Testing WAI-ARIA Role Support

Steve Faulkner

For WAI-ARIA to be useful, to people with disabilities who use assistive technology, access to the information that ARIA roles and properties provides must be well supported across a range of browsers and assistive technologies. One of the activities going on over at codetalks is the development and testing of ARIA test cases. As part of this effort, I have been developing simple test cases for ARIA role support and testing them using the Firefox browser and a range of commonly used assistive software.

ARIA Roles

ARIA Roles are categorized as follows:

  1. Taxonomy Roles
  2. User Input Controls
  3. User Interface Elements
  4. Document Structure
  5. Specialized Regions

The taxonomy roles do not require implementaion testing as they are abstract definitions and not used in content. To understand how and if the other roles are correctly supported by browsers and assistive technology they need to be tested. I have so far carried out testing of the User Input Control roles with the latest version of JAWS, Window Eyes, NVDA, and Zoomtext.

ARIA user input role test results:

ARIA User Input Widget role tests – Firefox 3 + Assistive Technology

Further Reading