aria roles

Web accessibility is often overlooked in web design and development. Even when I teach it it seems I just gloss over it, explain what it is but do not demand it in final projects. It is an error that I will make sure to correct in the future.

AIRA, which stands for Accessible Rich Internet Applications and is adopted by the w3c. Currently we are in version 1.0. Aria roles are attributes to ‘role’ that allows assistive technologies [such as screen readers] to make sense of the structure of a web page. It therefore helps people with disabilities to be able to ‘read’ the web. As the w3c notes “Role information is used by assistive technologies, through interaction with the user agent, to provide normal processing of the specified element type.” In particular, when using SVG for example or some extensive widget and javascript, assistive technologies find it difficult to read the content except through roles.

There are different types of roles, the most important and common of which are the html5 structure roles . Eg.

In addition, there are the landmark roles which are regions of the page intended as navigational landmarks:

The following is a list of roles, their definitions and uses.

In addition to all of the above, there is also a website dedicated to web accessibility matters which is the Web Accessibility Initiative which has valuable information about web accessibility and Arias.