6.3 Drag-and-Drop Attributes

This section lists attributes which indicate information about drag-and-drop interface elements, such as draggable elements and their drop targets. Drop target information will be rendered visually by the author and provided to assistive technologies through an alternate modality.

6.6.4 Relationship Attributes

This section lists attributes that indicate relationships or associations between elements which cannot be readily determined from the document structure.

6.7 Definitions of States and Properties (all aria-* attributes)

Below is an alphabetical list of WAI-ARIA states and properties to be used by rich internet application authors. A detailed definition of each WAI-ARIA state and property follows this compact list.

aria-activedescendant
Identifies the currently active element when DOM focus is on a composite widget, combobox, textbox, group, or application.
aria-atomic
Indicates whether assistive technologies will present all, or only parts of, the changed region based on the change notifications defined by the aria-relevant attribute.
aria-autocomplete
Indicates whether inputting text could trigger display of one or more predictions of the user's intended value for a combobox, searchbox, or textbox and specifies how predictions would be presented if they were made.
aria-braillelabel
Defines a string value that labels the current element, which is intended to be converted into Braille. See related aria-label.
aria-brailleroledescription
Defines a human-readable, author-localized abbreviated description for the role of an element, which is intended to be converted into Braille. See related aria-roledescription.
aria-busy
Indicates an element is being modified and that assistive technologies MAY want to wait until the modifications are complete before exposing them to the user.
aria-checked
Indicates the current "checked" state of checkboxes, radio buttons, and other widgets. See related aria-pressed and aria-selected.
aria-colcount
Defines the total number of columns in a table, grid, or treegrid. See related aria-colindex.
aria-colindex
Defines an element's column index or position with respect to the total number of columns within a table, grid, or treegrid. See related aria-colindextext, aria-colcount, and aria-colspan.
aria-colindextext
Defines a human readable text alternative of aria-colindex. See related aria-rowindextext.
aria-colspan
Defines the number of columns spanned by a cell or gridcell within a table, grid, or treegrid. See related aria-colindex and aria-rowspan.
aria-controls
Identifies the element (or elements) whose contents or presence are controlled by the current element. See related aria-owns.
aria-current
Indicates the element that represents the current item within a container or set of related elements.
aria-describedby
Identifies the element (or elements) that describes the object. See related aria-labelledby and aria-description.
aria-description
Defines a string value that describes or annotates the current element. See related aria-describedby.
aria-details
Identifies the element (or elements) that provide additional information related to the object. See related aria-describedby.
aria-disabled
Indicates that the element is perceivable but disabled, so it is not editable or otherwise operable. See related aria-hidden and aria-readonly.
aria-dropeffect
[Deprecated in ARIA 1.1] Indicates what functions can be performed when a dragged object is released on the drop target.
aria-errormessage
Identifies the element that provides an error message for an object. See related aria-invalid and aria-describedby.
aria-expanded
Indicates whether a grouping element owned or controlled by this element is expanded or collapsed.
aria-flowto
Identifies the next element (or elements) in an alternate reading order of content which, at the user's discretion, allows assistive technology to override the general default of reading in document source order.
aria-grabbed
[Deprecated in ARIA 1.1] Indicates an element's "grabbed" state in a drag-and-drop operation.
aria-haspopup
Indicates the availability and type of interactive popup element, such as menu or dialog, that can be triggered by an element.
aria-hidden
Indicates whether the element is exposed to an accessibility API. See related aria-disabled.
aria-invalid
Indicates the entered value does not conform to the format expected by the application. See related aria-errormessage.
aria-keyshortcuts
Indicates keyboard shortcuts that an author has implemented to activate or give focus to an element.
aria-label
Defines a string value that labels the current element. See related aria-labelledby.
aria-labelledby
Identifies the element (or elements) that labels the current element. See related aria-label and aria-describedby.
aria-level
Defines the hierarchical level of an element within a structure.
aria-live
Indicates that an element will be updated, and describes the types of updates the user agents, assistive technologies, and user can expect from the live region.
aria-modal
Indicates whether an element is modal when displayed.
aria-multiline
Indicates whether a text box accepts multiple lines of input or only a single line.
aria-multiselectable
Indicates that the user may select more than one item from the current selectable descendants.
aria-orientation
Indicates whether the element's orientation is horizontal, vertical, or unknown/ambiguous.
aria-owns
Identifies an element (or elements) in order to define a visual, functional, or contextual parent/child relationship between DOM elements where the DOM hierarchy cannot be used to represent the relationship. See related aria-controls.
aria-placeholder
Defines a short hint (a word or short phrase) intended to aid the user with data entry when the control has no value. A hint could be a sample value or a brief description of the expected format.
aria-posinset
Defines an element's number or position in the current set of listitems or treeitems. Not required if all elements in the set are present in the DOM. See related aria-setsize.
aria-pressed
Indicates the current "pressed" state of toggle buttons. See related aria-checked and aria-selected.
aria-readonly
Indicates that the element is not editable, but is otherwise operable. See related aria-disabled.
aria-relevant
Indicates what notifications the user agent will trigger when the accessibility tree within a live region is modified. See related aria-atomic.
aria-required
Indicates that user input is required on the element before a form may be submitted.
aria-roledescription
Defines a human-readable, author-localized description for the role of an element.
aria-rowcount
Defines the total number of rows in a table, grid, or treegrid. See related aria-rowindex.
aria-rowindex
Defines an element's row index or position with respect to the total number of rows within a table, grid, or treegrid. See related aria-rowindextext, aria-rowcount, and aria-rowspan.
aria-rowindextext
Defines a human readable text alternative of aria-rowindex. See related aria-colindextext.
aria-rowspan
Defines the number of rows spanned by a cell or gridcell within a table, grid, or treegrid. See related aria-rowindex and aria-colspan.
aria-selected
Indicates the current "selected" state of various widgets. See related aria-checked and aria-pressed.
aria-setsize
Defines the number of items in the current set of listitems or treeitems. Not required if all elements in the set are present in the DOM. See related aria-posinset.
aria-sort
Indicates if items in a table or grid are sorted in ascending or descending order.
aria-valuemax
Defines the maximum allowed value for a range widget.
aria-valuemin
Defines the minimum allowed value for a range widget.
aria-valuenow
Defines the current value for a range widget. See related aria-valuetext.
aria-valuetext
Defines the human readable text alternative of aria-valuenow for a range widget.

aria-activedescendant property

Identifies the currently active element when DOM focus is on a composite widget, combobox, textbox, group, or application.

