ACTION-2059: Add aria-posinset, aria-setsize as supported states and properties to roles: menutitem, menuitemcheckbox, and menuitemradio

Add aria-posinset, aria-setsize as supported states and properties to roles: menutitem, menuitemcheckbox, and menuitemradio

Joanmarie Diggs
Due on:
May 5, 2016
Created on:
April 28, 2016
Associated Product:
ARIA 1.1
Related emails:
No related emails

Related notes:

I've done the research I wanted to do because this has come up in the past. Findings:

1. It's already supported (through inheritance) on menuitemradio. Just not on menuitem and menuitemcheckbox.

2. One (another) argument for making it officially supported is that it seems it's already being done by user agents and authors (Firefox chrome menus, Google Docs). But the way it is being done is (to me) questionable and potentially confusing to users.

3. Email threads:

A. I originally raised some questions here:

B. Joseph generally agreed that the groups resulting from separators are generally not useful, but raised menuitemradio buttons:

C. My response in which I explain why I don't think grouping just those would be a good or useful thing to do:

D. Alex asked if we should have subgroups:

E. Matt said no to Alex's suggestion and also suggested ignoring separators, though he asked if there were situations where separators are truly useful to the screen reader user:

F. Bryan responds that if there is such usefulness, it's ignored in Windows. He also asked about Mac, but I see no responses:

And that seems to be where the thread died.

G. I also asked the Orca users how they would feel about treating items within separators as separate groups (with separate numbering/setsize values): Nearly every user said that Orca's existing behavior was/is correct. To preserve that behavior, Orca needs to ignore posinset and setsize as it is currently being exposed by Firefox and used by Google Docs. Which makes Orca a Bad(tm) screen reader in the eyes of the W3C. But if I respect what is being exposed by Firefox and Google Docs, Orca will be a Bad(tm) screen reader in the eyes of Orca's users. :(

4. Joanie's conclusions:

A. Just supporting it on menuitemradio is confusing for all the reasons treating grouped menuitems as separate sets is confusing. So we do need to resolve this.

B. We should explicitly state in the spec that authors SHOULD treat the set as the full menu, with the setsize being all menuitems (and their subclasses, regardless of type or the presence of visual separators).

C. The APG should provide sufficient examples to make this clear, and perhaps explain some of the rationale behind the normative statement we put in the spec.

Discuss. :)

Joanmarie Diggs, 5 May 2016, 16:24:15

Initial proposal (spec view):

Setting state to "pending review".

Joanmarie Diggs, 5 May 2016, 18:58:11

CfC passed. Committed to master:

Closing this action.

Joanmarie Diggs, 19 May 2016, 17:12:19

Display change log.

James Nurthen <>, Valerie Young <>, Chairs, Daniel Montalvo <>, Staff Contact
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