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Unstyled List's role Attribute

Unstyled lists (usually unordered lists <ul> with their list-style CSS property set to none) are not announced as lists by VoiceOver (the screen reader built into Apple operating systems).

This means Safari will not read them out correctly. Screen readers also read out the number of list items (<li>) when they come across a list. This too will not work correctly. Reading the number of items is very helpful when, for example, reading the number of items in your site's navigation.

If your content is truly a list but you would like to keep it unstyled, add a “list” role to the element:

ul {
  list-style: none;
<ul role="list">

If Using Tailwind CSS

This is very important to keep in mind if you use Tailwind CSS.

Tailwind adds an opinionated set of base styles (a CSS "normalize" of sorts) when you include @tailwind base to your global CSS...which is pretty much always.

In those base styles they remove list styling from both their ordered and unordered lists:

menu {
  list-style: none;
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;

Unless you override that in your global CSS file (or on an individual basis) then that means all your lists are unstyled by default. If you want them working correctly with VoiceOver you'll need to decide which lists need their role attribute set to "list" and perform the updates.

I don't remember when or where I came across this very obscure bit of information so I figured it's worth sharing.

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