Re: From the HTML-WG about aria-hidden

Hi Joseph,

Thank you very much for answering my question and the detailed
explanation. It is very helpful. I knew about fact 1 but not fact 2.

Best Regards,

On Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 2:53 PM, Joseph Scheuhammer <> wrote:
> Hi Laura,
> Laura Carlson wrote:
>> ...
>> What would an author do if he really wanted to hide something from all
>> users? @hidden and role of presentation?
> Fact:  if an element has a @hidden attribute, or is styled using
> "display:none" or "visibility:hidden", then browsers (1) do not render it on
> screen, and (2) do not publish anything to the a11y tree.
> A couple of qualifications:  by "browsers" I mean FF, WebKit, and IE8.  I
> haven't tested any other browsers.  As for "the a11y tree", I've looked only
> at IA2 on Windows, and ATK/AT-SPI on Linux/GNOME.  Note that for
> visibility:hidden, the element is not rendered, but the space it occupies is
> rendered -- there is a "hole".  The test file I used is:
> As such, the element is not available visually, and is not available to ATs
> through the a11y API.  That amounts to "hidden from all users".  See also
> ARIA's definition of hidden, where it says that hidden elements are not
> visible to any user [1].
> Fact:  if an element has @aria-hidden='true', browsers do not publish the
> element to the a11y tree, *except* FF which adds a "hidden" property to the
> accessible object it does expose.  Still, aria-hidden elements are rendered
> on screen, but that's because ARIA alone does not affect the rendering.
> Similar to above, an aria-hidden element is not available to ATs through the
> a11y APIs; hence it is hidden from ATs and is thereby not available to AT
> users.  Authors are strongly advised that if they use @aria-hidden, then
> they should also use CSS and/or JavaScript to insure it is also not
> rendered.
> To answer your question, authors should not use @role='presentation' to hide
> things.  In fact, that would be wrong since "hidden" and "presentation" mean
> different things, even if their effect on the a11y tree is similar or
> identical.  "Presentation" elements are definitely rendered, but are in the
> markup purely for layout or decorative purposes.  But, they are not
> accessible objects, and don't have any meaning in the a11y tree.  Hidden
> things are not layout or decorative in nature, and are very relevant to the
> a11y tree if they change their state to "shown".
> [1]
> --
> ;;;;joseph.
> 'A: After all, it isn't rocket science.'
> 'K: Right. It's merely computer science.'
>             - J. D. Klaun -

Laura L. Carlson

Received on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:24:47 UTC