RE: ARIA semantics for secondary navigation

The problem with this is sighted users can make out that this is the main
menu or left nav and do not need headings there. Such obvious headings  for
sighted users are useful for non-sighted users for instance. The main menu /
left nav may be in a list within a div . Using  offscreen headings via CSS
is an option one uses sometimes. But this  is more like a fix for screen
reader users and does not expose semantics like the role does.
 Maybe roles like top-navigation, secondary-navigation, tab-navigation,
footer-navigation,  and a plain navigation might be some options available
to content developers. Sometimes there is a list of links like: Home,
Search, Help, Logout/login at the top and then a list of links that is
interpreted as application specific top-nav followed by left-nav links.

Sailesh Panchang
Accessibility Services Manager (Web and Software)
Deque Systems Inc. (
11130 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite #140,
Reston VA 20191
Phone: 703-225-0380 (ext 105)
-----Original Message-----
From: Simon Pieters [] 
Sent: Monday, May 18, 2009 5:44 PM
To: Victor Tsaran;; Ryan Doherty;
Subject: Re: ARIA semantics for secondary navigation

On Mon, 18 May 2009 23:23:00 +0200, Victor Tsaran <>

>> I thought there was a way to name landmarks already: using one of the
>> <h1>-<h6> elements.

> Do you mean by embeding landmarks inside headings?

No, by placing a heading in the landmark.

   <div role="navigation">
    <h2>main menu</h2>

I looked briefly at the ARIA spec and didn't find anything about this, so I
was probably wrong. However, I think it's the logical thing to use and it
would be nice if the association would just work.

(In HTML5, the <nav> element creates a section, and the outline algorithm
will associate an <hgroup> or <h1>-<h6> element with the section, if there
is one.)

Simon Pieters
Opera Software

Received on Tuesday, 19 May 2009 12:47:36 UTC