ARIA role support: how the Windows browsers stack up – Update

Testing of the latest builds of the major Windows browsers indicates Google Chrome’s ARIA role support improving, 18 of 47 roles are now correctly mapped to MSAA roles. There has been no change in Opera or IE support and only minimal improvement in Safari/Webkit support. There has been a minor regression in Firefox support in the latest Minefield build. The reported regression in Firefox was due to a reporting tool error. All ARIA roles are correctly mapped in Firefox.

Current levels of ARIA support in Chrome/Opera/Safari and their lack of support for assistive technology (on Windows) in general, means the only browsers currently usable by assistive technology users and the only browsers that can currently claim practical ARIA support are Firefox 3+ and Internet Explorer 8.

Summary of Results

47 (of the 59) WAI-ARIA roles can be mapped to MSAA roles:

  • IE 8RC1 exposes 43 role values correctly
  • Firefox (Minefield) 3.6 exposes 47 role values correctly
  • Opera 10.10 beta exposes 21 role values correctly
  • Webkit Nightly 23/09/09 exposes 10 role values correctly
  • Chrome exposes 3.0 exposes 18 role values correctly

Detailed Results:

ARIA roles exposed via MSAA by browsers on Windows – Webkit Nightly 23/09/09, Opera 10.10, IE 8, Firefox (minefield) 3.6b1pre & Chrome 3.0

Categories: Development

About Steve Faulkner

Steve is the Chief Accessibility Officer at TPGi. He joined TPGi in 2006 and was previously a Senior Web Accessibility Consultant at vision australia. Steve is a member of several groups, including the W3C Web Platforms Working Group and the W3C ARIA Working Group. He is an editor of several specifications at the W3C including ARIA in HTML and HTML Accessibility API Mappings 1.0. He also develops and maintains HTML5accessibility and the JAWS bug tracker/standards support.


Travis Roth says:

Hi Steve,
Thanks for the posting, quite interesting. I notice that “menu item” is repeated several times int he detailed results? And tree related items do not seem to be included? Perhaps a typo. I believe (not looked it up) that MSAA does support the tree role.

hi travis,
tree, treeitem etc are supported, but they have a diff name in MSAA “outline”. As for the repeated “menuitem” ARIA contains specialized menuitem roles (menuitemcheckbox and menuitemradio) that are not provided in MSAA, so these are mapped to menutiem.

Michael says:

Hi Steve,

I was wondering have you done a recent followup to this to see what the state of browser support on both MAC OS and Windows is in the First Quater of 2010?