ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) is a recommendation of the W3C, designed to extend information for enhanced accessibility. ARIA makes it possible to add additional information to web objects and structures, and make this information available to users of assistive technologies. ARIA can enrich interfaces by semantically describing:

  • the function or structural purpose of a page section, widget, or element;
  • the fixed properties or changing states of an element;
  • relationships between elements for identification or DOM hierarchy;
  • live regions, enabling users to capture updated information;
  • keyboard controls for elements and events;

Web designers and developers can use ARIA as a kind of extension of the web development process that permits them to create rich and interactive web interfaces, while providing information necessary to improve accessibility for all users.

Adapted from http://www.w3.org/WAI/intro/aria, "WAI-ARIA Overview"