Certain ARIA roles must contain particular children

Rule ID: aria-required-children
User Impact: Critical
WCAG: 1.3.1

Compliance Data & Impact

User Impact

Disabilities Affected

  • Blind
  • Deafblind
  • Mobility


  • WCAG 2.0 (A): MUST

WCAG Success Criteria

  • 1.3.1 Info and Relationships

Section 508 Guidelines

  • Not specified, or not applicable

Rule Description

Some ARIA parent role values applied to elements must contain specific child elements and role values to perform intended accessibility function.

Why it Matters

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.

How to Fix the Problem

Ensure elements including explicit or implicit ARIA roles include required children elements.

The following attribute values indicate relationships between element that cannot be readily determined from the document structure. The relationships are linked to characteristics tables that list explicit and implicit role attribute values as well as role attribute values inherited by nested children elements.

The Algorithm (in simple terms)

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