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Mapping ARIA Roles, States, and Properties to UI Automation

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) defines Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) as a syntax for making dynamic web content and custom user interface (UI) accessible. Windows Internet Explorer 8 recognizes the ARIA role, state, and property information and exposes it to assistive technologies, which in turn can use the Microsoft Active Accessibility and/or Microsoft UI Automation APIs to retrieve the information. Instead of building separate simplified webpages for accessibility, you can use ARIA to mark up your rich web applications with roles, states, and properties. For example, to match the behavior you create through a script, you can define a div element as a button, checkbox, or another ARIA role.

This topic contains the following sections:

W3C ARIA Role Mapped to Microsoft Active Accessibility and UI Automation

W3C ARIA roles can map to Microsoft Active Accessibility roles or UI Automation control types. With UI Automation, the original W3C ARIA role may also be supported by the AriaRole property. User agents can offer a localized description of the W3C ARIA role with the UI Automation LocalizedControlType property; however, that is optional. When a localized string is not specified, the system will supply the default LocalizedControlType string. User agents may also offer secondary roles in the AriaRole property by using space as a separator, as defined in the ARIA W3C standard.

W3C ARIA Role Attribute (DRAFT)Microsoft Active Accessibility RoleUI Automation Control TypeUI Automation AriaRole Property
alert ROLE_SYSTEM_ALERT Text alert
alertdialog ROLE_SYSTEM_DIALOG Pane alertdialog
application ROLE_SYSTEM_PANE Pane application
article ROLE_SYSTEM_DOCUMENT Document article
banner ROLE_SYSTEM_GROUPING Group banner
button ROLE_SYSTEM_PUSHBUTTON Button button
checkbox ROLE_SYSTEM_CHECKBUTTON CheckBox checkbox
columnheader ROLE_SYSTEM_COLUMNHEADER DataItem columnheader
combobox ROLE_SYSTEM_COMBOBOX ComboBox combobox
complementary ROLE_SYSTEM_GROUPING Group complementary
contentinfo ROLE_SYSTEM_GROUPING Group contentinfo
definition ROLE_SYSTEM_GROUPING Group definition
description ROLE_SYSTEM_TEXT Text description
dialog ROLE_SYSTEM_DIALOG Pane dialog
directory ROLE_SYSTEM_LIST List directory
document ROLE_SYSTEM_CLIENT Document document
grid ROLE_SYSTEM_TABLE DataGrid grid
gridcell ROLE_SYSTEM_CELL DataItem gridcell
group ROLE_SYSTEM_GROUPING Group group
heading ROLE_SYSTEM_TEXT Text heading
link ROLE_SYSTEM_LINK Hyperlink link
list ROLE_SYSTEM_LIST List list
listbox ROLE_SYSTEM_LIST List listbox
listitem ROLE_SYSTEM_LISTITEM ListItem listitem
marquee ROLE_SYSTEM_ANIMATION Text marquee
menubar ROLE_SYSTEM_MENUBAR MenuBar menubar
menuitem ROLE_SYSTEM_MENUITEM MenuItem menuitem
menuitemcheckbox ROLE_SYSTEM_CHECKBUTTON CheckBox menuitemcheckbox
menuitemradio ROLE_SYSTEM_RADIOBUTTON RadioButton menuitemradio
navigation ROLE_SYSTEM_GROUPING Group navigation
option ROLE_SYSTEM_LISTITEM ListItem option
presentation ROLE_SYSTEM_PANE Pane presentation
progressbar ROLE_SYSTEM_PROGRESSBAR ProgressBar progressbar
radio ROLE_SYSTEM_RADIOBUTTON RadioButton radio
radiogroup ROLE_SYSTEM_GROUPING Group radiogroup
region ROLE_SYSTEM_PANE Pane region
row ROLE_SYSTEM_ROW DataItem row
rowheader ROLE_SYSTEM_ROWHEADER DataItem rowheader
scrollbar ROLE_SYSTEM_SCROLLBAR ScrollBar scrollbar
search ROLE_SYSTEM_GROUPING Group search
section ROLE_SYSTEM_GROUPING Group section
separator ROLE_SYSTEM_SEPARATOR Separator separator
slider ROLE_SYSTEM_SLIDER Slider slider
spinbutton ROLE_SYSTEM_SPINBUTTON Spinner spinbutton
status ROLE_SYSTEM_STATUSBAR StatusBar status
tabpanel ROLE_SYSTEM_PANE Pane tabpanel
textbox ROLE_SYSTEM_TEXT Document textbox
timer ROLE_SYSTEM_CLOCK Pane timer
toolbar ROLE_SYSTEM_TOOLBAR ToolBar toolbar
tooltip ROLE_SYSTEM_TOOLTIP ToolTip tooltip
treegrid ROLE_SYSTEM_TABLE DataGrid treegrid
treeitem ROLE_SYSTEM_OUTLINEITEM TreeItem treeitem


W3C ARIA States and Properties

W3C ARIA States and Properties are mapped to various properties and functions of Microsoft Active Accessibility and UI Automation. With few exceptions, most of the ARIA States and Properties are supported by the UI Automation AriaProperties property.

