Future Media Standards & Guidelines


Positive tabindex attribute values must not be used to create a logical tab order.

tabindex values of 0 must not be used on elements that are not focusable by default.


Typical BBC pages are made up of several shared components (Global navigation, page content, share tools, location service widgets, etc.) so no one piece of code has complete awareness of the content of the page or when the content updates. Positive tabindex values results in unpredictable tab order that do not occur if the natural order of content is relied upon.

Using tabindex="0" on an element adds it to the document tab order, however it does not change the element type to allow it to be discovered by navigating by link or form element, nor does it bind click and key press handlers to the element. There are no circumstances in which it is not better to use a natively focusable control such as a <a> or <button>.



<a href="/news">News</a>

<button type="submit">Search</button>

<div tabindex="-1"></div>


<a href="/news" tabindex="1">

<button type="submit" tabindex="2">Search</button>

<div tabindex="3"></div>

<div tabindex="0"></div>


Procedure Expected Result Type
Search source for tabindex There must be no instances of attributes with positive or 0 values Manual

Using the standards and guidelines

You can use use and re-use the the BBC Accessibility Standards and Guidelines under an Open Government Licence for Public Sector Information.

Details can be found on the Open Government Licence for Public Sector Information website.


We would love to hear your feedback. If you have a question or comment about the standards or guidelines email us at AccessibilityTeam@bbc.co.uk.

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