The aria-activedescendant property provides an alternative method of managing focus for interactive elements that may contain multiple focusable descendants, such as menus, grids, and toolbars. Instead of moving DOM focus among owned elements, authors MAY set DOM focus on a container element that supports aria-activedescendant and then use aria-activedescendant to refer to the element that is active.

Authors MUST ensure that one of the following two sets of conditions is met when setting the value of aria-activedescendant on an element with DOM focus:

  1. The value of aria-activedescendant refers to an owned element. An owned element is either a descendant of the element with DOM focus or a logical descendant as indicated by the aria-owns attribute.
  2. The element with DOM focus is a combobox, textbox or searchbox with aria-controls referring to an element that supports aria-activedescendant, and the value of aria-activedescendant refers to an owned element of the controlled element. For example, in a combobox, focus may remain on the combobox while the value of aria-activedescendant on the combobox element refers to a descendant of a popup listbox that is controlled by the combobox.

Authors SHOULD also ensure that the currently active descendant is visible and in view (or scrolls into view) when focused.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Related Concepts:
Used in Roles:
Inherits into Roles:
Value: ID reference

aria-atomic property

Indicates whether assistive technologies will present all, or only parts of, the changed region based on the change notifications defined by the aria-relevant attribute.

Both accessibility APIs and the Document Object Model [DOM] provide events to allow the assistive technologies to determine changed areas of the document.

When the content of a live region changes, user agents SHOULD examine the changed element and traverse the ancestors to find the first element with aria-atomic set, and apply the appropriate behavior for the cases below.

  1. If none of the ancestors have explicitly set aria-atomic, the default is that aria-atomic is false, and assistive technologies will only present the changed node to the user.
  2. If aria-atomic is explicitly set to false, assistive technologies will stop searching up the ancestor chain and present only the changed node to the user.
  3. If aria-atomic is explicitly set to true, assistive technologies will present the entire contents of the element, including the author-defined live region label if one exists.

When aria-atomic is true, assistive technologies MAY choose to combine several changes and present the entire changed region at once.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Used in Roles: All elements of the base markup
Value: true/false
Values:
Value Description
false (default) Assistive technologies will present only the changed node or nodes.
true Assistive technologies will present the entire changed region as a whole, including the author-defined label if one exists.

aria-autocomplete property

Indicates whether inputting text could trigger display of one or more predictions of the user's intended value for a combobox, searchbox, or textbox and specifies how predictions would be presented if they were made.

The aria-autocomplete property describes the type of interaction model a textbox, searchbox, or combobox employs when dynamically helping users complete text input. It distinguishes between two models: the inline model (aria-autocomplete="inline") that presents a value completion prediction inside the text input and the list model (aria-autocomplete="list") that presents a collection of possible values in a separate element that pops up adjacent to the text input. It is possible for an input to offer both models at the same time (aria-autocomplete="both").

The aria-autocomplete property is limited to describing predictive behaviors of an input element. Authors SHOULD either omit specifying a value for aria-autocomplete or set aria-autocomplete to none if an input element provides one or more input proposals where none of the proposals are dependent on the specific input provided by the user. For instance, a combobox where the value of aria-autocomplete would be none is a search field that displays suggested values by listing the 5 most recently used search terms without any filtering of the list based on the user's input. Elements with a role that supports aria-autocomplete have a default value for aria-autocomplete of none.

When an inline suggestion is made as a user types in an input, suggested text for completing the value of the field dynamically appears in the field after the input cursor, and the suggested value is accepted as the value of the input if the user performs an action that causes focus to leave the field. When an element has aria-autocomplete set to inline or both, authors SHOULD ensure that the automatically suggested portion of the text is presented as selected text. This enables assistive technologies to distinguish between a user's input and the automatic suggestion and, in the event that the suggestion is not the desired value, enables the user to easily delete the suggestion or replace it by continuing to type.

If an element has aria-autocomplete set to list or both, authors MUST ensure both of the following conditions are met:

  1. The element has a value specified for aria-controls that refers to the element that contains the collection of suggested values.
  2. The element has a value for aria-haspopup that matches the role of the element that contains the collection of suggested values.

Some implementations of the list model require the user to perform an action, such as moving focus to the suggestion with the Down Arrow or clicking on the suggestion, in order to choose the suggestion. In such implementations, authors MAY manage focus by either using aria-activedescendant if the collection container supports it or by moving DOM focus to the suggestion. However, other implementations of the list model automatically highlight one suggestion as the selected value that will be accepted when the field loses focus, e.g., when the user presses the Tab key or clicks on a different field. If an element has aria-autocomplete set to list or both, and if a suggestion is automatically selected as the user provides input, authors MUST ensure all the following conditions are met:

  1. The collection of suggestions is presented in an element with a role that supports aria-activedescendant.
  2. The value of aria-activedescendant set on the input field is dynamically adjusted to refer to the element containing the selected suggestion as described in the definition of aria-activedescendant.
  3. DOM focus remains on the text input while the suggestions are displayed.

The aria-autocomplete property is not intended to indicate the presence of a completion suggestion, and authors SHOULD NOT dynamically change its value in order to communicate the presence of a suggestion. When an element has aria-autocomplete set to list or both, authors SHOULD use the aria-expanded state to communicate whether the element that presents the suggestion collection is displayed.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Used in Roles:
Inherits into Roles:
Value: token
Values:
Value Description
inline When a user is providing input, text suggesting one way to complete the provided input may be dynamically inserted after the caret.
list When a user is providing input, an element containing a collection of values that could complete the provided input may be displayed.
both When a user is providing input, an element containing a collection of values that could complete the provided input may be displayed. If displayed, one value in the collection is automatically selected, and the text needed to complete the automatically selected value appears after the caret in the input.
none (default) When a user is providing input, an automatic suggestion that attempts to predict how the user intends to complete the input is not displayed.

aria-brailleroledescription property

Defines a human-readable, author-localized abbreviated description for the role of an element, which is intended to be converted into Braille. See related aria-roledescription.

