the use of role attribute

Hi guys,

I am studying bootstrap from W3schools.
what is the use of 'role' attribute?
can it have a different value than 'menu' here?
Is it required?

<div class="btn-group">
  <button type="button" class="btn btn-primary">Apple</button>
  <button type="button" class="btn btn-primary">Samsung</button>
  <div class="btn-group">
    <button type="button" class="btn btn-primary dropdown-toggle" data-toggle="dropdown">
    Sony <span class="caret"></span></button>
    <ul class="dropdown-menu" [b]role="menu"[/b]>
      <li><a href="#">Tablet</a></li>
      <li><a href="#">Smartphone</a></li>
    </ul>
  </div>
</div>

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IzzyTwinklyAsked:
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Julian HansenCommented:
The role attribute is there to describe what your element does - primarily for the benefit of screen readers. So for instance an <a> element with a role of button will be seen as a button by a screen reader rather than as a link.

More information here http://www.w3.org/TR/wai-aria/ and here http://rawgit.com/w3c/aria-in-html/master/index.html

To use or not to use - using them does not have any negative side effects but there are some instances where they are useful - therefore it is entirely up to you as to whether or not you include them.

In some cases CSS rules are applied to roles which means (depending on the source) you might have an instance where an element is not styled correctly because its role is missing.
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Brandon LyonSenior Frontend DeveloperCommented:
To elaborate on Julian's answer and your question about which role it can have, here is the list of possible roles. Menu seems appropriate in your case.

http://www.w3.org/TR/wai-aria/roles#role_definitions
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IzzyTwinklyAuthor Commented:
Thanks guys!
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