Safari 4 public beta with WAI-ARIA support. Or not?

As most people reading this will already know, Apple announced a public beta of Safari 4 last week. There are many new features in this version of the browser, but the one I am most interested in trying out is the addition of support for WAI-ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications).

However, I can’t find any ARIA examples that work in VoiceOver with the Safari 4 beta. I tried many of iCITA’s ARIA Examples, some of the examples posted at The Paciello Group Blog, and some that I have created myself. No luck.

Apart from not managing to get anything ARIA-related to work with VoiceOver in Safari 4, I can’t find any documentation that explains exactly what parts of ARIA are supported and how to use them.

Perhaps Safari 4 does support ARIA, but VoiceOver doesn’t, so ARIA support is only available in the Windows version? Anyone happen to know more about the state of ARIA support in Safari?

Posted on March 5, 2009 in Accessibility, Apple, Browsers

Comments

  1. Matt Machell has done some preliminary testing:

    http://eclecticdreams.com/blog/safari-4-quickfire-aria-testing

    Andy.

  2. Apple tells many lies about Safari4, usable support of aria may be one of them.

  3. As Andy said, I did some quick testing of the Codetalks examples using Safari 4 and Voiceover. Nothing scientific, but some bits seem just to be missing (Live Region Support) and other bits seem to be pretty patchily implemented.

  4. Apple may have worded it that way but I don’t think VoiceOver is physically built into Safari web browser. Safari 4 beta for Windows and for Mac has at least some WAI-ARIA support. But VoiceOver built into current OS X does not seem to support WAI-ARIA because Apple have never had an ARIA implementation until Safari 4 beta. Hopefully VoiceOver in Snow Leopard will have WAI-ARIA along with full support of WAI-ARIA in Safari 4 final. And hopefully Apple will provide an update to VoiceOver in Tiger and Leopard adding ARIA support as well as providing Safari 4 final for Tiger and Leopard.

  5. March 9, 2009 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    Peter:

    Apple may have worded it that way but I don’t think VoiceOver is physically built into Safari web browser.

    I don’t think so either, but I thought that since they mention WAI-ARIA support as a new feature there would be some way of actually using it.

    Hopefully VoiceOver in Snow Leopard will have WAI-ARIA along with full support of WAI-ARIA in Safari 4 final.

    That would be great.

  6. Anyone happen to know more about the state of ARIA support in Safari?

    did some testing which can be found on WAI-ARIA role support - How the MAC browsers stack up

  7. March 17, 2009 by Roger Johansson (Author comment)

    Steve: Thanks, that’s great! I took the liberty of editing your comment to link directly to your blog post about it. Hope that’s ok.

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