Some assistive technologies, such as screen readers, present the role of an element as part of the user experience. Such assistive technologies typically localize the name of the role, and they may customize it as well. Users of these assistive technologies depend on the presentation of the role name, such as "region," "button," or "slider," for an understanding of the purpose of the element and, if it is a widget, how to interact with it.

The aria-brailleroledescription property gives authors the ability to override how assistive technologies localize and express the name of a role in Braille. Thus inappropriately using aria-brailleroledescription may inhibit users' ability to understand or interact with an element on braille interfaces. Authors SHOULD limit use of aria-brailleroledescription to clarifying the purpose of non-interactive container roles like group or region, or to providing a more specific description of a widget in a braille context.

Authors MUST NOT use aria-brailleroledescription without providing aria-roledescription. In general, aria-brailleroledescription should only be used in rare cases when a aria-roledescription is excessively verbose when rendered in Braille.

When using aria-brailleroledescription, authors SHOULD also ensure that:

  1. The element to which aria-brailleroledescription is applied has a valid WAI-ARIA role or has an implicit WAI-ARIA role semantic.
  2. The value of aria-brailleroledescription is not empty or does not contain only whitespace characters.
  3. The value of aria-brailleroledescription does not contain any characters in Unicode Braille Patterns (U+2800..U+28FF) or consists of only characters in Unicode Braille Patterns (U+2800..U+28FF) while not only containing Braille Pattern dots-0 (U+2800).
  4. The value of aria-brailleroledescription should not be identical to the element's WAI-ARIA aria-roledescription, WAI-ARIA role or implicit WAI-ARIA role semantic.
Note

Note that Assistive Technologies with braille support can convert aria-roledescription content to Braille. In addition, assistive technologies will be able to customize such braille output according to user preferences. Using only aria-roledescription is almost always the better user experience and authors are strongly discouraged from using aria-brailleroledescription to replicate aria-roledescription. Instead, aria-brailleroledescription is meant to be used only when aria-roledescription cannot provide an adequate braille representation, i.e., when a specialized braille description is very different from a text description converted to Braille. It is very important to note that when using aria-brailleroledescription authors are solely responsible to align the attribute value with the document language and clearly communicate the use of this attribute to the user. This is even more important when the value consists of Unicode Braille Patterns because Assistive Technologies will pass such content directly to the user without applying user specific braille translations; in general, authors are strongly discouraged from using Unicode Braille Patterns in aria-brailleroledescription.

User agents MUST NOT expose the aria-brailleroledescription property if any of the following conditions exist:

  1. The element to which aria-brailleroledescription is applied does not have a valid WAI-ARIA role or does not have an implicit WAI-ARIA role semantic.
  2. The value of aria-brailleroledescription is empty or contains only whitespace characters or contains only Braille Pattern dots-0 (U+2800).
  3. The element to which aria-brailleroledescription is applied does not have a valid WAI-ARIA aria-roledescription.

Assistive technologies SHOULD use the value of aria-brailleroledescription when presenting the role of an element in Braille, but SHOULD NOT change other functionality based on the role of an element that has a value for aria-brailleroledescription. For example, an assistive technology that provides functions for navigating to the next region or button SHOULD allow those functions to navigate to regions and buttons that have an aria-brailleroledescription.

Assistive technologies SHOULD expose the aria-brailleroledescription property as follows:

  1. If the value of aria-brailleroledescription does not contain characters in Unicode Braille Patterns (U+2800..U+28FF), translate the value according to the user's preferred translation table.
  2. Otherwise, pass the value to the user without translation.

The following example shows the use of aria-brailleroledescription to indicate that a button's description has a particular braille contraction.

<button aria-roledescription="planet" aria-brailleroledescription="pln" id="jupiter">
<img alt="jupiter" src="images/jupiter.jpg"/>
</button>

In the previous example, a braille display may display "pln Jupiter" in Braille rather than the verbose "planet Jupiter".

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Used in Roles: All elements of the base markup
Value: string

aria-busy state

Indicates an element is being modified and that assistive technologies MAY want to wait until the modifications are complete before exposing them to the user.

The default value of aria-busy is false for all elements. When aria-busy is true for an element, assistive technologies MAY ignore changes to content owned by that element and then process all changes made during the busy period as a single, atomic update when aria-busy becomes false.

If it is necessary to make multiple additions, modifications, or removals within a container element that is already either partially or fully rendered, authors MAY set aria-busy to true on the container element before the first change, and then set it to false when the last change is complete. For example, if multiple changes to a live region should be spoken as a single unit of speech, authors MAY set aria-busy to true while the changes are being made and then set it to false when the changes are complete and ready to be spoken.

If an element with role feed is marked busy, assistive technologies MAY defer rendering changes that occur inside the feed with the exception of user-initiated changes that occur inside the article that the user is reading during the busy period.

If changes to a rendered widget would create a state where the widget is missing required owned elements during script execution, authors MUST set aria-busy to true on the widget during the update process. For example, if a rendered tree grid required a set of simultaneous updates to multiple discontiguous branches, an alternative to replacing the complete tree element with a single update would be to mark the tree busy while each of the branches are modified.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Used in Roles: All elements of the base markup
Value: true/false
Values:
Value Description
false (default): There are no expected updates for the element.
true The element is being updated.

aria-checked state

Indicates the current "checked" state of checkboxes, radio buttons, and other widgets. See related aria-pressed and aria-selected.

The aria-checked attribute indicates whether the element is checked (true), unchecked (false), or represents a group of other elements that have a mixture of checked and unchecked values (mixed). Most inputs only support values of true and false, but the mixed value is supported by certain tri-state inputs such as a checkbox or menuitemcheckbox.

The mixed value is not supported on radio, menuitemradio, switch or any element that inherits from these, and user agents MUST treat a mixed value as equivalent to false for those roles.

Examples using the mixed value of tri-state inputs are covered in the WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Used in Roles:
Inherits into Roles:
Value: tristate
Values:
Value Description
false The element supports being checked but is not currently checked.
mixed Indicates a mixed mode value for a tri-state checkbox or menuitemcheckbox.
true The element is checked.
undefined (default) The element does not support being checked.

aria-colcount property

Defines the total number of columns in a table, grid, or treegrid. See related aria-colindex.

