With the emerging adoption of Web 2.0 the internet is no more a one-side communication or just a set of static web pages. The modern web applications are more interactive, live and entertaining. With the wide adoption of web 2.0, websites started providing live updates to the users such as stock values, live scores of sports & games etc. To make the web pages more interactive and provide the accurate information to the users of assistive technologies, ARIA busy state is used in conjunction with ARIA-live.

ARIA-busy state should be used by the content authors when a portion on a web page has auto updating content. ARIA-busy is a state having two possible values ARIA-busy=”true” and ARIA-busy=”false”.

ARIA-busy=”true” is set when a relevant portion of the page is currently getting updated and the users are waiting to read the updated content. Users of assistive technology will not be able to read anything while the content is getting updated. They could probably hear “busy” with few screen readers. Once the content is updated content authors can set ARIA-busy=”false” or remove the ARIA-busy attribute Once the content is updated the assistive technologies gather the updated information and provide it to the user.

ARIA-busy state is used as part of a live region. To notify the live region ARIA-live property is used. ARIA-live have three possible values ARIA-live=”off”, ARIA-live=”polite” and ARIA-live=”assertive”.

In this example we have used ARIA-live=”polite”. See ARIA-live to know more about other values.

This politeness level is used when the user is not doing anything or when the user is waiting for the update to happen. If the user is busy with other task on the page the screen reader will not interrupt to provide the updated content of the live region. See the following example to understand how an ARIA-busy state can be used.


<h2>Current Score</h2>
<p aria-live=”polite” aria-busy=”true”></p>

In the above example when the updation is done content authors should take care that the ARIA-busy=”false” and the updated content is available in the paragraph.

<p ARIA-live=”polite” aria-busy=”false”>the current score is 23/0 after 4 overs</p>