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Content Tree

A content tree provides users with a way to navigate nested hierarchical information using a parent-child relationship model


  • Availability of content tree items to assistive technology requires the use of aria-controls and toggling aria-expanded as regions are expanded and collapsed.
  • The name of each item should include the attribute role="button".
  • Each tree item button is wrapped in an element with role heading that has a value set for aria-level that is appropriate for the information architecture of the page.
    • If the native host language has an element with an implicit heading and aria-level, such as an HTML heading tag, a native host language element may be used.
    • The button element is the only element inside the heading element. That is, if there are other visually persistent elements, they are not included inside the heading element.
  • If the accordion panel associated with an accordion header is visible, the header button element has aria-expanded set to true. If the panel is not visible, aria-expanded is set to false.
  • The accordion header button element has aria-controls set to the ID of the element containing the accordion panel content.
  • “Enter” or “Space” key should expand and collapse items. “Arrow” keys move focus to the next focusable element; tabbing allows the user to move to the main content on the page, and should not navigate through the content tree allowing the user to skip it.
  • Avoid keyboard traps when adding components to the content tree. For example, the user expands a section, but is unable to navigate to the next focusable element or to tab out of the content tree panel.
  • Although the content tree element passes accessibility testing, content authors are responsible for ensuring the content in the content tree is accessible.