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WebKit has fixed the implicit role on footers

Posted in Accessibility and Development

Around this time last year I wrote about implicit ARIA roles. One of the issues I encountered was that VoiceOver didn’t give an implicit role of contentinfo to the footer of the document, as it was supposed to.

the same principle is supposed to be true for the <footer> element, but it doesn’t add role="contentinfo" implicitly

Well, I’m happy to report that that’s not the case any more! When I wrote about Apple having fixed the problem with <address> elements, I thought I’d check the role="contentinfo" thing for good measure, and as luck would have it, removing role="contentinfo" from a footer that’s a direct (or un-sectioned) child of the <body> element now works as expected!

I did a wee bit of digging and found the WebKit bug report and the fix that was implemented in February 2019. Funnily enough, the article I wrote was published right between the fix making it into Safari Technology Preview in March 2019, and being released to the general public with macOS 10.15 (Catalina) and iOS 13 in September.

So when we validate our pages and are warned The contentinfo role is unnecessary for element footer, we can now safely remove the explicit role, passing validation as well as knowing that our visitors using screen readers will be correctly told where the ‘content information’ for the page lives.

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