aria-hidden

The aria-hidden state indicates whether the element is exposed to an accessibility API.

Description

The aria-hidden attribute can be used to hide non-interactive content from the accessibility API.

Adding aria-hidden="true" to an element removes that element and all of its children from the accessibility tree. This can improve the experience for assistive technology users by hiding:

  • Purely decorative content, such as icons or images
  • Duplicated content, such as repeated text
  • Offscreen or collapsed content, such as menus

The presence of the aria-hidden attribute hides content from assistive technology but doesn't visually hide anything.

aria-hidden="true" should not be used on elements that can recieve focus. Additionally, since this attribute is inherited by an element's children, it should not be added onto the parent or ancestor of a focusable element.

Warning: Do not use aria-hidden="true" on focusable elements.

An element's hidden status is based on whether it is rendered. Rendering is usually controlled by CSS. For example, an element whose display property is set to none via CSS is not rendered. An element is considered hidden if it, or any of its ancestors are not rendered or have their aria-hidden attribute value set to true. Note that an element and its children that has aria-hidden="true" declared on it will still be visible, unless also hidden by CSS.

Use caution when using aria-hidden to hide visibly rendered content from assistive technologies. You should not be hiding visible content unless doing so improves the experience for users of assistive technologies by removing redundant or extraneous content. Only when identical or equivalent meaning and functionality is exposed to assistive technologies can removing visible content from the accessibility API be considered.

Note: Consider all disabilities when hiding visibly rendered content from assistive technologies. Not all users of assistive technology are visually impaired. If visible content doesn't match text content in the accessibility API, the user experience will be negatively impacted for sighted users.

On the surface, the aria-hidden="true" and the role="presentation" and its synonoym role="none" seem similar, but the intent behind each is different.

  • aria-hidden="true" will remove the entire element from the accessibility API.
  • role="presentation" and role="none" will remove the semantic meaning of an element while still exposing it and its content to assistive technology.

aria-hidden="true" should not be added when:

In all three scenarios, the attribute is unnecessary to add because the element has already been removed from the accessibility tree. Visually hiding elements with display or visibility hides content from the screen and from assistive technologies.

Using aria-hidden="false" will not re-expose the element to assistive technology if any of its parents specify aria-hidden="true".

Example

Adding aria-hidden="true" to the icon hides the icon character from being included in the accessible name.

<button type="button" aria-pressed="false">
  <span class="fa fa-tweet" aria-hidden="true"></span>
  <span class="label">
    Tweet
  </span>
</button>

We have a button with a Font Awesome icon. We hide the icon from assistive technologies with aria-hidden="true", as exposing the icon to assistive technologies could lead to redundancy or, if the icon doesn't have the same content as the visible text, confusion.

Values

false

The element is exposed to the accessibility API as if it was rendered.

true

The element is hidden from the accessibility API.

undefined (default)

The element's hidden state is determined by the user agent based on whether it is rendered.

ARIAMixin API

Element.ariaHidden

The ariaHidden property, part of the Element interface, reflects the value of the aria-hidden attribute, which Indicates whether the element is exposed to an accessibility API.

ElementInternals.ariaHidden

The ariaHidden property, part of the ElementInternals interface, reflects the value of the aria-hidden attribute

Associated roles

Used in ALL roles

Specifications

Specification Status
Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) 1.1
The definition of 'ARIA: aria-hidden Attribute' in that specification.
Recommendation

See Also