RE: What is the best way to hide decorative SVG using ARIA?

Amelia, thank you! I am keeping this gem of a note in the event we address this in the APG.


From: Amelia Bellamy-Royds [] 
Sent: Tuesday, July 5, 2016 4:40 PM
To: James Nurthen <>
Cc:; SVG-A11y TF <>
Subject: Re: What is the best way to hide decorative SVG using ARIA?


aria-hidden: true is the approach I'd recommend for hiding inline SVG markup, since it hides the entire document fragment.  Or it should, anyway, if the AT are implementing aria-hidden correctly; I've had testers say that they needed to add role="presentation" all the way down the tree to properly hide a fragment from some browser/AT combos.


Depending on the context, you could also hide the details of the markup by a role with the children presentational property to a parent element, provided its name isn't derived from contents.  So, if you have an SVG icon inside a button, and that button has an aria-label, then you shouldn't need to explicitly hide the SVG markup.


More generally: if the SVG does not include any text content, alt text content, or interactive content, then according to our latest mapping recommendations, role="presentation" on the <svg> should effectively remove the SVG from the accessibility tree: basic shapes and use elements are only supposed to be included if the author has given them alt text, a role, or interactivity.  But my recommendation would be to only use role="presentation" for cases when you want the SVG to be transparent (e.g., styled text where you just want the text content read out without identifying it as a graphic), and use aria-hidden for actually hiding redundant or purely decorative content.


One other thing: to prevent the <svg> element from gaining tab focus in IE/Edge, add a (obsolete, defined in SVG Tiny 1.2) focusable="false" attribute.




On 5 July 2016 at 16:45, James Nurthen < <> > wrote:

I found myself needing to hide some decorative SVG graphics from the accessibility API today. Is aria-hidden="true" the only method we have for doing this? It seemed like it was to me - did I miss anything obvious? 


Regards, James 

James Nurthen | Principal Engineer, Accessibility
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Received on Thursday, 7 July 2016 07:44:30 UTC