Certain ARIA roles must contain particular children

Rule Description

There are some ARIA parent roles that must contain specific child roles to perform their intended accessibility function.

The Algorithm, in Simple Terms

Checks all elements that contain a WAI-ARIA role to ensure that all required children roles are present.

Why this is Important

For each role, WAI-ARIA explicitly defines which child and parent roles are allowable and/or required. ARIA roles missing required child roles will not be able to perform the accessibility functions intended by the developer.

Assistive technology needs to convey the context to the user. For example, in a treeitem, it is important to know the parent (container), item, or siblings in the folder. This can be done in two ways:

  1. Code order or DOM: The necessary context is often clear from the code order or DOM.
  2. ARIA: ARIA (such as aria-owns) can be used provide the relationships when the hierarchy is not the same as the code structure or DOM tree.

Compliance Data & Impact

User Impact: Critical
Disabilities Affected:
  • Blindness
  • Deafblindness
  • Mobility/Dexterity
Severity: Critical
Issue Type:
  • WCAG 2.0 (A): MUST
  • WCAG 2.1 (A): MUST
WCAG Success Criteria:
  • 1.3.1 Info and Relationships
Section 508 Guidelines:
  • Not applicable

How to Fix the Problem

Ensure all ARIA roles have their required children elements, if any.

The following attributes that indicate relationships or associations between elements cannot be readily determined from the document structure. They are linked to characteristics tables that list roles each is used in, as well as roles in which each can be inherited.

For similar (opposite) information, refer to Certain ARIA roles must be contained by particular parents.

Related Deque University Course Pages

Other Related Resources

Additional Information

Relevant Technologies:
  • HTML 4
  • HTML5
  • ARIA
  • JavaScript
Relevant Custom Widget Type(s):
  • Live Region (ARIA)
Test Reliability: Automated testing is possible, with high accuracy
Rule ID: aria-required-children