If all of the columns are present in the DOM, it is not necessary to set this attribute as the user agent can automatically calculate the total number of columns. However, if only a portion of the columns is present in the DOM at a given moment, this attribute is needed to provide an explicit indication of the number of columns in the full table.

Authors MUST set the value of aria-colcount to an integer equal to the number of columns in the full table. If the total number of columns is unknown, authors MUST set the value of aria-colcount to -1 to indicate that the value should not be calculated by the user agent.

The following example shows a grid with 16 columns, of which columns 2, 3, 4, and 9 are displayed to the user.

<div role="grid" aria-colcount="16">
  <div role="rowgroup">
    <div role="row">
      <span role="columnheader" aria-colindex="2">First Name</span>
      <span role="columnheader" aria-colindex="3">Last Name</span>
      <span role="columnheader" aria-colindex="4">Company</span>
      <span role="columnheader" aria-colindex="9">Phone</span>
    </div>
  </div>
  <div role="rowgroup">
    <div role="row">
      <span role="gridcell" aria-colindex="2">Fred</span>
      <span role="gridcell" aria-colindex="3">Jackson</span>
      <span role="gridcell" aria-colindex="4">Acme, Inc.</span>
      <span role="gridcell" aria-colindex="9">555-1234</span>
    </div>
    <div role="row">
      <span role="gridcell" aria-colindex="2">Sara</span>
      <span role="gridcell" aria-colindex="3">James</span>
      <span role="gridcell" aria-colindex="4">Acme, Inc.</span>
      <span role="gridcell" aria-colindex="9">555-1235</span>
    </div></div>
</div>
Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Used in Roles:
Inherits into Roles:
Value: integer

aria-colindex property

Defines an element's column index or position with respect to the total number of columns within a table, grid, or treegrid. See related aria-colindextext, aria-colcount, and aria-colspan.

If all of the columns are present in the DOM, it is not necessary to set this attribute as the user agent can automatically calculate the column index of each cell or gridcell. However, if only a portion of the columns is present in the DOM at a given moment, this attribute is needed to provide an explicit indication of the column of each cell or gridcell with respect to the full table.

Authors MUST set the value for aria-colindex to an integer greater than or equal to 1, greater than the aria-colindex value of any previous elements within the same row, and less than or equal to the number of columns in the full table. For a cell or gridcell which spans multiple columns, authors MUST set the value of aria-colindex to the start of the span.

If the set of columns which is present in the DOM is contiguous, and if there are no cells which span more than one row or column in that set, then authors MAY place aria-colindex on each row, setting the value to the index of the first column of the set. Otherwise, authors SHOULD place aria-colindex on all of the children or owned elements of each row.

The following example shows a grid with 16 columns, of which columns 2 through 5 are displayed to the user. Because the set of columns is contiguous, aria-colindex can be placed on each row.

<div role="grid" aria-colcount="16">
  <div role="rowgroup">
    <div role="row" aria-colindex="2">
      <span role="columnheader">First Name</span>
      <span role="columnheader">Last Name</span>
      <span role="columnheader">Company</span>
      <span role="columnheader">Address</span>
    </div>
  </div>
  <div role="rowgroup">
    <div role="row" aria-colindex="2">
      <span role="gridcell">Fred</span>
      <span role="gridcell">Jackson</span>
      <span role="gridcell">Acme, Inc.</span>
      <span role="gridcell">123 Broad St.</span>
    </div>
    <div role="row" aria-colindex="2">
      <span role="gridcell">Sara</span>
      <span role="gridcell">James</span>
      <span role="gridcell">Acme, Inc.</span>
      <span role="gridcell">123 Broad St.</span>
    </div></div>
</div>

The following example shows a grid with 16 columns, of which columns 2 through 5 are displayed to the user. While the set of columns is contiguous, some of the cells span multiple rows. As a result, aria-colindex needs to be placed on all of the owned elements of each row.

<div role="grid" aria-colcount="16">
  <div role="rowgroup">
    <div role="row">
      <span role="columnheader" aria-colindex="2">First Name</span>
      <span role="columnheader" aria-colindex="3">Last Name</span>
      <span role="columnheader" aria-colindex="4">Company</span>
      <span role="columnheader" aria-colindex="5">Address</span>
    </div>
  </div>
  <div role="rowgroup">
    <div role="row">
      <span role="gridcell" aria-colindex="2">Fred</span>
      <span role="gridcell" aria-colindex="3">Jackson</span>
      <span role="gridcell" aria-colindex="4" aria-rowspan="2">Acme, Inc.</span>
      <span role="gridcell" aria-colindex="5" aria-rowspan="2">123 Broad St.</span>
    </div>
    <div role="row">
      <span role="gridcell" aria-colindex="2">Sara</span>
      <span role="gridcell" aria-colindex="3">James</span>
    </div></div>
</div>

The following example shows a grid with 16 columns, of which columns 2, 3, 4, and 9 are displayed to the user. Because the set of columns is non-contiguous, aria-colindex needs to be placed on all of the owned elements of each row.

<div role="grid" aria-colcount="16">
  <div role="rowgroup">
    <div role="row">
      <span role="columnheader" aria-colindex="2">First Name</span>
      <span role="columnheader" aria-colindex="3">Last Name</span>
      <span role="columnheader" aria-colindex="4">Company</span>
      <span role="columnheader" aria-colindex="9">Phone</span>
    </div>
  </div>
  <div role="rowgroup">
    <div role="row">
      <span role="gridcell" aria-colindex="2">Fred</span>
      <span role="gridcell" aria-colindex="3">Jackson</span>
      <span role="gridcell" aria-colindex="4">Acme, Inc.</span>
      <span role="gridcell" aria-colindex="9">555-1234</span>
    </div>
    <div role="row">
      <span role="gridcell" aria-colindex="2">Sara</span>
      <span role="gridcell" aria-colindex="3">James</span>
      <span role="gridcell" aria-colindex="4">Acme, Inc.</span>
      <span role="gridcell" aria-colindex="9">555-1235</span>
    </div></div>
</div>
Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Used in Roles:
Inherits into Roles:
Value: integer

aria-colindextext property

Defines a human readable text alternative of aria-colindex. See related aria-rowindextext.

Authors SHOULD only use aria-colindextext when the provided or calculated value of aria-colindex is not meaningful or does not reflect the displayed index, as is the case with spreadsheets and chess boards.

