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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.

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 want as many people as possible to be able to use this app. Additionally we recognise and respect the wide range of people it is here to support. To support the breadth of users, and make it easier for everyone, we have made the text in the NHS Covid-19 App as simple as possible to understand.

Adapting the content to your specific needs

If you have a disability or other specific access need, you can adapt the content of the app using your device to make it easier for you. AbilityNet has advice to help you make your device easier to use.

How accessible the NHS Covid-19 app is

Our ambition from the outset of the NHS Covid-19 app has been to meet Level AA success criteria in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1. Noting that some of the guidelines are open to interpretation, we have documented 3 aspects of how the app works in this statement, where there may be different opinions of this standard. We have provided our justification as to how this intent is met in each of these cases.

How to request content in an accessible format

If you need information about the NHS Covid-19 app in a different format such as 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.

It is important for us that the app is available across communities and diverse abilities, including but not limited to those with learning disabilities, sight or visual impairments, auditory disabilities, physical disabilities or neurological disabilities.

Whilst being inclusive for all, we would like to acknowledge and recognise the British Sign Language (BSL) community. We know that for some people who primarily use sign language, English is your second language. We have worked to ensure the language in the app, website and key marketing / communications material are clear and simple for all users to understand including those who are non-native English speakers. The content has been written to a reading level of 8 years of age. We have also translated our most important two communications pieces into BSL. There is a 60 second video which outlines all the features of the app this can be accessed here and a demo of the app and how to use it which is able to be accessed here.

We have explored translation of the app into BSL as another language, however the complexity of a media player in every screen has not made this possible to date. In our ongoing usability research with Open Inclusion we will continue to learn how we can support the Deaf community.

Enforcement procedure

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.

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’).

Technical information about the NHS Test and Trace 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.

Compliance status

We have made every effort to achieve Level AA conformance with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1, but we are aware there may be features in the app that might result in accessibility issues for some users.

These are:

Animation:

The animation on the home page does not fully meet WCAG Success Criterion 2.2.2 (Pause, Stop, Hide) because it has no pause or stop button and continues beyond 5 seconds.

Animation Mitigation:

The home screen animation represents essential functionality to ensure the user understands contact tracing is on and working. It can however be deactivated via the motion settings in the device operating system. In IOS this is done via Settings > Accessibility > Motion > Reduce Motion.

In Android open the Settings app > Accessibility > Display > Remove Animations.

The timing of the animation is set to be once every 3 seconds.

Consistent Navigation:

Some screens use buttons that are fixed in place so that they are always visible, whereas some are not fixed in place. This inconsistency might impact conformance with WCAG Success Criterion 3.2.3 (Consistent Navigation)

Consistent Navigation Mitigation:

The positioning of buttons has been consistently placed in location on each screen as far as possible. In order to maintain the app functionality for all, some buttons have not been fixed in place to ensure users have access to important content before they act. Some buttons must only be tapped after reading all the content on the screen (for example Data Privacy in the onboarding journey), whereas other buttons the user can tap straight away (for example, Book a Test).

Screen readers read all content on the screen from top to bottom. Where a button is always visible it will be read out last.

VoiceOver & Date Picker:

IOS 13.7 and earlier has a VoiceOver issue with the date picker used when entering symptoms.

VoiceOver & Date Picker Mitigation:

This is an IOS issue and has been rectified on IOS 14. We have provided feedback on this to Apple.

Disproportionate burden

No accessibility issues have been unaddressed due to a disproportionate burden.

How we tested the NHS Test and Trace app

The NHS Covid-19 app for Apple iOS and Android devices was last tested on 17 September 2020 and was checked for compliance with WCAG 2.1 Standard, AA level.

The NHS Covid-19 app was tested in full by Phil Sherry, Accessibility Engineer on 17 September, 2020. Disabled people with a range of physical, sensory and cognitive access needs were involved in the design and usability testing of the app via our partner Open Inclusion.

This statement was prepared on 12 August 2020. It was last updated on 20 September 2020.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are continuously looking to improve the design and usability of the app. This is being guided by user research and testing to support us with both technical compliance and to meet user needs.

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

Accessibility statement for the NHS COVID-19 app's QR generator website

Accessibility statement for the NHS COVID-19 app’s QR generator website

This accessibility statement explains how accessible the NHS Covid-19 mobile application’s QR generator website is, what to do if you have difficulty using it and how to report accessibility problems related to the QR generator website.

The QR generator website is run by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). Designated venues in certain sectors must have a system in place to request and record contact details of their customers, visitors and staff to help break the chains of transmission of coronavirus. We have therefore made the text in the QR generator website as simple as possible to understand.

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

How accessible this website is

The QR generator website has met the success criteria of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 at Level AAA standard. There are two points to note:

  • A known bug within iOS Voiceover means that when a page first loads, the page title is not read instead it reads out the “skip link” content. Similarly, this effects error pages where page load errors may not be read out. This issue is resolved if using a desktop screen reader.
  • JavaScript is required to be enabled for the website to work.

How to request content in an accessible format

If you need information about the QR generator website 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’s QR Generator Website

We are always looking to improve the accessibility of the app and the QR generator website. 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.

Enforcement procedure

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.

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’).

Technical information about the NHS Test and Trace app’s QR Generator Website accessibility

DHSC is committed to making the QR generator website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Compliance status

The QR generator website is compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines(WCAG) 2.1 at Level AAA standard.

Non-accessible content

Not applicable

Disproportionate burden

No accessibility issues have been unaddressed due to a disproportionate burden.

How we tested the NHS Covid-19 QR Generator website

The QR generator website was last tested on 3 September 2020 and was checked for compliance with WCAG 2.1 Standard, AAA Level and was tested in full by Phil Sherry, Accessibility Engineer.

This statement was prepared on 31 July 2020. It was last updated on the 20 September 2020.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are continuously looking to improve the design and usability of the QR generator website. This is being guided by user research and testing to support us with both technical compliance and to meet user needs.

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

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 November 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 23 September 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 23 September 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 November 2020.

How we tested our documents

We last tested our documents in September 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 23 September 2020.

Resources about the NHS COVID-19 app and alternative formats