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Using aria-label to provide labels for objects

Revision as of 15:48, 1 November 2012 by Dmacdona (Talk | contribs)

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surveyed by TF

  • 1 Nov 2012: Ready for WG Review

Using ARIA Label

User Agent Notes

  • Jaws V.11 and greater has complete support.
  • ChromeVox V.1 and greater has complete support
  • VoiceOver V.3 and greater supports ???
  • NVDA 2 supports Aria Describedby ???
  • Window Eyes as of V.7 ???.


As of this writing this technique applies to HTML technologies.

This technique relates to:


The purpose of this technique is to provide descriptions of objects that can be read by assistive technology. The aria-label attribute provides a way to place a text label on an object, such as an button. This is called a "programmatic association" in WCAG 2. When a screen reader encounters the object, the aria-label text is read so that the user will know what it is.


Example 1

The following example shows a best practice of how a aria-label could be used to distinguish two navigation landmarks in a HTML4 and XHTML 1.0 document, where there are more than two of the same type of landmark on the same page, and there is no existing text on the page that can be referenced as the label.

<div id="leftnav" role="navigaton" aria-label="Main Navigation">
<ul><li>...a list of links here ...</li></ul> </div>
<div id="rightnav" role="navigation" aria-label="Secondary Navigation">
<ul><li>...a list of links here ...</li> </ul></div>

Example 2

The following example shows a best practice of how a generic "region" landmark might be added to a weather portlet. There is no existing text on the page that can be referenced as the label, so it is labelled with aria-label.

<div role="region" aria-label="weather portlet"> 

Example 3

Below is an example of a math ML function, using the math role, appropriate label, and MathML rendering:

<div role="math" aria-label="a times x squared plus b times x plus c equals 0">
  <math xmlns=''>
            <mo>⁢ <!-- invisible times --></mo>
            <mo>⁢ <!-- invisible times --></mo>

Example 4

Put some more examples in here:


WAI ARIA 1.0 Authoring Practices

Related Techniques



  1. Examine each element where a aria-label role attribute is present.
  2. Examine whether the aria-label attribute is semantically executed properly.
  3. Examine whether the text description accurately labels the object or provides a description of its purpose or provides equivalent information.

Expected Results

Tests #1, #2 and #3 are true.