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ARIA Support

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The W3C Web Accessibility Initiative's Accessible Rich Internet Application (WAI-ARIA) specification defines a way to make Web content and Web applications more accessible to people with disabilities. It especially helps with dynamic content and advanced user interface controls developed with Ajax, HTML, JavaScript, and related technologies. Currently, certain functionality used in Web sites is not available to some users with disabilities, especially people who rely on screen readers and people who cannot use a mouse. WAI-ARIA addresses these accessibility challenges by providing a way for content authors and web aplication developers to expose additional semantics about their web content to assistive technology. With WAI-ARIA, developers can make advanced Web applications accessible and usable to people with disabilities.

According to this Web page, posted in October 2009, the WAI-ARIA specification describes a role taxonomy consisting of 59 possible role values (excluding abstract roles) (although the latest public working draft of the WAI-ARIA specification lists 60 non-abstract roles). Browser support on Windows is as follows:

  • IE 8RC1 exposes 43 role values correctly
  • Firefox (Minefield) 3.6 exposes 47 role values correctly
  • Opera 10.10 beta exposes 21 role values correctly
  • Webkit Nightly 23/09/09 exposes 10 role values correctly
  • Chrome 3.0 exposes 18 role values correctly

Note that this is not an exhaustive description of WAI-ARIA support in browsers since it does not consider, for example, the WAI-ARIA states and properties, focus management, etc.

This feature request calls on the browser vendors to offer comprehensive native support for WAI-ARIA as specified in the normative requirements of WAI-ARIA 1.0.

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