Accessibility checklist


The accessibility checklist helps those involved in creating websites and mobile apps more accessible.

It is based on the W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.2. Teams should comply now to make sure products and services are ready for October 2024. This is when the Government Digitial Service, Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England will start monitoring accessibility to WCAG 2.2.

These guidelines explain how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities and they are an international standard.

Each guideline has at least one success criterion. These are specific, testable rules and if these rules are met, then the guideline will have been met. That portion of the web content that the success criterion refers to will therefore be deemed accessible to people with disabilities.

Each success criterion is designated as either Level A, Level AA, or Level AAA of conformance.

  • Level A refers to the lowest (minimal) level of conformance. This is a basic requirement for some users with disabilities to be able to access and use web content.
  • Level AA includes all Level A and Level AA requirements. This level indicates overall accessbility and removal of significant barriers to accessing and using web content.
  • Level AAA includes all Level A, AA and AAA requirements and is the highest (maximum) level of conformance. This level provides improvements and enhancements to web accessibility.

The NHS is legally required to meet, at a minimum, Level AA conformance for their websites and public mobile apps.

How the accessibility checklist helps

The accessibility checklist contains information and guidance to try and simplify WCAG 2.2 to make it easier to implement accessible websites and public mobile apps.

It contains a list of all the Level A and Level AA success criteria that NHS websites and public mobile apps need to conform to. It also contains some Level AAA success criteria and best practices that should be considered to further improve accessibility.

There is also information about:

  • what interaction is affected for each success criteria, such as:
    • screen reader users
    • users who magnify their display
    • keyboard only users
    • mobile device users
    • speech recognition users
    • users with cognitive impairments
    • users who are deaf or have impaired hearing
    • users with photosensitive seizure disorders
  • the severity level for each success criteria, based on experience of how difficult a barrier would be to overcome in context:
    • minor, where not conforming to this may cause inconvenience but would not cause significant frustration
    • moderate, where there is moderate frustration if not fixed
    • severe, where there is a serious barrier but there is a work around
    • blocker, where there is a complete block that cannot be circumvented
  • who is responsible for conforming to the success criteria, including:
    • content editors
    • designers
    • developers
  • levels of knowledge required to test the success criteria, how long it would take to test, and what kind of testing it involves