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COVID Certification Service – Accessibility Overview

Issues highlighted in our accessibility audit

An accessibility audit, based on WCAG 2.1, Level AA, standards accessibility standards, identified the following accessibility issues in December 2021 on the Covid Certification Service web application and mobile application*:

1Empty form label – (WCAG 2.0, Level A, 1.3.1)Empty labels that don’t contain or present any information.
2Lack of timeout functionality – (WCAG 2.0, Level A, 2.2.1)Lack of functionality to turn off, adjust, or extend that time limit for any given page on the app. 
3Illogical Tab Order – (WCAG 2.0, Level A, 1.3.2, Level AA, 2.4.7)Confusing tab order for users interacting with the chatbot. 
4Focus state – (WCAG 2.0, Level AA, 2.4.7)The focus state of some interface elements is not clear and therefore may be hard for users with screen readers to see. 
5Lacking hover state – (WCAG 2.0, Level A, 1.4.1)The ‘Back’ link on each page of the flow is lacking a clear hover state as in keeping with the alternative page links in the footer section.
6Missing fieldset legend – (WCAG 2.0, Level A, 1.3.1)Missing legend tags for fieldsets across the app. 
7Parsing errors – (WCAG 2.0, Level A, 4.1.1)Parsing errors including duplicate attricutes, elements not used correctly and elements not contained within appropriate tags.

Users, including assistive technologies, must be able to accurately interpret and parse content. 
8Travel Destination boxes have no associated html label – (WCAG 2.1, Level A, 2.5.3)The selection boxes relating to selecting place (place of vaccination, travel destination) have no html label attached to them.
9Artificial Intelligence incompatibility with screen readers – (There is no associated WCAG reference for such an issue)The AI doesn’t seem to be compatible with screen readers including NVDA, Voiceover and Talkback. When tested in Firefox and Chrome and on mobile the screen reader announces information that confuses the user and omits vital commands such as ‘Move closer’ and ‘Hold still’.
10No indication selfie upload is successful – (WCAG 2.0, Level A, 3.3.2)There is no way of knowing whether the upload is successful for screen reader users. When the user takes a photo the focus returns to the ‘Take photo’ button although this may confuse users into retaking a selfie.
11Privacy Policy is a link to a PDF – (WCAG 2.0, Level A, 2.4.4)The privacy policy included on the privacy policy page is a link to a PDF. 
12Skipped Header Level on Terms and Conditions page – (WCAG 2.0, Level A, 1.3.1, Level AA, 2.4.6)The liability headings skip the h2 level, going straight from h1 to h3. 
13Missing Label on Terms and Conditions page – (WCAG 2.1, Level A, 2.5.3)Checkboxes shown in the image require a label in order for them to be accurately described by a screen reader (for users with visual impairment). 
14When an application is submitted, the table showing the details contains an extra empty column – (WCAG 2.0, Level A, 2.4.3)An empty column is presented when an application is submitted. Users who do not use a mouse will tab into this redundant column while navigating through the page. It could also be an issue for users with screen readers as the table will be described as containing an extra column.
15Labelling of ‘Cancel’ link on mobile – (WCAG 2.0, Level A, 3.3.2)When using screen readers it seems the cancel link on mobile doesn’t notify the user they will be directed to the NI Direct homepage. This may be confusing if users have attempted a login through the mobile app. 

*The following websites/application were tested:


All of the issues identified in the December 2021 accessibility audit were resolved by May 2022; with the exception of “Lack of timeout functionality – WCAG 2.0, Level A, 2.2.1.” This final issue is currently being investigated and will be fixed alongside the introduction of OIDC.

Updated: July 21, 2022 Posted: July 21, 2022