The global aria-brailleroledescription attribute defines a human-readable, author-localized abbreviated description for the role of an element, which is intended to be converted into Braille.


Braille is not a one-to-one transliteration of letters and numbers, but rather it includes various abbreviations, contractions and characters that represent words (known as lolograms). Instead of converting long role descriptions to Braille, the aria-brailleroledescription allows for providing an abbreviated version of the aria-roledescription value, which is a human-readable, author-localized description for the role of an element, for improved user experience with Braille interfaces. Basically, the value of aria-brailleroledescription is an abbreviated version of the aria-roledescription to be converted into Braille.

<article aria-roledescription="slide" aria-brailleroledescription="sld" aria-labelledby="slide1heading">
  <h1 id="slide1heading">Welcome to my talk</h1>
  <img alt="Me" src="images/me.jpg">

Most assistive technologies, like screen readers, will read the above as "slide, welcome to by talk. Image, Me." Braille assistive technologies will present "sld welcome to my talk gra me" in Braille. The semantic <article> is given the role of "slide" by the aria-roledescription attribute; "slide" being a role not defined in the specification, but is a common role for slides in a presentation. In Braille, the role is presented as "sld". The "gra" is short for "graphic", which is how the "image" role is shortened in Braille.

Only use of aria-brailleroledescription to clarify the purpose of non-interactive container roles like group or region, or to providing a more specific description of a widget in a braille context. As the aria-brailleroledescription property overrides how assistive technologies localize and express the name of a role in Braille, inappropriate values will prevent users from understanding and interacting with an element on braille interfaces.

Only use aria-brailleroledescription if the aria-roledescription is present; but if the aria-roledescription value works in Braille, the Braille version of the attribute is not needed. In general, aria-brailleroledescription should only be used in the rare case when a aria-roledescription is too verbose for Braille.

A few rules to remember:

  • Only apply aria-brailleroledescription to elements with a valid ARIA role or has with implicit role semantics.
  • The aria-brailleroledescription, if present, must have a non-empty, none null value that is different from the aria-roledescription value, which, in turn, is different from the ARIA explicit or role or implicit semantic role.
  • Avoid using Unicode Braille Patterns. If they must be used, ensure the aria-brailleroledescription value doesn't contain only characters in Unicode Braille Patterns and contains content other than white space and Braille Pattern dots-0. If the content is only in Unicode Braille Patterns, the value will not be translated according to the user's preferred translation table.
  • Ensure the value is always localized to the document's language.

Note: Do NOT use aria-brailleroledescription to replicate aria-roledescription. Only include this attribute when aria-roledescription does not provide an adequate braille representation.

The aria-brailleroledescription value will not be exposed to the braille user if:

  • The value is empty or contains only whitespace characters or the empty Braille pattern: dots-0 (U+2800).
  • The element to which the attribute is applied has an explicit or implicit WAI-ARIA role where aria-brailleroledescription is prohibited.
  • The element to which the attribute is applied does not have a valid aria-roledescription.

Note: Test your sites and applications with daily users of assistive technologies, including Braille readers, to ensure your content makes sense in Braille.



The value is a string, an unconstrained value type, that is intended to be converted into Braille

Associated roles

Used in ALL roles (except generic).


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

See Also