Known accessibility issues

Sometimes we find issues which are not unique to services. These can be due to bugs in the assistive technology tools or in the common components we use.

ARIA attributes not allowed on conditional reveals

When running automated tests, if the page contains conditional reveals then Axe will raise an error which reads:
ARIA attribute is not allowed: aria-expanded="false"

The issue happens because the aria-expanded attribute is not allowed on input tags, although W3C Validator and SiteImprove do not flag it as a HTML error.

As of September 2020, it was decided by GDS that the current implementation of the conditional reveal component is non-compliant with WCAG 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value, due to the fact that some screen readers fail to announce when the content is expanded or collapsed.

Until the component is fixed, it is recommended that you don’t use conditional reveals and instead display the conditional content on the next page.

You can read more about these issues:

The colour contrast in the most recent version of the footer in the Design System is 4.1:1. Most automated tools will work to a ratio of 4.5:1 so will may this up as a false positive.

Under WCAG 1.4.11 Non-text Contrast, this logo is not an issue because it meets a ratio of 3.1:1 and also does not contain information which is required to understand context.

It is recommended that you make sure the footer component is the most up to date version and record this error as a non-issue.

GOV.UK Accordion component is non-compliant

The GOV.UK Design System was audited in September 2020 and the Accordion component was found to be non-compliant.

The reason for this is that the headings look like links but behave link buttons. This fails WCAG 1.3.1 - Info and Relationships.

Until the component is fixed, it is not recommended to use the GOV.UK Accordion component.

GOV.UK conditional reveals are non-compliant

The radio button component and the checkbox component in the GOV.UK Design System have been found to have issues which make them non-compliant.

Users are not always notified when conditionally revealed content is expanded or collapsed. This fails WCAG 4.1.2 - Name, Role, Value].

Until the issue is fixed, it is not recommended to use conditional reveals. They are also often more difficult for users than a simple 1 thing per page approach anyway. So consider if they’re actually needed for your service at all.

You can read more about this issue:
Github issue about conditional reveals

GOV.UK Date component does not work with Dragon

There is a known issue with number fields and Dragons inability to edit them. It also affects old versions of the GOV.UK Date component as it used number fields.

The issue was not with the Date component, but with Dragon. However as it affected the component so much, a workaround was implemented in more modern iterations of the Date component.

It is recommended that you update the component to use the most recent version from the GOV.UK Design System.

You can read more about these issues:

GOV.UK Details component does not work with Dragon

When using Dragon, the GOV.UK Details component will not work with any of the link commands. The Details component has been styled to look like a link but it behaves like a button.

This is a potential failure of WCAG 4.1.2 - Name, Role, Value, although it has not been flagged as one. The reason it might be a failure is that it looks like a link but cannot be programmatically determined to be one.

It recommended that you do not use the details component. Aside from the potential accessibility failure, research shows that users often miss the information they hide as they don’t understand how the component works.

Only have content on the page which your users need. If you have to hide content, then decide if it’s really needed or if the page can be broken into multiple pages.

You can read more about this:
Github comment about Details component being a potential WCAG fail

JAWs cannot see headings inside fieldsets

There is where JAWs does not read out headings which are inside fieldset tags.

This affects most GOV.UK services using the 1 thing per page approach as components such as radios and checkboxes nest the H1 inside the legend tag.

The issue is with JAWs and not with the GOV.UK Design System components. The issue has been raised with Freedom Scientific who would be responsible for fixing it.

The issue only seems to happen in the Internet Explorer browser, so it could be a good idea to recommend your users use a different browser in your Accessibility Statement.

You can read more about this issue:
Github issue about JAWs not reading out headings.

Screen readers read out P45 as 45p

When referring to the tax document known as a P45, a screen reader will sometimes read out 45p.

We found that the language settings of the device caused the issue. If the device is set to USA English then it read out ‘P45’. But if the device was set to British English, the screen reader assumed ‘P45’ to be currency and instead read out 45p.

We found that we could fix the issue for JAWs by adding a visually hidden non- breaking space. However NVDA would still read out 45p. For example:

Code example
P<span class="govuk-visually-hidden">&nbsp;</span>45

We recommend adding the visually hidden non-breaking space and adding the following paragraph to your accessibility statement:

We know some screen readers will read out the tax form known as a Pay as you earn 45 as 45p. This happens if your language is set to British English and your screen reader assumes it is money.