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Accessibility

Accessibility statement for the NHS COVID-19 app

Accessibility statement for the NHS COVID-19 app

This accessibility statement explains how accessible the NHS COVID-19 mobile application (app) is, what to do if you have difficulty using it and how to report accessibility problems with the app.

Using this app

The NHS COVID-19 app is run by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). We want as many people as possible to be able to use the app.

The NHS COVID-19 app is a native app built for Apple iOS and Android devices. This means you can use the built-in accessibility settings on your phone:

We've made the text in the NHS COVID-19 app as simple as possible to understand.

If you have a disability, AbilityNet has advice to help you make your device easier to use.

Accessibility level of the NHS COVID-19 app

Android version

The NHS COVID-19 app for Android is fully compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard.

iOS version

We know some parts of the app are not fully accessible:

  • Sometimes, Apple devices using VoiceOver will announce the status of whether the app is working before the heading. This may cause the heading to be interrupted and you will have to manually select the heading.
  • Apple devices using VoiceOver will announce the symptom pages as “step 1 of 6” as the heading, rather than the question on the page.
  • Some of the link areas, for example the ‘copy the reference code’ link, can be hard to select because they are small.
  • Apple devices using Voiceover only announce the summary of the error rather than the full error, so you will have to manually select it to hear it fully.
  • When linking a test to this app on an Apple device, Voice Over does not read out the ‘dash’ in the code. This could cause problems when entered on the web service if not using the copy button.

What to do if you have difficulty using the NHS COVID-19 app

If you need information about the NHS COVID-19 app in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or Braille:

Email:

nhscovid-19accessibilityissue@nhsbsa.nhs.uk

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Reporting accessibility problems in the NHS COVID-19 app

We are always looking to improve the accessibility of this app. If you find any problems that are not listed on this page, or think we're not meeting accessibility requirements, then please email nhscovid-19accessibilityissue@nhsbsa.nhs.uk to report the problem.

What to do if you are not happy with how we respond to your complaint

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’).

If you are not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS), or the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (ECNI) if you live in Northern Ireland.

Technical information about the NHS COVID-19 app’s accessibility

DHSC is committed to making the NHS COVID-19 app accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

The NHS COVID-19 app is a native app for Apple iOS and Android devices and it is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Compliance status

Android

The NHS COVID-19 app for Android is fully compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard.

iOS

The NHS COVID-19 app is a native app for Apple iOS and Android devices and it is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Non-accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

  • Sometimes, depending on the speed of the check to see whether the app is working, VoiceOver reads the status of the app, rather than the heading on Apple devices. This means that the focus shifts to the status rather than the heading. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.3 – Status Messages.
  • When linking a test to this app on an Apple device, the link used to copy the app’s reference code is very small. This could be hard to use. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.5.5 – Target Size.

We plan to fix these issues by the national launch of the app.

How we tested the NHS COVID-19 app

We're committed to regular audits of the app by independent specialist assessors.

The NHS COVID-19 app for Apple iOS and Android devices was last tested on 13 June 2020 and was checked for compliance with WCAG 2.1 AA.

The NHS COVID-19 app was tested in full by Phil Sherry on 13 June 2020.

This statement was prepared on 3 May 2020. It was last updated on 16 June 2020.

Accessibility statement for the covid19.nhs.uk website

Accessibility statement for the covid19.nhs.uk website

This website is owned by the Department of Health and Social Care and operated by the NHS Business Services Authority. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 400% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader

We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand.

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability.

How accessible this website is

We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible:

  • It may not be possible to navigate the website using speech recognition software.
  • Some links from the website will direct users to external websites where accessibility issues have been identified. This may cause difficulties to users with accessibility needs or those that use assistive technologies.

How to request content in an accessible format

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille, you can contact us by:

Email:

nhscovid-19accessibilityissue@nhsbsa.nhs.uk

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems that are not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, you can contact us by:

Email:

nhscovid-19accessibilityissue@nhsbsa.nhs.uk

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

NHS Business Services Authority is committed to making the covid19.nhs.uk website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018. This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Non-accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

  • It may not be possible to navigate the website using speech recognition software. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1 (Compatible). We plan to fix this by September 2020.

Disproportionate burden

Some links from the website will direct users to external websites where we have identified accessibility issues.

We’ve assessed not using external websites for this content. We believe that replacing this process now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. We’ll continue to work with the third party providers on solutions by the next accessibility review in one month. If a solution is not provided, then an accessible replacement will be investigated.

