GOV.UK resources

A list of resources from GDS which are on GOV.UK.

Accessibility for Developers: Introduction

GOV.UK Guidance for making your frontend accessible. As well as the guidance for Software Engineers and Frontend Developers in this manual, you should read the accessibility for developers introduction on GOV.UK.

Accessibility Personas

You can use the in-depth GOV.UK Accessibility Personas to help you think about accessibility early on in your product design. Before you have recruited real users and built prototypes, using accessibility personas can help you to keep accessibility at the forefront of your service.

It should be noted that personas will never replace talking to real users, but they can be a useful tool in the early stages of your discovery work.

You can read a GDS blog post about accessibility personas.

Common assistive technologies

If you’re working to the Service Standard you will need to make sure your service works on the GOV.UK list of common assistive technologies.

A 2016 GDS survey on assistive technology and a WebAim screen reader survey was used to create the list. It is updated several times a year, so don’t always assume the list is the same as the last time you checked it.

Make things accessible and inclusive

Whether you’re building or buying technology it’s important to make things accessible and inclusive.

To meet point 2 of the Technology Code of Practice (TCoP) your plan or design must show how you’re making technology inclusive.

If you’re going through the spend control process you must explain how you’re meeting point 2 or any limitations you’ve encountered.

Publishing accessible documents

See the GOV.UK guidance for publishing accessible documents to learn how to publish accessible documents to meet the needs of all users under the accessibility regulations.

Record a Goose Sighting: Training

Record a Goose Sighting is a fictional service which has been coded to include deliberate accessibility issues, such as missing alt text and broken heading hierarchies.

There is the Record a Goose Sighting worksheet for you to work through and the Record a Goose Sighting answers so you can see if you found everything.

There is also a version of Record a Goose Sighting with no answers, which may be helpful in scenarios where you don’t want people to be able to find the answers themselves. This can be useful for training or knowledge checks.

You can also view the Record a Goose Sighting project on Github and read the blog post training people to do accessibility reviews to understand more about the project.

Service Manual

The GOV.UK Service Manual is the main guidance for any service team. It covers every aspect of designing and building digital services, not just accessibility.

Service Manual: Design guidance

The Service Manual: Design guidance should be used for naming, structuring and scoping your service.

Services for Government users

When we think of digital services, we often think of service which are for citizens. But we can reuse a lot of the existing patterns because Civil Servants are users too. If you’re building a service for staff to use, it still needs to be usable and accessible.

Read the Service Manual guidance on designing services for Government users.

Technology code of practice

he Technology Code of Practice is a set of criteria to help government design, build and buy technology. It’s used as a cross-government agreed standard in the spend controls process.

User profiles

The GDS user profiles were created to help you understand how disabilities and impairments might impact people trying to access your service.

There are 7 in total:

Using progressive enhancement

When we talk about using progressive enhancement we mean that we start simply and build up to complex.

We should never rely on anything but HTML. CSS styles and JavaScript should always be an additional layer which is not essential for the service to function. If you disable all of these features, although your service might look boring, it should still function.

There are lots of reasons why JavaScript might not load such as a poor internet connections.

Writing for GOV.UK

The official guidance on writing for GOV.UK.

A lot of accessibility issues can be solved just by having well written and well structured content. The guidance contains lots of information on how people read and what is the best way to make sure your content works for everyone.

Writing for user interfaces

Depending on where your content will be published, the things you need to consider might be different. As well as the guidance on writing for GOV.UK you should read the guidance on writing for user interfaces.