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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 Roles

W3C ARIA roles are mapped to a Microsoft Active Accessibility role or to a UI Automation control type. The original W3C ARIA role can be supported by the UI Automation AriaRole property. Optionally, user agents can also offer localized descriptions of the W3C ARIA role by using the LocalizedControlType property of the UI Automation control. When the localized string is not specified, a default LocalizedControlType string is supplied by the system.

W3C ARIA Role Attribute (Draft 4)Microsoft Active Accessibility accRole Property UI Automation ControlType PropertyUI Automation AriaRole Property
"alertdialog"ROLE_SYSTEM_DIALOG Windowalertdialog
"application"ROLE_SYSTEM_PANE paneapplication
"columnheader"ROLE_SYSTEM_COLUMNHEADER DataItemcolumnheader
"dialog"ROLE_SYSTEM_DIALOG Windowdialog
"directory"ROLE_SYSTEM_LIST Listdirectory
"status"ROLE_SYSTEM_STATUSBARStatus Barstatus


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



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