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  3. Accessibility for developers: an introduction

You must build your service in a way that makes it accessible to everyone who needs it. If it isn’t, you may be in breach of the Equality Act 2010.

Your responsibilities

As a technical member of your team, you need to design and build interfaces that meet government accessibility requirements. To help you do this, you should:

  • help identify possible accessibility issues in content and design, and feed them back to your designer or content designer before implementing it in code
  • meet the success criteria of the WCAG 2.1 design principles that relate to implementing accessible code
  • test for accessibility on a regular basis - and each time you build a new feature
  • make sure your service works with assistive technologies - like screen readers and speech recognition software
  • help your team plan for its accessibility audit - and fix any issues it identifies

Learn more about making your service accessible.

Implementing accessible code

You should help your team identify any possible accessibility issues in content or design before implementing in code.

It’s easy to accidentally introduce accessibility barriers in your HTML, CSS, JavaScript and WAI-ARIA. To help avoid many issues, you should:

When implementing your code, you should:

  1. Add content to your source file in a logical order.

  2. Pick the most appropriate HTML markup - this might include WAI-ARIA landmark roles, or WAI-ARIA attributes which are not dependent on JavaScript.

  3. Add CSS and make sure you have not introduced any barriers.

  4. Add JavaScript and make sure you have not introduced any barriers.

  5. Add any WAI-ARIA needed to make JavaScript interactions accessible.

  6. Test your code for accessibility issues.

Case studies and resources

You may find the following resources useful:

Get help

Get in touch with the accessibility community directly to:

  • discuss how to build accessible service and meet accessibility requirements
  • share ideas across government
  • find support from teams that have worked on similar services or faced similar challenges

You may also find the following guides useful:

Published by:
Accessibility community
Last update:

Guidance first published