RAMP accessibility issues


I am working on the RAMP COVID-19 initiative. We chose Discourse for our forum and are very happy with it.

A colleague and I have been looking at accessibility. I believe that we have addressed low-contrast issues by means of the admin CSS functionality. But we have some issues, says WAVE, that we are not sure we can tackle ourselves, as follows:

  • Linked image missing alternative text: these are to do with the avatar pictures. There is a descriptive title, but alt is empty.

  • There is a missing label in every page:

    <div><input type="text"></div>

  • There is an empty heading in every page:

    <div class="title"><h3></h3><!-- --></div>

  • There are numerous reported empty buttons, associated with svg.

  • There are empty links, e.g.:
    <a href="" aria-hidden="true" tabindex="-1" class="tabLoc"></a>
    <a href="" class="edit-topic" title="edit the title and category of this topic" data-ember-action="" data-ember-action-27="27"><svg class="fa d-icon d-icon-pencil-alt svg-icon svg-string" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg"><use xlink:href="#pencil-alt"></svg></a>.

  • There is an empty table header: <th data-sort-order="posters" class="posters"></th>

I will be very surprised if we are the only ones to have these, so I am wondering if WAVE is overthinking things or if perhaps we are missing a trick or two. Any help will be most appreciated.

Many thanks in advance,


These are all visible in the rendered page html, via the browser f12 inspector?

Thanks for taking an interest. There is one I am not sure I can find (the empty heading) but the rest I pick up from the WAVE “code” functionality and can find (with some effort) with the F12 inspector.

I am not sure timezones are on our side (I am in the UK, UTC+01:00) but I would be happy to go on a Teams or similar call to demonstrate, if helpful.

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The aria-hidden should be properly hiding this link from accessibility tools.


If there are any of these which are easy-ish to address, can we do so @awesomerobot?


Yes, I believe at least a couple of these are easy fixes. I’ll take a closer look.


The blank alt attribute itself is ok… that’s supposed to signal to a screen reader that the image is decoration only and it can be ignored… BUT we also include the title attribute… so this can be problematic sometimes according to `img` with null `alt `and non-null `title` attributes - Screen reader compatibility

Some screen readers are properly ignoring avatars, but others are reading the name/username twice because of this.

I made a PR to remove the title attribute from post avatars:

This is the input where we show the URL to copy and share, PR to add an aria label here:

I couldn’t find this one… might be based on site settings? need to look a little more

We don’t label this for sighted users because we can glance at the column and make an assumption about its contents… that’s a lot harder to do if you can’t see… adding a label for screen readers makes sense:

The remaining issues I didn’t cover are button-related, I still need to look into those…