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Senior Accessibility Specialist

Government Digital Service

London, England,UK

£58,850 - £70,192
£66,875 - £70,192 (London) / £58,850 - £62,060 (National) Based on capability. The base salary of this grade is £58,800 for London and £53,400 for other locations. Offers made above this will be made up with a specialist pay allowance
Job grade
Grade 7
Contract type
Business area
Type of role
Information Technology
Working pattern
Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time, Compressed hours
Number of jobs available



About the job


Things you need to know

Apply and further information

Bristol, London, Manchester

About the job
Job summary

GDS exists to help government make brilliant public services that empower people in the UK. We work at the very centre of government to drive digital transformation, focused on users. We build and maintain common platforms, products and tools for others to use and create great public services that are accessible, inclusive and easy to use. We also work with departments to identify patterns, share learning and create change to make government more efficient.

Our teams are organised around delivering on our priorities. These are:

making it easier for people to find what they are looking for on GOV.UK
building common service platforms to make it simpler and cheaper to build quality digital services
promoting agile, user-centred design practices both in the UK and across the world

Job description

As a senior accessibility specialist at GDS you’ll work in multidisciplinary teams, alongside researchers and developers, to deliver world-class, user centred public services.

You’ll help identify and fix some of the toughest problems in public infrastructure and you will be focussing on design of services at scale. You’ll help the government transform the way it delivers services, so that they’re more efficient, simpler, faster and easier to use.

As a Senior Accessibility Specialist you’ll:

work with Design Leads and Head of Design to define and establish accessibility best practice for GOV.UK
identify and implement ways to champion and embed accessibility in regular practice for all GOV.UK colleagues
share accessibility knowledge within GOV.UK and across GDS, provide accessibility advice and increase capability and raise awareness
write guidance and documentation and advise on latest WCAG
organise training and help build accessibility capacity across GOV.UK
assess products for accessibility best practices and conformance with accessibility standards
consult product teams, help them meet accessibility standards and best practices
review implementations using a range of techniques including design reviews, automated testing and manual code inspection
recommend solutions for code, design and content to be as accessible as possible
benchmark and track the success of interventions to embed accessibility practices
liaise with commercial teams to support the procurement of compliant, accessible and inclusive software and services, and can be incorporated into our code deployment pipeline
arrange yearly accessibility audit for GOV.UK by procuring audit services and collaborating with them during the audit
interpret and prioritise the result of the GOV.UK accessibility audit

Person specification

We’re interested in people who have:

familiarity with front-end development technologies, specifically HTML, CSS, JavaScript and WAI-ARIA
expert knowledge of existing and emerging accessibility guidelines and standards, particularly the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1
demonstrable experience of evaluating the accessibility of digital websites and providing feedback, advice and solutions to help fix identified issues
knowledge and experience of testing with a range of assistive technologies including customised browser settings, screen magnification, screen readers, speech recognition and literacy software
proven experience of collaborating with delivery teams to identify and fix accessibility barriers and raise accessibility capability
demonstrable ability to write accessibility guidance and documentation, and deliver accessibility training and presentations
experience working in flexible, agile environments and multi-disciplinary teams
Strong negotiation skills to ensure that accessibility concerns are treated with an appropriate degree of priority
Experience of working in government
Experience of delivering digital services on multiple, complex or large scale end-to-end services in large organisations


The benefits of working at GDS

There are many benefits of working at GDS, including:

flexible hybrid working with flexi-time and the option to work part-time or condensed hours
a Civil Service Pension with an average employer contribution of 27%
25 days of annual leave, increasing by a day each year up to a maximum of 30 days
an extra day off for The King’s birthday
an in-year bonus scheme to recognise high performance
career progression and coaching, including a training budget for personal development
paid volunteering leave
a focus on wellbeing with access to an employee assistance programme
job satisfaction from making government services easier to use and more inclusive for people across the UK
advances on pay, including for travel season tickets
death in service benefits
cycle to work scheme and facilities
access to children's holiday play schemes across different locations in central London
access to an employee discounts scheme
10 learning days per year
volunteering opportunities (5 special leave days per year)
access to a suite of learning activities through Civil Service learning

GDS offers hybrid working for all employees. This means that everyone does some working from home and also spends some time in their local office. You’ll agree to your hybrid working arrangement with your line manager in line with your preferences and business needs.

Any move to Government Digital Service from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at

Things you need to know
Selection process details

The standard selection process for roles at GDS consists of:

a simple application screening process - We only ask for a CV and cover letter of up to 750 words. Important tip - please ensure that your cover letter includes how you meet the skills and experience listed in the “person specification” section above
a 60-minute video interview beginning with a 10-15 minute presentation of 1 project that demonstrates your skills and experience.

Depending on how many applications we get, there might also be an extra stage before the video interview, for example a phone interview or a technical exercise.

In the Civil Service, we use Success Profiles to evaluate your skills and ability. This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job, increases performance and improves diversity and inclusivity. We’ll be assessing your technical abilities, skills, experience and behaviours that are relevant to this role.

For this role we’ll be assessing you against the following Civil Service Behaviours:

working together
changing and improving
developing self and others
communicating and influencing

We’ll also be assessing your experience and specialist technical skills against the following skills defined in the Digital, Data and Technology Profession Capability Framework for the Senior Accessibility Specialist role:

Communicating information
Governance and assurance (Accessbility)
Leadership and guidance
Technical understanding (Accessibility)
User focus

Candidates that do not pass the interview but have demonstrated an acceptable standard may be considered for similar roles at a lower grade.

A reserve list will be held for a period of 12 months, from which further appointments can be made.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.
Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.
People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.
Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

UK nationals
nationals of the Republic of Ireland
nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window)
nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020
Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service

Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window)
Working for the Civil Service
The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles (opens in a new window).
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information
This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans (opens in a new window) initiative.
The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment (opens in new window).
Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.
Contact point for applicants

Job contact :

Name :
Email :

Recruitment team

Email :

Further information
If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, you should contact in the first instance.
If you are not satisfied with the response you receive you can contact the Civil Service Commission by email: Or in writing: Civil Service Commission, Room G/8 1 Horse Guards Road, London, SW1A 2HQ.

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