Web developers increasingly use client-side scripts to create user interface controls that cannot be created with HTML alone. They also use client-side scripts to update sections of a page without requesting a completely new page from a web server. Such techniques on websites are called rich Internet applications. These user interface controls and content updates are often not accessible to users with disabilities, especially screen reader users and users who cannot use a mouse or other pointing device. WAI-ARIA allows web pages (or portions of pages) to declare themselves as applications rather than as static documents, by adding role, property, and state information to dynamic web applications. ARIA is intended for use by developers of web applications, web browsers, assistive technologies, and accessibility evaluation tools.
WAI-ARIA describes how to add semantics and other metadata to HTML content in order to make user interface controls and dynamic content more accessible. For example, with WAI-ARIA it is possible to identify a list of links as a navigation menu and to state whether it is expanded or collapsed. Although originally developed to address accessibility issues in HTML, the use of WAI-ARIA is not limited to HTML: in principle, it can also be used in other markup languages such as Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG). SVG 1.2 Tiny added support for WAI-ARIA in the 15 September 2008 working draft.
- Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) Version 1.0 (Draft)
-  This is primarily aimed at developers of Web browsers, assistive technologies, and other user agents, in addition to developers of other technical specifications, and developers of accessibility evaluation tools.
- WAI-ARIA Primer
-  This is a technical introduction to WAI-ARIA. It describes the problems WAI-ARIA tries to address, the underlying concepts, the technical approach and business reasons for adopting WAI-ARIA.
- WAI-ARIA Best Practices
-  This document describes best practices for delivering rich Internet applications with WAI-ARIA: it discusses subjects such as general steps for building accessible widgets, keyboard navigation, relationships, form properties, drag-and-drop support, alert and dialog boxes, reusable component libraries, and testing.
- Roadmap for Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA Roadmap)
-  Much of the content of this document has been moved into other documents.
The ARIA specifications editors have included Lisa Seeman, Rich Schwerdtfeger, James Craig, Michael Cooper and Lisa Pappas.
- "Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) 1.0". W3.org. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- "WAI-ARIA Overview". W3.org. 2011-01-18. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- See SVG 1.2 Tiny: role attribute and SVG 1.2 Tiny: Extensible metadata attributes.
- "WAI-ARIA Primer". W3.org. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- "WAI-ARIA 1.0 Authoring Practices". W3.org. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- "Roadmap for Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA Roadmap)". W3.org. Retrieved 2012-12-06.
- Introduction to WAI ARIA by Gez Lemon
- ARIA developer portal documentation, videos, and articles relating to ARIA (materials under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license)
- Henny Swan (Opera): Setting up a screen reader test environment for WAI-ARIA