PDFs and other documents

Many documents are not accessible in a number of ways including missing page headings and missing bookmarks.

View the accessible document policy to report any problems or request documents in an alternative format.

How we tested this website

This website was last tested on 1 June 2020 by the NHS Business Services Authority test and front-end development team.

We tested the covid19.nhs.uk website.

We test all website screens to meet ‘AA’ WCAG 2.1 standards, using manual and automated tests.

We run each webpage through automated Wave and Google Audits accessibility tools then manually test with screen readers (NVDA & Voice Over) and standards checklists.

These checklists contain standards that have been compiled using WCAG, NHS service manual and GDS guidance.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We’re committed to making sure this website is compliant to WCAG 2.1 ‘AA’ standard.

Our accessibility compliance statement will be reviewed in one month. Every new released website will be designed, built and tested to meet ‘AA’ standards by default.

This statement was prepared on 1 May 2020. It was last updated on 1 June 2020.

Accessible documents policy for the covid19.nhs.uk website

Accessible documents policy for the covid19.nhs.uk website

This policy explains how accessible the documents on the covid19.nhs.uk website are.

Using our documents

The covid19.nhs.uk website publishes documents in PDF format.

We want as many people as possible to be able to use these documents but if you find any issues with accessibility then please let us know.

How accessible our documents are

New documents we publish and documents you need to download should be fully accessible.

However, we know that some of our documents are not fully accessible at present. For example, some of them:

  • have missing page titles, headings, lists and data tables
  • do not identify the language setting
  • have plugins that are missing HTML alternatives
  • have missing page regions
  • are not structured properly
  • do not provide running headers and footers - this may cause difficulties to users with cognitive limitations, screen-reader users and low-vision magnifier users
  • do not contain bookmarks - this may cause difficulties to users of assistive technologies

If you need to access information in another document type, you can contact us and ask for an alternative format.

How to request content in an accessible format

If you need information on this website in a different format like large print, easy read, audio recording or braille, you can contact us by:

Email:

nhscovid-19accessibilityissue@nhsbsa.nhs.uk

Reporting accessibility problems with one of our documents

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of our documents. If you find any problems that are not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, you can contact us by:

Email:

nhscovid-19accessibilityissue@nhsbsa.nhs.uk

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Technical information about the accessibility of our documents

The Department of Health and Social Care and the Business Services Authority are committed to making our documents accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

The documents the Department of Health and Social Care and the Business Services Authority publishes are partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Non-accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.

Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

  • Some of our documents have missing page titles, headings, lists and data tables. This means users with screen readers may not be able to follow the structure of a document, which in turn may affect their ability to access and understand the information. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 (info and relationships).
  • The document language setting is missing in some documents so the language of the document is not identified. Identifying the language of the page allows screen readers to read the content in the appropriate language. It also facilitates automatic translation of content. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 3.1.1 (Language of page).
  • An unidentified plugin is present in some of our documents. Plugins allow the introduction of non-HTML content, like media players. Because of limitations in non-HTML content, these often introduce accessibility issues. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.7 (Low or no background audio)
  • No page regions or ARIA landmarks were found in some of our documents. Regions and ARIA landmarks identify significant page areas. It also facilitates automatic translation of content. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1(Info and relationships) & 2.4.1 (Bypass blocks)
  • Some of our documents are not structured properly. This means they may not be accessible for users using screen readers or other assistive technology. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (Name, role & value).
  • Some PDFs do not provide running headers and footers. This may cause difficulties to users with cognitive limitations, screen-reader users and low-vision magnifier users. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.8 (Location) and 3.2.3 (Consistent Navigation).
  • Some PDFs do not contain bookmarks. This may cause difficulties to users of assistive technologies. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.5 (Multiple Ways).

We plan to either fix or replace them with accessible alternatives by September 2020.

How we tested our documents

We last tested our documents in May 2020. The test was carried out by the NHSBSA test team.

We decided to test these types of document, as aside from HTML, these are the most commonly used document formats on the covid19.nhs.uk website.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We’re committed to making sure our documents are compliant to WCAG 2.1 ‘AA’ standard.

Our accessible documents policy will be reviewed every month. Every new released document will be designed, built and tested to meet ‘AA’ standards by default.

This accessible document policy was prepared on 18 May 2020. It was last updated on 1 June 2020.

Resources about the NHS COVID-19 app and alternative formats