First try at ARIA role and state markup -- looking for advice

Anastasia Cheetham a.cheetham at
Fri Jun 15 20:33:00 UTC 2007

Anastasia asked:
> > One last question, regarding the 'application' role:
> >
> > In our case, the grid itself *is* the lightbox application, but our
> > understanding is that you can not have multiple roles. We could wrap
> > the lightbox in another div that exists just to add the application
> > role, but we're wondering if there are other options.

Rich responded:
> We are still working out the interaction with the ATs. I would  
> place "application" on the body tag.

Hm... This is getting me thinking. Musing out loud...

My understanding is that the purpose of the application role is to  
tell the AT to stop operating in 'read the text' mode and to start  
operating in 'interact with the application' mode.

Assuming I'm right (and please correct me if I'm wrong!):

Currently (and we expect this to be common), the lightbox is being  
used inside a tool that is inside a portal. Which part of this  
scenario is 'the application'? Is it the whole portal? My guess is  
no. Is it the tool? Tools are typically application-like things, so  
my guess is that a tool in a portal frame is an application in the  
WAI role sense of the word. Is the lightbox itself an application? It  
certainly seems to function in that sense, but if it's inside an  
application, it doesn't seem to need the role itself.

So it sounds like in this case, the application role should be  
attached to the root of the tool itself.

Given this, whose responsibility is it to set this role? The tool  

Anastasia Cheetham                   a.cheetham at
Software Designer, Fluid Project
Adaptive Technology Resource Centre / University of Toronto

   "We are at the very beginning of time for the human race.
    It is not unreasonable that we grapple with problems.
    But there are tens of thousands of years in the future.
    Our responsibility is to do what we can, learn what we
    can, improve the solutions, and pass them on."
                                     -- Richard Feynman

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