Authors SHOULD NOT use aria-colindextext as a replacement for aria-colindex because some assistive technologies rely upon the numeric column index for the purpose of keeping track of the user's position or providing alternative table navigation.

Note

Unlike aria-colindex, aria-colindextext is not a supported property of row because user agents have no way to reliably calculate aria-colindextext for the purpose of exposing its value on the cell or gridcell.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Used in Roles:
Inherits into Roles:
Value: string

aria-colspan property

Defines the number of columns spanned by a cell or gridcell within a table, grid, or treegrid. See related aria-colindex and aria-rowspan.

This attribute is intended for cells and gridcells which are not contained in a native table. When defining the column span of cells or gridcells in a native table, authors SHOULD use the host language's attribute instead of aria-colspan. If aria-colspan is used on an element for which the host language provides an equivalent attribute, user agents MUST ignore the value of aria-colspan and instead expose the value of the host language's attribute to assistive technologies.

Authors MUST set the value of aria-colspan to an integer greater than or equal to 1 and less than the value which would cause the cell or gridcell to overlap the next cell or gridcell in the same row.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Used in Roles:
Inherits into Roles:
Value: integer

aria-controls property

Identifies the element (or elements) whose contents or presence are controlled by the current element. See related aria-owns.

For example:

  • A table of contents tree view may control the content of a neighboring document pane.
  • A group of checkboxes may control what commodity prices are tracked live in a table or graph.
  • A tab controls the display of its associated tab panel.
Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Used in Roles: All elements of the base markup
Value: ID reference list

aria-current state

Indicates the element that represents the current item within a container or set of related elements.

The aria-current attribute is an enumerated type. Any value not included in the list of allowed values SHOULD be treated by assistive technologies as if the value true had been provided. If the attribute is not present or its value is an empty string or undefined, the default value of false applies and the aria-current state MUST NOT be exposed by user agents or assistive technologies.

The aria-current attribute is used when an element within a set of related elements is visually styled to indicate it is the current item in the set. For example:

  • A page token used to indicate a link within a set of pagination links, where the link is visually styled to represent the currently-displayed page.
  • A step token used to indicate a link within a step indicator for a step-based process, where the link is visually styled to represent the current step.
  • A location token used to indicate the image that is visually highlighted as the current component of a flow chart.
  • A date token used to indicate the current date within a calendar.
  • A time token used to indicate the current time within a timetable.

Authors SHOULD only mark one element in a set of elements as current with aria-current.

Authors SHOULD NOT use the aria-current attribute as a substitute for aria-selected in widgets where aria-selected has the same meaning. For example, in a tablist, aria-selected is used on a tab to indicate the currently-displayed tabpanel.

Note

In some use cases for widgets that support aria-selected, current and selected can have different meanings and can both be used within the same set of elements. For example, aria-current="page" can be used in a navigation tree to indicate which page is currently displayed, while aria-selected="true" indicates which page will be displayed if the user activates the treeitem. Furthermore, the same tree may support operating on one or more selected pages (treeitems) by way of a context menu containing options such as "delete" and "move."

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Used in Roles: All elements of the base markup
Value: token
Values:
Value Description
page Represents the current page within a set of pages.
step Represents the current step within a process.
location Represents the current location within an environment or context.
date Represents the current date within a collection of dates.
time Represents the current time within a set of times.
true Represents the current item within a set.
false (default) Does not represent the current item within a set.

aria-describedby property

Identifies the element (or elements) that describes the object. See related aria-labelledby and aria-description.

The aria-labelledby attribute is similar to aria-describedby in that both reference other elements to calculate a text alternative, but a label should be concise, where a description is intended to provide more verbose information.

The element or elements referenced by the aria-describedby comprise the entire description. Include ID references to multiple elements if necessary, or enclose a set of elements (e.g., paragraphs) with the element referenced by the ID.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Related Concepts:
Used in Roles: All elements of the base markup
Value: ID reference list

aria-description property

Defines a string value that describes or annotates the current element. See related aria-describedby.

The aria-description attribute is similar to aria-label in that both provide a flat string to associate with the element, but a label should be concise, whereas a description is intended to provide more verbose information.

The purpose of aria-description is the same as that of aria-describedby. It provides the user with additional descriptive text for the object. The most common accessibility API mapping for a description is the accessible description property. User agents MUST give precedence to aria-describedby over aria-description when computing the accessible description property.

In cases where providing a visible description is not the desired user experience, authors MAY set the accessible description of the element using aria-description. However, if the description text is available in the DOM, authors SHOULD NOT use aria-description, but should use one of the following instead:

  • Authors SHOULD use aria-describedby when the related description or annotation elements contain a simple, small description that is best experienced as a flat string, rather than by having the user navigate to them.
  • Authors SHOULD use aria-details when the related description or annotation elements contain useful semantics or structure, or there is a lot of content within them, making it difficult to experience as a flat string. Using aria-details will allow assistive technology users to visit the structured content and provide additional navigation commands, making it easier to understand the structure, or to experience the information in smaller pieces.
Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Related Concepts:
Used in Roles: All elements of the base markup
Value: string

aria-details property

Identifies the element (or elements) that provide additional information related to the object. See related aria-describedby.

The aria-details property is for referencing elements that provide more detailed information than would normally be provided via aria-describedby. The presence of aria-details enables assistive technologies to make users aware of the availability of extended information and navigate to it. Authors SHOULD ensure that elements referenced by aria-details are visible to all users.

Assistive technologies MAY use the role of elements referenced by the aria-details property to help users understand the types of information associated with the element. Authors MAY convey the type of details associated with an element as follows:

  • Comment: aria-details refers to an element with role comment.
  • Definition: aria-details is applied to an element with role term and refers to an element with role definition.
  • Footnote: aria-details refers to an element with role doc-footnote. This role is defined in [DPUB-ARIA-1.0].
  • Endnote: aria-details refers to an element with role doc-endnote. This role is defined in [DPUB-ARIA-1.0].
  • Description or general annotation: aria-details refers to an element with any other role.

Unlike elements referenced by aria-describedby, elements referenced by aria-details are not used in the Accessible Description Computation as defined in the Accessible Name and Description specification. Thus, the content of elements referenced by aria-details are not flattened to a string when presented to assistive technology users. This makes aria-details particularly useful when converting the information to a string would cause a loss of information or make the extended information more difficult to understand.

