Re: ARIA roles added to the a element should be conforming in HTML5.

But it is often bad HTML in so far as it is not semantically correct, e.g.
Making a custom button from a bunch of divs when you could use a more
semantically appropriate element such as <button>. That isn't an intended
use of HTML?

I wish there was no need for ARIA. I wish in a future version of HTML there
would be a full range of fully css style-able controls, and when someone
thinks of a new piece of UI, if it can't be achieved semantically it is
submitted to the HTML WG and they mandate it for a future release rather
than developers hacking it up out of divs and script.

I rather idealistically feel that accessibility should be built in, not
tacked on afterward with ARIA or anything else, but we all know this utopian
world will never exist.


On 22/10/2009 13:58, "Jon Gunderson" <> wrote:

> I disagree that ARIA is designed to patch up bad HTML, ARIA is designed to
> provide Accessibility API mappings for widgets created using HTML, javascript
> and CSS markup.  There are no HTML equivalent elements that can be used to
> represent the widgets people are creating for the web.  Even the new user
> interface controls in HTML 5 will not cover all of the types of widgets that
> developers are dreaming up and putting on the web.  There are already hundreds
> of web toolkits being developed to create custom controls and widgets for the
> web and ARIA is the only technology available to make them more accessible.
> Jon
> ---- Original message ----
>> Date: Wed, 21 Oct 2009 16:01:29 -0700
>> From: "T.V Raman" <>
>> Subject: Re: ARIA roles added to the a element should be conforming in HTML5.
>> To:
>> Cc:,,,
>> Sad but true, I'd answer yes to your question. ARIA  was designed
>> to patch up bad HTML  usage --- that is  where it coems from, and
>> that is its role (no pun intended)
>> Jonas Sicking writes:
>>> On Wed, Oct 21, 2009 at 1:45 AM, Steven Faulkner
>>> <> wrote:
>>>> hi maciej,
>>>>> I think <button> is pretty consistently fully stylable cross-browser
>>>>> (unlike, say, <input type="button">).
>>>> This is really incidental to the issue being discussed, most, if not all
>>>> html elements can be scripted and styled in a way that overides their
>>>> native
>>>> semantic
>>>> If this is allowed, then it follows that the addition of ARIA roles
>>>> should.$(.� not result in a conformance error, as the addition of ARIA.$(.�
>>>> is
>>>> incidental to the developers.$(.� intention to overide the native
>>>> semantics.
>>> Couldn't the same argument be made for any other element as well? Does
>>> this mean that we should allow ARIA roles on all elements?
>>> I guess there still are a few exceptions, like <script>, <style>, and
>>> <form>.
>>> But for example <h1> can be overridden to look and act like a button
>>> or a link, does this mean that we should allow arbitrary ARIA on <h1>?
>>> / Jonas
> Jon Gunderson, Ph.D.
> Coordinator Information Technology Accessibility
> Disability Resources and Educational Services
> Rehabilitation Education Center
> Room 86
> 1207 S. Oak Street
> Champaign, Illinois 61820
> Voice: (217) 244-5870
> WWW:
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Received on Thursday, 22 October 2009 13:21:17 UTC