Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA)

The Accessible Rich Internet Application (ARIA) specification provides authors with the ability to add semantic information about widgets, structures, and behaviors to web resources, in order to allow assistive technologies to convey appropriate information to persons with disabilities. This specification provides an ontology of roles, states, and properties that define accessible user interface elements and can be used to improve the accessibility and interoperability of web content and applications. These semantics are designed to allow an author to properly convey user interface behaviors and structural information to assistive technologies in document-level markup. The ARIA specification complements both the HTML and SVG2 specifications.


  • Define roles, properties and states to represent widgets and regions with in a web page.
  • Keyboard support interaction for specific widgets types is found in the ARIA Authoring Practices.
  • ARIA markup does not effect the graphical rendering or default behavior of a web browser.
  • ARIA markup only effects information communicated to accessibility APIs by the browser.
  • Does not define how assistive technologies, like screen readers, should render information to users (note: see W3C ARIA-AT community group for activities in this area)

Related Resources

Participating in ARIA Development

The University of Illinois is a member of the W3C which makes anyone who works for or attends the university eligible to participate in the  W3C ARIA Working Group.  The following people at Illinois participating in the ARIA Working Group:

  • Jon Gunderson, DRES
  • Mark McCarthy, AITS
  • JaEun Jemma Ku, UIC