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WAI-ARIA Support

This article demonstrates how to enable and use the WAI-ARIA support of the RadDropDownList control.

The WAI-ARIA Suite , defines an approach to make Web content and Web applications more accessible to people with disabilities.

In order to enable the WAI-ARIA support, set the RadDropDownList contol's EnableAriaSupport property to true as shown in the example below.

Example 1: Setting the EnalbeAriaSupport property for RadDropDownList.

<telerik:RadDropDownList RenderMode="Lightweight" ID="RadDropDownList1" runat="server" EnableAriaSupport="true">
        <telerik:DropDownListItem Text="RadDropDownListItem 1" Value="1" />
        <telerik:DropDownListItem Text="RadDropDownListItem 2" Value="2" />
        <telerik:DropDownListItem Text="RadDropDownListItem 3" Value="3" />

RadDropDownList1.EnableAriaSupport = true;

RadDropDownList1.EnableAriaSupport = true

In order to use WAI-ARIA the form element on the page must have a role attribute set to "application" (<form id="form1" runat="server" role="application">). For more information on this requirement see: W3C: WAI-ARIA

An issue with the use of WAI-ARIA is that using ARIA attributes results in invalid HTML mark-up. When you run a HTML document containing ARIA attributes through the W3C Validator it shows errors in the results for any ARIA attributes. The reason is that the DOCTYPE declarations do not include any information about the WAI ARIA attributes and you cannot have a valid document which includes elements, attributes, and attribute values, not detailed in its DTD’s.

The implementation of the WAI ARIA support is achieved entirely client-side (using JavaScript) by appending different attributes and appropriate WAI-ARIA roles to the DOM elements. This is done because an HTML document containing ARIA attributes will not pass validation if they are added on the server.

Enabling WAI-ARIA support of a RadDropDownList will also allow you to adjust the aria-label and aria-describedby attributes of the control by using the Label and DescribedBy properties in the AriaSettings tag.

Example 2: Adjusting aria-label and aria-describedby attributes in RadDropDownList.

<telerik:RadDropDownList RenderMode="Lightweight" runat="server" ID="RadDropDownList1" EnableAriaSupport="true">
    <AriaSettings Label="Label for this drop-down." DescribedBy="describe_drop-down" />
        <telerik:DropDownListItem Text="DropDownListItem 1" Value="1" />
        <telerik:DropDownListItem Text="DropDownListItem 2" Value="2" />
        <telerik:DropDownListItem Text="DropDownListItem 3" Value="3" />

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