I'm running my website through the W3C Markup validator and I'm getting the following error:

The aria-controls attribute must point to an element in the same document. …"ui-accordion-1-header-2" aria-controls="ui-accordion-1-panel-0" tabindex="0">

I've read through the documentation and I not sure where I'm going wrong.

My HTML looks like this:

<ul class="mobile-primary ui-accordion ui-widget ui-helper-reset" role="tablist">
    <li><a class="mobile-tab-trigger ui-accordion-header ui-helper-reset ui-state-default ui-corner-all ui-accordion-icons" href="#" role="tab" id="ui-accordion-1-header-0" aria-controls="ui-accordion-1-panel-0" aria-selected="false" tabindex="0"><span class="ui-accordion-header-icon ui-icon ui-icon-triangle-1-e"></span>Link 1</a>    
        <ul class="mobile-secondary mobile-expand ui-accordion-content ui-helper-reset ui-widget-content ui-corner-bottom" id="ui-accordion-1-panel-0" aria-labelledby="ui-accordion-1-header-0" role="tabpanel" aria-expanded="false" aria-hidden="true" style="display: none;">
            <li><a href="/Link2/" title="Link 2">Link 2</a></li>

As you can see I have aria-controls="ui-accordion-1-panel-0" and the subsequent <ul> tag is id="ui-accordion-1-panel-0".

  • Testing that snippet by direct input seems to work for me, can you provide a link to the page you're trying to validate? x Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 15:16
  • What HTML doctype are you using? The validity may depend on that. Commented Dec 20, 2014 at 12:14
  • I'm having the exact same issue, using HTML5 doctype. Error message is stating the same, except I'm targeting classes.
    – Lee
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 9:26

1 Answer 1


I was able to solve this issue by replacing the aria-controls value with the id of the nav element. Works and passes validation.

  • There is no nav element. You need to be more clear.
    – Rob
    Commented Jun 13, 2020 at 11:15

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