RE: Using title for ARIA name is impractical!

Hi Srinivas,
How about going back to the old hidden text, positioned off-screen? We also
have not found a way to provide auxiliary accessibility information with
The only reason I do not like off-screen approach is that it makes it more
difficult to abstract element attributes from the element's content. In
other words, having dedicated attributes would allow AT to filter or make
configurable reading of those attributes, much like you can do with MSAA
(accName, accDescription etc).


From: [] On Behalf
Of Srinivas Annam
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2008 2:02 PM
To: Thomas Logan
Subject: Re: Using title for ARIA name is impractical!

Thanks Thomas. I should have mentioned this before, but I am looking for a
technique that isn't as circuitous as aria-labelledby! :) Let me explain why
that is the case - it requires that for every name I want it would require
an additional div or other element to hold the label and I would need to
also ensure that the content is hidden (assuming that I don't want that text
to be seen).

Going back to the bigger issue, why is title being overloaded for providing
the acc name? Why isn't a new attribute (say, aria-name) introduced for that
purpose? My apologies if this already been discussed, a pointer to the old
archives is appreciated.

-- Srinivas

On Mon, Jul 21, 2008 at 1:51 PM, Thomas Logan <>

Hi Srinivas attached is one way to label the listbox.


Use a div and give it an id.  I am not sure if there is an ARIA-Role to mark
something up as a label.  Then on the listbox set the aria-labelledby
property to the id for your label.  I verified this to work with AccExplorer
and Firefox 3.   Hopefully most web builders will be using controls from a
widget library that could already have this relationship set up.   


I still hate the British spelling of labelled in the API but it works J  


Thomas Logan, 

BayFirst Solutions LLC

Office: 206.524.4472

Fax: 206.524.4497



From: [] On Behalf
Of Srinivas Annam
Sent: Monday, July 21, 2008 1:06 PM
Subject: Re: Using title for ARIA name is impractical!


I have attached a modified version Listbox example which shows
the issue.

On Mon, Jul 21, 2008 at 1:02 PM, Srinivas Annam <> wrote:

In my continuing series of ARIA discoveries :)

The current recommendation requires the usage of title attribute to provide
a name for widgets of the following roles: combobox, grid, group, img, list,
listbox, menu, menubar, progressbar, radiogroup, slider, spinbutton,
textbox, tree, treegrid.

Now imagine a listbox or a tree with lot of visible child elements and that
each of these widgets (lisbox and options) are being created using a div.
The outerdiv for the listbox having it's role as "listbox" and each of the
list items having a role of "option". Now, assume that the listbox has a
title defined on it (so it could provide an acc name per current
recommendation) like below:

<div role="listbox" title="My Own Listbox"
  <div role="option" id="listbox1-1" class="selected"
aria-selected="true">item 1</div>
  <div role="option" id="listbox1-2" >item 2</div>
  <div role="option" id="listbox1-3" >item 3</div>

At this time you would notice that hovering over with mouse on anywhere over
the listbox area (including where the individual items are shown) would show
a tooltip with the title. This is coming in as a side effect of browser
usage of title for the tooltip. Given this major UI implication, IMO, this
makes the usage of title to get an acc name on the roles mentioned highly
impractical. I would like to hear other thoughts or ideas. Or if someone
knows a way of getting ARIA name without using a title.


Srinivas Annam
Software Engineer, Accessibility
Google, Inc.
Cell: 408.898.4928

Received on Monday, 21 July 2008 21:38:54 UTC