How to make digital services accessible
Our approach to accessibility.
Consider accessibility at every stage
Think about how you are going to address accessibility at the beginning and at every stage of your project.
It's much harder to make a service accessible if you only address it later on.
- Making your service accessible: an introduction (GOV.UK service manual) explains what to do at different stages.
Make it the whole team's responsibility
Every member of the team should contribute to making your service inclusive.
You should all:
- have a good understanding of accessibility
- observe research with people with access needs
- follow the guidance for your role
Research with users with access needs
Involve people with access needs, including disabled people, in every round of user research.
Consider cognitive and physical impairments, visual impairments, and temporary or permanent access needs.
- Follow our guidance on user research.
Use progressive enhancement
- Building a resilient frontend using progressive enhancement (GOV.UK service manual)
Test throughout and consider an independent audit
An expert audit can help find accessibility problems with your service and make sure it meets accessibility requirements. If you run your own tests regularly, the audit should find very little that needs changing.
- Follow our guidance on testing and our guidance on monitoring and recording accessibility testing (for product and delivery managers)
- Getting an accessibility audit (GOV.UK service manual)
Get in touch
If you’ve got a question about the NHS digital service manual or want to feedback, you can contact the team:
Updated: July 2019