ARIA: menuitemradio role

A menuitemradio is checkable menuitem in a set of elements with the same role, only one of which can be checked at a time.

Description

The items in menu and menubars are menu items. There are three types of menu items: menuitem, menuitemcheckbox, and menuitemradio. To limit the number of checked menu items to one within a group, use the menuitemradio role on all the elements in the group.

A menuitemradio is checkable menuitem in a set of elements with the same role, of which only can be checked at a time.

The three menu item elements can only be contained in, or owned by, an element with role menu or menubar, optionally nested within a grouping element with role of group. Being nested or otherwise owned (see aria-owns) in a menu or menubar identifies the menu items as being related widgets.

When all items in a submenu are members of the same radio group, the group is defined by the menu element; the group element is not necessary.

Menu items containing the role of menuitemradio must include the aria-checked attribute to expose the radio button's state to assistive technology, unless using <input type="radio">, in which case the 'checked' attribute should be used.

Similar to the 'checked' attribute of <input>s of type radio, the aria-checked attribute of a menuitemradio indicates whether the menu item is checked (true), unchecked (false). If missing, the value defaults to false. There is no mixed value like there is for menuitemcheckbox.

Only one menuitemradio in a group can be checked at the same time. When one item in the group is checked, the aria-checked attribute gets set to true, while the previously checked menuitemradio element in the same group, if there was one, becomes unchecked, by having the aria-checked attribute value switched to false.

If your want more than one item in a group to be checked, or if you want to enable checking and unchecking an item, consider using menuitemcheckbox.

If a menu or menubar contains more than one group of menuitemradio elements, or if the menu contains a group of menuitemradio elements as well as other, unrelated menuitem elements and/or menuitemcheckbox elements, contain each set of related menuitemradio elements in a group element or delimit the group the menuitemradio elements from the other menu items with a separator element (or an HTML element with an equivalent role such as a <fieldset> grouping or a thematic break <hr> separator.

An accessible name is required. Ideally, the accessible name should come from an associated <label> element if using <input type="radio"> or visible, descendant content. Realize if the label or descendant content is not sufficient and, preferably, aria-labelledby is used referencing non-descendant content or aria-label is used, these two ARIA properties will hide other descendant content from assistive technologies.

If all elements in the set are not present in the DOM include the aria-setsize and aria-posinset properties. When specifying aria-setsize and aria-posinset on a menuitemradio, set the value with respect to the total number of items in the menu, excluding any separators.

The menuitemradio element can have phrasing content, but can not have interactive content as descendants and no descendants with a tabindex attribute specified.

All descendants are presentational

There are some types of user interface components that, when represented in a platform accessibility API, can only contain text. Accessibility APIs do not have a way of representing semantic elements contained in a menuitemradio. To deal with this limitation, browsers, automatically apply role presentation to all descendant elements of any menuitemradio element as it is a role that does not support semantic children.

For example, consider the following menuitemradio element, which contains a heading.

<div role="menuitemradio"><h6>Name of my radio button</h6></li>

Because descendants of menuitemradio are presentational, the following code is equivalent:

<div role="menuitemradio"><h6 role="presentation">Name of my radio button</h6></li>

From the assistive technology user's perspective, the heading does not exist since the previous code snippets are equivalent to the following in the accessibility tree:

<div role="menuitemradio">Name of my radio button</div>

Associated WAI-ARIA roles, states, and properties

Widget that offers a list of common actions or functions the user can invoke.

Similar to menu for a consistent set of frequently used commands remaining visible and usually presented horizontally.

group role

Container for a group of menuitem elements, including menuitemradio elements within a menu or menubar.

aria-checked (Required)

Set to true, false, or mixed, it indicates the current "checked" state of the menuitemradio

Keyboard interactions

When a menu opens, or when a menubar receives focus, keyboard focus is placed on the first item. All items in both are focusable, including all menuitemradio elements.

If the menuitemradio is in a submenu in a menubar or a menu opened with a menu button, the following keyboard interactions must be programmed in. :

Enter

If not checked, checks the focused menuitemradio and unchecks any other checked menuitemradio element in the same group. Also, closes the menu.

Space

If not checked, checks the focused menuitemradio and unchecks any other checked menuitemradio element in the same group without closing the menu.

Escape

Closes menu. In menubar, moves focus to parent menubar item.

Right Arrow

Closes submenu. In menubar, moves focus to next item in the menubar, opening any submenu if there is one.

Left Arrow

Closes menu. In menubar, moves focus to previous item in the menubar, opening any submenu if there is one.

Down Arrow

Moves focus to the next item in the menu. If focus is on the last item, moves focus to the first item.

Up Arrow

Moves focus to previous item in the menu. If focus is on the first item, moves focus to the last item.

Home

Moves focus to the first item in the menu.

End

Moves focus to the last item in the menu.

Character

Moves focus to the next item having a name that starts with the typed character. If none of the items have a name starting with the typed character, focus does not move.

Required JavaScript

Required event handlers

onclick

Handle mouse clicks on both the radio button and the associated label that will change the state of the radio button by changing the value of the aria-checked attribute and the appearance of the radio button so it appears checked or unchecked to the sighted user

onKeyDown

Handle the case where the user presses the Space key to change the state of the radio button by changing the value of the aria-checked attribute and the appearance of the radio button so it appears checked or unchecked to the sighted user. Also handles all keys listed in the keyboard navigation section above.

Examples

<li role="menuitemradio" tabindex="-1" aria-checked="false">Purple</li>

The tabindex="-1" makes the menuitemradio focusable but not part of the page tab sequence. Had we included aria-checked="true" it would have indicated that the menuitemradio was checked, and we would have visually styled the selected state to look checked using the attribute selector [role='menuitemradio'][aria-checked='true']. Instead, the presence of aria-checked="false indicates to assistive technologies that themenuitemradio` is checkable but not currently checked. The accessible name "purple" comes from the contents.

The visual appearance of the selected state is a checked radio button which we can create using generated content, making it visible and the same color as the content by synchronizing with the aria-checked value using CSS attribute selectors and changing the background-color.

[role='menuitemradio']::before {
  display: inline-block;
  content: '';
  width: 1em;
  height: 1em;
  padding: 0.1em;
  border : 2px solid #333;
  border-radius: 50%;
  box-sizing: border-box;
  background-clip: content-box;
  margin-inline-end: 2px;
}
[role='menuitemradio'][aria-checked='true']::before {
  background-color: purple;
}

Don't use the background shorthand property, as that will override the background-clip property we used to create the radio button effect.

Prefer HTML

The first rule of ARIA is: if a native HTML element or attribute has the semantics and behavior you require, use it instead of re-purposing an element and adding an ARIA role, state or property to make it accessible. As such, it is recommended to use the native HTML radio button form control instead of recreating a radio button's functionality with JavaScript and ARIA.

Specifications

Specification
Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA)
# menuitemradio
ARIA Authoring Practices
# menu

See Also