The aria-details property supports referring to multiple elements. For example, a paragraph in a document editor may reference multiple comments that are not related to each other. If a user agent relies on an accessibility API that does not support exposing multiple descriptive relations, the user agent SHOULD expose the relationship to the first element referenced by aria-details.

It is valid for an element to have both aria-details and a description specified with either aria-describedby or aria-description. If a user agent relies on an accessibility API that does not support exposing multiple descriptive relations, and if an element has both aria-details and aria-describedby, the user agent SHOULD expose the aria-details relation and the description string computed from the aria-describedby relationship.

A common use for aria-details is in digital publishing where an extended description needs to be conveyed in a book that requires structural markup or the embedding of other technology to provide illustrative content. The following example demonstrates this scenario.

<!-- Provision of an extended description -->
<img src="pythagorean.jpg" alt="Pythagorean Theorem" aria-details="det">
<details id="det">
  <summary>Example</summary>
  <p>
    The Pythagorean Theorem is a relationship in Euclidean Geometry between the three sides of
    a right triangle, where the square of the hypotenuse is the sum of the squares of the two
    opposing sides.
  </p>
  <p>
    The following drawing illustrates an application of the Pythagorean Theorem when used to
    construct a skateboard ramp.
  </p>
  <object data="skatebd-ramp.svg"  type="image/svg+xml"></object>
  <p>
    In this example you will notice a skateboard ramp with a base and vertical board whose width
    is the width of the ramp. To compute how long the ramp must be, simply calculate the
    base length, square it, sum it with the square of the height of the ramp, and take the
    square root of the sum.
  </p>
</details>

Alternatively, aria-details may refer to a link to a web page having the extended description, as shown in the following example.

<!-- Provision of an extended description -->
<img src="pythagorean.jpg" alt="Pythagorean Theorem" aria-details="det">
<p>
  See an <a href="http://foo.com/pt.html" id="det">Application of the Pythagorean Theorem</a>.
</p>
Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Used in Roles: All elements of the base markup
Value: ID reference list

aria-disabled state

Indicates that the element is perceivable but disabled, so it is not editable or otherwise operable. See related aria-hidden and aria-readonly.

For example, irrelevant options in a radio group may be disabled. Disabled elements might not receive focus from the tab order. For some disabled elements, applications might choose not to support navigation to descendants. In addition to setting the aria-disabled attribute, authors SHOULD change the appearance (grayed out, etc.) to indicate that the item has been disabled.

The state of being disabled applies to the current element and all focusable descendant elements of the element on which the aria-disabled attribute is applied.

Note

While aria-disabled and proper scripting can successfully disable an element with role link, fully disabling a host language equivalent can be problematic. Authors are advised not to use aria-disabled on elements that cannot be disabled through features of the host language alone.

Note: Usage on columnheader, rowheader and row

While aria-disabled is currently supported on columnheader, rowheader, and row, in a future version the working group plans to prohibit its use on elements with any of those three roles except when they are in the context of a grid or treegrid.

Note

This state is being deprecated as a global state in ARIA 1.2. In future versions it will only be allowed on roles where it is specifically supported.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Used in Roles:
Inherits into Roles:
Value: true/false
Values:
Value Description
false (default) The element is enabled.
true The element and all focusable descendants are disabled and its value cannot be changed by the user.

aria-dropeffect property

[Deprecated in ARIA 1.1] Indicates what functions can be performed when a dragged object is released on the drop target.

Note

The aria-dropeffect property is expected to be replaced by a new feature in a future version of WAI-ARIA. Authors are therefore advised to treat aria-dropeffect as deprecated.

This property allows assistive technologies to convey the possible drag options available to users, including whether a pop-up menu of choices is provided by the application. Typically, drop effect functions can only be provided once an object has been grabbed for a drag operation as the drop effect functions available are dependent on the object being dragged.

More than one drop effect may be supported for a given element. Therefore, the value of this attribute is a space-separated set of tokens indicating the possible effects, or none if there is no supported operation. In addition to setting the aria-dropeffect attribute, authors SHOULD show a visual indication of potential drop targets.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Used in Roles: All elements of the base markup
Value: token list
Values:
Value Description
copy A duplicate of the source object will be dropped into the target.
execute A function supported by the drop target is executed, using the drag source as an input.
link A reference or shortcut to the dragged object will be created in the target object.
move The source object will be removed from its current location and dropped into the target.
none (default) No operation can be performed; effectively cancels the drag operation if an attempt is made to drop on this object. Ignored if combined with any other token value. e.g., 'none copy' is equivalent to a 'copy' value.
popup There is a popup menu or dialog that allows the user to choose one of the drag operations (copy, move, link, execute) and any other drag functionality, such as cancel.

aria-errormessage property

Identifies the element that provides an error message for an object. See related aria-invalid and aria-describedby.

The aria-errormessage attribute references another element that contains error message text. Authors MUST use aria-invalid in conjunction with aria-errormessage.

When the value of an object is not valid, aria-invalid is set to true, which indicates that the message contained by an element referenced by aria-errormessage is pertinent.

When an object is in a valid state, it has either aria-invalid set to false or it does not have the aria-invalid attribute. Authors MAY use aria-errormessage on an object that is currently valid, but only if the element referenced by aria-errormessage is hidden, because the message it contains is not pertinent.

When aria-errormessage is pertinent, authors MUST ensure the content is not hidden so users can navigate to and examine the error message. Similarly, when aria-errormessage is not pertinent, authors MUST either ensure the content is hidden or remove the aria-errormessage attribute or its value.

User agents MUST NOT expose aria-errormessage for an object with an aria-invalid value of false.

Authors MAY call attention to a newly rendered error message with a live region by either applying an aria-live property or using one of the live region roles, such as alert. A live region is appropriate when an error message is displayed to users after they have provided an invalid value.

