Ensures role="text" is used on elements with no focusable descendants

Rule ID: aria-text
Ruleset: axe-core 4.2
User Impact: Serious
Guidelines: Deque Best Practice

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Compliance Data & Impact

User Impact


Disabilities Affected

  • Blind
  • Mobility


  • Deque Best Practice

    How to Fix the Problem

    Correct markup solutions

    The role="text" attribute should be put on an element with no focusable descendants.

    <h1><span role="text">Hello <br/>World</span></h1>

    Incorrect markup solutions

    <span role="text">
      <a href="/site.html">Not announced as link</a>

    Why it Matters

    When a text node is split by markup (e.g. <h1>Hello <span>World</span></h1>) VoiceOver will treat it as two separate phrases instead of just one. Adding role="text" around the elements solves the problem. However, it also overrides the role of the element and all descendants and treats them all as text nodes. If one of the descendant elements is also focusable it would create an empty tab stop. That is, you could tab to the element but VoiceOver would not announce its name, role, or value.

    Rule Description

    Elements with role="text" must not have focusable descendants.

    The Algorithm (in simple terms)

    Checks all elements with role="text" to ensure that they do not have focusable descendants.


    Refer to the complete list of axe 4.2 rules.

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