GitLab Accessibility

GitLab was adopted by the University of Michigan in 2019 to help teams collaborate on software development. During the adoption process we engaged with the open source GitLab community to ensure that the tool set provided was accessible and compliant with the WCAG 2.1 AA standard adopted by the university.

At the request of the University of Michigan and other customers, GitLab audited their web platform and on the basis of this audit produced a Statement of Compliance and a Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT) report.

GitLab’s accessibility has improved markedly since we first engaged them, but there are still areas that may present barriers to users. If you are using the web application and encounter any difficulties, please report it by emailing We will open an issue with GitLab, promote and track the issue and let you know when it is fixed.

Via the Command Line

Most of GitLab functionality is also available through:

  • the command line and a git client treating GitLab as a standard git service:
    • create repositories, clone, fork, update, commit, push, pull, etc.
  • the command line via the GitLab API.  The links that follow lead to the GitLab documentation.

Getting started with the GitLab API (see Basic Usage section and forward)

  1. Projects API
    Create, read, edit, delete, list, search for
  2. Groups API
    Create, read, edit, delete, list, search for
  3. Issues API
    Create, read, edit, delete, list, search for
  4. Activity API
    Read, list, search for
    Activity in projects, in Activity in groups, or current user activity (no dashboard)
  5. Milestones API
    Create, read, edit, delete, list, search for
    Milestones in projects, Milestones in groups
  6. Search API
  7. Snippets API
  8. Merge requests  - per project, per group, per current user (no dashboard)
  9. Todos

Certain GitLab functionality is not available in the command line, including:

  • Account settings
  • Dashboard view of activity
  • Dashboard view of merge requests
  • Dashboard view of statistics

Via the Web: Workarounds

As mentioned, GitLab is actively working on addressing accessibility issues. If you are using the web-based interface because it is easier to use or because you need to access a feature only available through it, and find yourself having problems with the contrast, the lack of visible focus on some elements, or deficient tabbing order you might try the following

Addressing Contrast Issues

Switch to high contrast settings in MacOS:

OSX Accessibility > Display > Invert Colors

Switch to high contrast settings in Windows:

  • To turn high contrast on or off from the keyboard, press the left Alt and Shift + Print Screen, then select yes or no.
  • In Windows 10 and Windows 8.1, you can turn on high contrast from the sign-in screen.
  • Select the “Ease of Access” button on the sign-in screen, and then choose High Contrast.

Browsers may also have high contrast extensions. Chrome High Contrast extensions are available - High Contrast by Google Accessibility is standard.

Addressing Visibility of Current Focus

Chrome: add Stylus extension with custom focus style:

*:focus {
   outline: 3px solid red !important;

Addressing Tabbing Order

GitLab used to have significant issues with the tabbing order of elements on their application, but they are addressing these issues. If you find that tabbing order is still a problem you can use a bookmarklet to correct tabbing on each view.