A typical message describes what is wrong and informs users what is required. For example, an error message might be, Invalid time: the time must be between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. The following example code shows markup for an initial valid state and for a subsequent invalid state. Note the changes to aria-invalid on the text input object, and to aria-live on the element containing the text of the error message:

<!-- Initial valid state -->
<label for="startTime"> Please enter a start time for the meeting: </label>
<input id="startTime" type="text" aria-errormessage="msgID" value="" aria-invalid="false">
<span id="msgID" aria-live="assertive"><span style="visibility:hidden">Invalid time: the time must be between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM</span></span>

<!-- User has input an invalid value -->
<label for="startTime"> Please enter a start time for the meeting: </label>
<input id="startTime" type="text" aria-errormessage="msgID" aria-invalid="true" value="11:30 PM" >
<span id="msgID" aria-live="assertive"><span style="visibility:visible">Invalid time: the time must be between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM</span></span>
Note

This example uses aria-live="assertive" to indicate that assistive technologies should immediately announce the error message rather than completing other queued announcements first. This increases the likelihood that users are aware of the error message before they move focus out of the input.

Note

This state is being deprecated as a global state in ARIA 1.2. In future versions it will only be allowed on roles where it is specifically supported.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Used in Roles:
Inherits into Roles:
Value: ID reference

aria-expanded state

Indicates whether a grouping element owned or controlled by this element is expanded or collapsed.

The aria-expanded attribute is applied to a focusable, interactive element that toggles visibility of content in another element. For example, it is applied to a parent treeitem to indicate whether its child branch of the tree is shown. Similarly, it can be applied to a button that controls visibility of a section of page content.

If a grouping container that can be expanded or collapsed is not owned by the element that has the aria-expanded attribute, the author SHOULD identify the controlling relationship by referencing the container from the element that has aria-expanded with the aria-controls property.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Used in Roles:
Inherits into Roles:
Value: true/false/undefined
Values:
Value Description
false The grouping element this element owns or controls is collapsed.
true The grouping element this element owns or controls is expanded.
undefined (default) The element does not own or control a grouping element that is expandable.

aria-flowto property

Identifies the next element (or elements) in an alternate reading order of content which, at the user's discretion, allows assistive technology to override the general default of reading in document source order.

When aria-flowto has a single ID reference, it allows assistive technologies to, at the user's request, forego normal document reading order and go to the targeted object. However, when aria-flowto is provided with multiple ID references, assistive technologies SHOULD present the referenced elements as path choices.

In the case of one or more ID references, user agents or assistive technologies SHOULD give the user the option of navigating to any of the targeted elements. The name of the path can be determined by the name of the target element of the aria-flowto attribute. Accessibility APIs can provide named path relationships.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Used in Roles: All elements of the base markup
Value: ID reference list

aria-grabbed state

[Deprecated in ARIA 1.1] Indicates an element's "grabbed" state in a drag-and-drop operation.

Note

The aria-grabbed state is expected to be replaced by a new feature in a future version of WAI-ARIA. Authors are therefore advised to treat aria-grabbed as deprecated.

Setting aria-grabbed to true indicates that the element has been selected for dragging. Setting aria-grabbed to false indicates that the element can be grabbed for a drag-and-drop operation, but is not currently grabbed. If aria-grabbed is unspecified or set to undefined (default), the element cannot be grabbed.

When aria-grabbed is set to true, authors SHOULD update the aria-dropeffect attribute of all potential drop targets. When an element is not grabbed (the value is set to false or undefined, or the attribute is removed), authors SHOULD revert the aria-dropeffect attributes of the associated drop targets to none.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Used in Roles: All elements of the base markup
Value: true/false/undefined
Values:
Value Description
false Indicates that the element supports being dragged.
true Indicates that the element has been "grabbed" for dragging.
undefined (default) Indicates that the element does not support being dragged.

aria-haspopup property

Indicates the availability and type of interactive popup element, such as menu or dialog, that can be triggered by an element.

A popup element usually appears as a block of content that is on top of other content. Authors MUST ensure that the role of the element that serves as the container for the popup content is menu, listbox, tree, grid, or dialog, and that the value of aria-haspopup matches the role of the popup container.

For the popup element to be keyboard accessible, authors SHOULD ensure that the element that can trigger the popup is focusable, that there is a keyboard mechanism for opening the popup, and that the popup element manages focus of all its descendants as described in Managing Focus.

The aria-haspopup property is an enumerated type. User agents MUST treat any value of aria-haspopup that is not included in the list of allowed values, including an empty string, as if the value false had been provided. To provide backward compatibility with ARIA 1.0 content, user agents MUST treat an aria-haspopup value of true as equivalent to a value of menu.

Assistive technologies SHOULD NOT expose the aria-haspopup property if it has a value of false.

Note

A tooltip is not considered to be a popup in this context.

Note

aria-haspopup is most relevant to use when there is a visual indicator in the element that triggers the popup. For example, many controls styled with a downward pointing triangle, chevron, or ellipsis (three consecutive dots) have become standard visual indicators that a popup will display when the control is activated. If some functional difference is relevant to display to a sighted user by means of a different visual style, that functional difference is usually relevant to convey to users of assistive technology. If there is no visual indication that an element will trigger a popup, authors are advised to consider whether use of aria-haspopup is necessary, and avoid using it when it's not.

Note

This property is being deprecated as a global property in ARIA 1.2. In future versions it will only be allowed on roles where it is specifically supported.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Related Concepts:
Used in Roles:
Inherits into Roles:
Value: token
Values:
Value Description
false (default) Indicates the element does not have a popup.
true Indicates the popup is a menu.
menu Indicates the popup is a menu.
listbox Indicates the popup is a listbox.
tree Indicates the popup is a tree.
grid Indicates the popup is a grid.
dialog Indicates the popup is a dialog.

aria-hidden state

Indicates whether the element is exposed to an accessibility API. See related aria-disabled.

User agents determine an element's hidden status based on whether it is rendered, and the rendering is usually controlled by CSS. For example, an element whose display property is set to none is not rendered. An element is considered hidden if it, or any of its ancestors are not rendered or have their aria-hidden attribute value set to true.

Authors MAY, with caution, use aria-hidden to hide visibly rendered content from assistive technologies only if the act of hiding this content is intended to improve the experience for users of assistive technologies by removing redundant or extraneous content. Authors using aria-hidden to hide visible content from screen readers MUST ensure that identical or equivalent meaning and functionality is exposed to assistive technologies.