The exceptions are as follows:

  • ARIA properties that take object references, such as described by the ARIA property
  • ARIA properties that are supported by the accessibility object model

For example, the ARIA aria-activedescendant property is always expected to be represented as a focused element in the accessibility object model. The ARIA aria-owns property must also be reflected in the accessibility object model when it is specified.

AriaProperties is a string property that has a collection of name/value pairs whose delimiters are "=" (equals) and ";" (semicolon); for example, checked=true;disabled=false. The backslash character ("\") is used as an escape when these delimiter characters or "\" appear in the values. The UI Automation provider code can add verification to validate the original ARIA properties in the Document Object Model (DOM) , but it is not required.

W3C ARIA States and PropertiesMicrosoft Active Accessibility Properties UI Automation PropertiesUI Automation ARIA AriaProperties Property
aria-activedescendant STATE_SYSTEM_FOCUSED ( IAccessible::get_accState) HasKeyboardFocus (a property of the child element that is designated to receive the focus)N/A
aria-busy STATE_SYSTEM_BUSY ( get_accState) N/Abusy
aria-checked STATE_SYSTEM_CHECKED ( get_accState) ToggleState (Toggle Pattern)checked
aria-controls N/AControllerForN/A
aria-describedby N/ADescribedByN/A
aria-disabled STATE_SYSTEM_UNAVAILABLE ( get_accState) IsEnableddisabled
aria-expanded STATE_SYSTEM_COLLAPSED or STATE_SYSTEM_EXPANDED ( get_accState) ExpandCollapseState (ExpandCollapse Pattern)expanded
aria-flowto N/AFlowsToN/A
aria-haspopup STATE_HASPOPUPN/Ahaspopup
aria-hidden STATE_SYSTEM_INVISIBLEIsOffscreenhidden
aria-invalid N/AIsDataInvalidForForminvalid
aria-labelledby N/ALabeledByN/A
aria-level IAccessible::get_accValue N/A (represented by automation element tree structure)level
aria-live N/AN/Alive
aria-multiline††N/ADocument Control Typemultiline
aria-multiselect STATE_SYSTEM_EXTSELECTABLE ( get_accState) CanSelectMultiple (Selection Pattern)multiselectable
aria-owns N/A (should be reflected in the accessible object tree)N/A (should be reflected in the automation element tree)N/A
aria-posinset N/A (represented in the accessible object tree structure or by childId)N/A (represented in automation element tree structure)posinset
aria-pressed STATE_SYSTEM_PRESSED ( get_accState) ToggleState (Toggle Pattern)pressed
aria-readonly STATE_SYSTEM_READONLY ( get_accState) IsReadOnlyreadonly
aria-relevant N/AN/Arelevant
aria-required N/AIsRequiredForFormrequired
aria-secret STATE_SYSTEM_PROTECTED ( get_accState IsPasswordsecret
aria-selected STATE_SYSTEM_SELECTED ( get_accState) IsSelected (SelectionItem Pattern)selected
aria-setsize N/AN/A (child count in automation element tree structure)setsize
tabIndex STATE_SYSTEM_FOCUSABLE ( get_accState) IsKeyboardFocusabletabindex
aria-valuemax N/AMaximumProperty (RangeValue Pattern)valuemax
aria-valuemin N/AMinimumProperty (RangeValue Pattern)valuemin
aria-valuenow get_accValue ValueProperty (RangeValue Pattern)valuenow
aria-valuetext†† get_accValue NOTE: when both aria-valuenow and aria-valuetext ARIA properties are set, get_accValue will hold the data from the aria-valuetext property. ValueProperty (Value Pattern) NOTE: RangeValue and Value Pattern can coexist with UI in case both aria-valuetext and aria-valuenow are specified.valuetext


† Not implemented in Internet Explorer 8.

Related topics

Microsoft Active Accessibility and UI Automation
Microsoft Active Accessibility SDK
Microsoft Active Accessibility Constants and Enumerated Types
UI Automation Specification and Community Promise
UI Automation for Win32 Applications
ARIA Specification Sources
Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) Version 1.0
ARIA User Agent Implementors Guide