Accessibility Work Plan

Last Updated 18 August 2022

The Northern Ireland Assembly is committed to making its 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 the following areas have been identified as needing updates or changes to ensure full compliance.

1. Tab Focus

Tab focus isn’t highlighted when you use the keyboard to tab through pages on the site. Tab focus should be highlighted with a striking colour to help users identify where they are on the webpage.

Current Status: Ongoing

2. Users are unable to tab through the sub menus of the site’s main menu

When tabbing through the Assembly’s main menu, the tab focus only goes through the main menu headings and not through the sub menus. This means that users who are using their keyboard to navigate the site will find these areas inaccessible.

Current Status: Ongoing

3. Skip to the Main Content

Users should be given an option to skip the main menu and go straight to the main content of the page. For exmaple this will allow users to avoid having to tab through all of the menu tabs before reading the main content. This avoids repetitive and time consuming actions when there is a lot of content in the menus. Our website doesn’t currently offer this option.

Current Status: Ongoing

4. Missing Form Labels

Labels are needed to identify all form controls, including text fields, checkboxes, radio buttons, and drop-down menus and describe the purpose of the form control.

4a. Search Box

The Search box at the top of every page is missing a descriptive form label. Form labels help screen readers understand the purpose of the particular element.

Current Status: Ongoing

4b. Committee Dropdown List

There is also a missing form label in the dropdown list that appears on every page in the Committee section of the website.

Current Status: Ongoing

5. Empty Link in the Assembly logo header image

The Assembly logo in the header contains an empty link. If a link contains no text, the function or purpose of the link will not be presented to the user which can introduce confusion for keyboard and screen reader users.

Current Status: Ongoing

6. Contrast Errors

We are aware of some contrast errors for the foreground and background colours of some text where white text is used against a blue background. We are looking at correcting these issues with either colour changes or text size increases as required.

Current Status: Ongoing

7. Heading Level Missed

Headings provide document structure and facilitate keyboard navigation by users of assistive technology. We are aware on the Assembly homepage that a heading level is skipped between the main title (‘Now at the Assembly’) and the main content of the page. We are working on re-ordering this page.

Current Status: Ongoing

8. Text Sizes

The text at the bottom of every page is too small and will be increased.

Current Status: Ongoing

9. Empty Document Link

A number of our Page Templates contain a document property. If the document property remains empty it is converted into an empty link on the page. This can be shown as an error when testing because “If a link contains no text, the function or purpose of the link will not be presented to the user. This can introduce confusion for keyboard and screen reader users." We are looking at how best to correct this.

Current Status: Ongoing

10. Redundant title text

There is a title element specified for all of the links listed under ‘Quick Links’ at the top of every page. However the ‘title’ attribute is the same as the link text itself and is therefore redundant.

Current Status: Ongoing

11. Empty Header tag in the Order Paper Page Type

When a page is created using the Order Paper page template, an empty Header 2 tag is created. We are amending this template.

Current Status: Ongoing

12. Listing Page Dates Heading Level for Child Pages

When a ‘Minutes Page’ type is added within a ‘Listing Page Dates’ parent page, it is then automatically listed on that page. When it is added, the link to it is added as a Header 4. This means that a Header 3 has been skipped which can cause confusion to screen readers. We are amending this template.

Current Status: Ongoing

13. Listing Page Documents

In the same way that a heading level is skipped in ‘Listing Page Dates’, a level is skipped in the ‘Listing Page Documents’ page type when ‘Document Page’ child pages are added within them.

Current Status: Ongoing

14. Listing Page Links and Listing Page Press Page Templates

These two page types take in a selection of child pages and create links to those pages by automatically creating a table with columns for date, title and ‘Read’ links to the child content. There are three main accessibility issues with the automatically-generated tables created by these pages.

  1. The tables will be given a header row at the top with column titles that describe the content in the cells below.
  2. An empty link tag is created along with every link to the child content. These will be removed empty links can confuse keyboard and screen readers.
  3. The ‘Read’ column that links to the child content will also be amended as the text of the link isn’t informative enough to describe what is being linked to.

Current Status: Ongoing

15. ARIA Labels

An ARIA label is an attribute designed to help assistive technology attach a label to an otherwise anonymous HTML element. ARIA labels may be required for:

  • buttons that use an image to convey their context (for example a burger icon for an expandable menu. There is such a button on the Assembly site when accessing the site via a mobile device).
  • options in forms.
  • submenu items.
  • the Committee dropdown list that appears in the committee section of the website. The purpose of the list might not be obvious to partially sighted users. ARIA labels might help make the list more accessible.

There is also inconsistency in the way that content is labelled on some pages. For example, some pages have more than one ‘Main’ section.

Current Status: Ongoing