Note

Authors are advised to use extreme caution and consider a wide range of disabilities when hiding visibly rendered content from assistive technologies. For example, a sighted, dexterity-impaired individual may use voice-controlled assistive technologies to access a visual interface. If an author hides visible link text "Go to checkout" and exposes similar, yet non-identical link text "Check out now" to the accessibility API, the user may be unable to access the interface they perceive using voice control. Similar problems may also arise for screen reader users. For example, a sighted telephone support technician may attempt to have the blind screen reader user click the "Go to checkout" link, which they may be unable to find using a type-ahead item search ("Go to…").

Note

At the time of this writing, aria-hidden="false" is known to work inconsistently in browsers. As future implementations improve, use caution and test thoroughly before relying on this approach.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Used in Roles: All elements of the base markup
Value: true/false/undefined
Values:
Value Description
false The element is exposed to the accessibility API as if it was rendered.
true The element is hidden from the accessibility API.
undefined (default) The element's hidden state is determined by the user agent based on whether it is rendered.

aria-invalid state

Indicates the entered value does not conform to the format expected by the application. See related aria-errormessage.

If the value is computed to be invalid or out-of-range, the application author SHOULD set this attribute to true. User agents SHOULD inform the user of the error. Application authors SHOULD provide suggestions for corrections if they are known.

When the user attempts to submit data involving a field for which aria-required is true, authors MAY use the aria-invalid attribute to signal there is an error. However, if the user has not attempted to submit the form, authors SHOULD NOT set the aria-invalid attribute on required widgets simply because the user has not yet entered data.

For future expansion, the aria-invalid attribute is an enumerated type. Any value not recognized in the list of allowed values MUST be treated by user agents as if the value true had been provided. If the attribute is not present, or its value is false, or its value is an empty string, the default value of false applies.

Note

This state is being deprecated as a global state in ARIA 1.2. In future versions it will only be allowed on roles where it is specifically supported.

Characteristics:
Characteristic Value
Used in Roles:
Inherits into Roles:
Value: token
Values:
Value Description
grammar A grammatical error was detected.
false (default) There are no detected errors in the value.
spelling A spelling error was detected.
true The value entered by the user has failed validation.

aria-keyshortcuts property

Indicates keyboard shortcuts that an author has implemented to activate or give focus to an element.

The value of the aria-keyshortcuts attribute is a space-separated list of keyboard shortcuts that can be pressed to activate a command or textbox widget. The keys defined in the shortcuts represent the physical keys pressed and not the actual characters generated. Each keyboard shortcut consists of one or more tokens delimited by the plus sign ("+") representing zero or more modifier keys and exactly one non-modifier key that must be pressed simultaneously to activate the given shortcut.

Authors MUST specify modifier keys exactly according to the UI Events KeyboardEvent key Values spec [uievents-key] - for example, "Alt", "Control", "Shift", "Meta", or "AltGraph". Note that Meta corresponds to the Command key, and Alt to the Option key, on Apple computers.

The valid names for non-modifier keys are any printable character such as "A", "B", "1", "2", "$", "Plus" for a plus sign, "Space" for the spacebar, or the names of any other non-modifier key specified in the UI Events KeyboardEvent key Values spec [uievents-key] - for example, "Enter", "Tab", "ArrowRight", "PageDown", "Escape", or "F1". The use of "Space" for the spacebar is an exception to the UI Events KeyboardEvent key Values spec [uievents-key] as the space or spacebar key is encoded as ' ' and would be treated as a whitespace character.

Authors MUST ensure modifier keys come first when they are part of a keyboard shortcut. Authors MUST ensure that required non-modifier keys come last when they are part of a shortcut. The order of the modifier keys is not otherwise significant, so "Alt+Shift+T" and "Shift+Alt+T" are equivalent, but "T+Shift+Alt" is not valid because all of the modifier keys don't come first, and "Alt" is not valid because it doesn't include at least one non-modifier key.

When specifying an alphabetic key, both the uppercase and lowercase variants are considered equivalent: "a" and "A" are the same.

When implementing keyboard shortcuts authors should consider the keyboards they intend to support to avoid unintended results. Keyboard designs vary significantly based on the device used and the languages supported. For example, many modifier keys are used in conjunction with other keys to create common punctuation symbols, create number characters, swap keyboard sides on bilingual keyboards to switch languages, and perform a number of other functions.

For many supported keyboards, authors can prevent conflicts by avoiding keys other than ASCII letters, as number characters and common punctuation often require modifiers. Here, the keyboard shortcut entered does not equate to the key generated. For example, in French keyboard layouts, the number characters are not available until you press the Control key, so a keyboard shortcut defined as "Control+2" would be ambiguous as this is how one would type the "2" character on a French keyboard.

If the character used is determined by a modifier key, the author MUST specify the actual key used to generate the character, that is generated by the key, and not the resulting character. This convention enables the assistive technology to accurately convey what keys must be used to generate the shortcut. For example, on most U.S. English keyboards, the percent sign "%" can be input by pressing Shift+5. The correct way to specify this shortcut is "Shift+5". It is incorrect to specify "%" or "Shift+%". However, note that on some international keyboards the percent sign may be an unmodified key, in which case "%" and "Shift+%" could be correct on those keyboards.

If the key that needs to be specified is illegal in the host language or would cause a string to be terminated, authors MUST use the string escaping sequence of the host language to specify it. For example, the double-quote character can be encoded as "Shift+&#39;" in HTML.

Examples of valid keyboard shortcuts include:

  • "A"
  • "Shift+Space"
  • "Control+Alt+."
  • "Control+Shift+&#39;"
  • "Alt+Shift+P Control+F"
  • "Meta+C Meta+Shift+C"

User agents MUST NOT change keyboard behavior in response to the aria-keyshortcuts attribute. Authors MUST handle scripted keyboard events to process aria-keyshortcuts. The aria-keyshortcuts attribute exposes the existence of these shortcuts so that assistive technologies can communicate this information to users.

Authors SHOULD provide a way to expose keyboard shortcuts so that all users may discover them, such as through the use of a tooltip. Authors MUST ensure that aria-keyshortcuts applied to disabled elements are unavailable.

Authors SHOULD avoid implementing shortcut keys that inhibit operating system, user agent, or assistive technology functionality. This requires the author to carefully consider both which keys to assign and the contexts and conditions in which the keys are available to the user. For guidance, see the keyboard shortcuts section of the WAI-ARIA Authoring Practices.

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