Buttons have an accessible name

  • Rule Typeatomic
  • Rule ID: 97a4e1
  • Last modified: Aug 21, 2019
  • Accessibility Requirements Mapping
    • 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (Level: A)
      • Learn More about 4.1.2 (Name, Role, Value)
      • Required for conformance to WCAG 2.0 and above on level A and above
      • Outcome mapping:
        • Any failed outcomes: not satisfied
        • All passed outcomes: further testing is needed
        • An inapplicable outcome: further testing is needed
  • Input Aspects


This rule checks that each button element has an accessible name.


The rule applies to elements that are included in the accessibility tree with the semantic role of button, except for input elements of type="image".


Each target element has an accessible name that is not only whitespace.

Note: input elements of type submit and reset can get their accessible name from a default text (work in progress), as well as from a value or other attribute.


Accessibility Support

There are no major accessibility support issues known for this rule.


Test Cases


Passed Example 1

Regular button.

<button>My button</button>

Passed Example 2

Value attribute as the accessible name.

<input type="submit" value="Submit" />

Passed Example 3

aria-label for the accessible name.

<button aria-label="My button"></button>

Passed Example 4

Span tag with role button and has name defined by aria-label.

<span role="button" aria-label="My button"></span>

Passed Example 5

Summary element has a default semantic role of button.

<summary>Press Here</summary>

Passed Example 6

Disabled elements are also applicable.

<button disabled>Delete</button>

Passed Example 7

Off screen elements should be tested.

		.notInPage {
			position: absolute;
			left: -9999px;
			top: -9999px;
		<button class="notInPage">Save</button>

Passed Example 8

Button has accessible name that is not only whitespace.


Passed Example 9

Input button has an accessible name that comes from the default "reset" text.

<input type="reset" />


Failed Example 1

Value attribute does NOT give an accessible name, only for input elements.

<button type="button" value="read more"></button>

Failed Example 2

Span tag with role button with no name.

<span role="button"></span>

Failed Example 3

Off screen element without an accessible name.

		.notInPage {
			position: absolute;
			left: -9999px;
			top: -9999px;
		<button class="notInPage" value="delete"></button>

Failed Example 4

Button has an accessible name that is only whitespace.



Inapplicable Example 1

Image buttons are tested in a different rule.

<input type="image" value="download" />

Inapplicable Example 2

Not visible in page and not included in the accessibility tree.

		.notInPage {
			position: absolute;
			left: -9999px;
			top: -9999px;
		<button class="notInPage" aria-hidden="true">Confirm</button>

Inapplicable Example 3

Inapplicable: role overridden to link for button element.

<button role="link">take me somewhere</button>

Inapplicable Example 4

Not included in the accessibility tree due to aria-hidden.

<button aria-hidden="true"></button>


Accessible Name

key: accessible-name

The programmatically determined name of a user interface element that is included in the accessibility tree.

The accessible name is calculated using the accessible name and description computation.

For native markup languages, such as HTML and SVG, additional information on how to calculate the accessible name can be found in HTML Accessibility API Mappings 1.0, Accessible Name and Description Computation (work in progress) and SVG Accessibility API Mappings, Name and Description (work in progress).

Included in the accessibility tree

key: included-in-the-accessibility-tree

Elements included in the accessibility tree of platform specific accessibility APIs. Elements in the accessibility tree are exposed to assistive technologies, allowing users to interact with the elements in a way that meet the requirements of the individual user.

The general rules for when elements are included in the accessibility tree are defined in the core accessibility API mappings. For native markup languages, such as HTML and SVG, additional rules for when elements are included in the accessibility tree can be found in the HTML accessibility API mappings (work in progress) and the SVG accessibility API mappings (work in progress).

Note: Users of assistive technologies might still be able to interact with elements that are not included in the accessibility tree. An example of this is a focusable element with an aria-hidden attribute with a value of true. Such an element could still be interacted with using sequential keyboard navigation regardless of the assistive technologies used, even though the element would not be included in the accessibility tree.


key: outcome

A conclusion that comes from evaluating an ACT Rule on a test subject or one of its constituent test target. An outcome can be one of the three following types:

  • Inapplicable: No part of the test subject matches the applicability
  • Passed: A test target meets all expectations
  • Failed: A test target does not meet all expectations

Note: A rule has one passed or failed outcome for every test target. When there are no test targets the rule has one inapplicable outcome. This means that each test subject will have one or more outcomes.

Note: Implementers using the EARL10-Schema can express the outcome with the outcome property. In addition to passed, failed and inapplicable, EARL 1.0 also defined an incomplete outcome. While this cannot be the outcome of an ACT Rule when applied in its entirety, it often happens that rules are only partially evaluated. For example, when applicability was automated, but the expectations have to be evaluated manually. Such "interim" results can be expressed with the incomplete outcome.

Semantic Role

key: semantic-role

A semantic role is a semantic association that indicates an object's type. This allows tools to present and support interaction with the object in a manner that is consistent with user expectations about other objects of that type.

The semantic role of an element is its explicit semantic role if it has any, otherwise, the implicit semantic role is used.


key: whitespace

Characters that have the Unicode "White_Space" property in the Unicode properties list.

This includes:

  • all characters in the Unicode Separator categories, and
  • the following characters in the Other, Control category:

    • Character tabulation (U+0009)
    • Line Feed (LF) (U+000A)
    • Line Tabulation (U+000B)
    • Form Feed (FF) (U+000C)
    • Carriage Return (CR) (U+000D)
    • Next Line (NEL) (U+0085)


Aug 21, 2019test: add tests to verify h4 headings (#810)
Aug 21, 2019fix: update links to WCAG21 resources (#776)
Aug 21, 2019Editorial changes (#725)
Jul 29, 2019Fix citation of work in progress AAMs (#716)
Jul 26, 2019Editorial changes (#702)
Jul 19, 2019chore: run prettier (#688)
Jul 2, 2019chore: Correct various typos (#640)
Jun 20, 2019Add a test case for default button texts (#566)
May 18, 2019chore: Validating rules frontmatter on CI (#551)
May 15, 2019Glossary and Rule update: Replacing "non-empty" definition (#430)
May 9, 2019Chore: Adapt site to ACT Rules CR format (#547)
May 7, 2019Template update - Buttons have an accessible name (#503)
Apr 29, 2019chore: rename files and update associations (#489)
Apr 16, 2019chore: add unique id to all rules (#478)
Apr 15, 2019chore: WCAG ACT RULES CG Website Update (#437)
Nov 19, 2018Remove "focusable" and "is visible" from Applicability in several rules due to consistency concerns (#310)
Nov 12, 2018chore: remove selector `data-rule-target` (#347)
Oct 29, 2018chore: change references to included in accessibility tree (#322)
Oct 12, 2018"Included in accessibility tree" instead of "exposed to assistive technologies" (#269)
Oct 9, 2018Fix: testcase generation (#296)
Aug 30, 2018Chore: Update test cases format and descriptions (#230)
Aug 9, 2018Rule: SC4-1-2-button-has-name (#129)

Useful Links


Tool NameCreated ByReport
AlfaSiteimproveView Report
Axe-coreDeque SystemsView Report