What does this mean?

Links must be defined in a specific way to be accessed by screen readers, which are used by blind and the partially-sighted.

To work with accessibility technologies, links must contain both machine-readable text, and a href attribute. If a link is not actually pointing to a page or part of a page, it should be replaced with another semantic element, such as a button, or the <a> tag should have a role of button.

For example:

<a href="/about">About us</a>

If the link contains nothing but an image, that image should specify alternative text, e.g.

<a href="/apple">
    <img src="apple.png" alt="Apple">

Before HTML5, an anchor was often used to create a target to link to, e.g.

<a name="example"></a>

This is not supported in HTML5, and the use of anchors for targets is discouraged. Use an id attribute on a non-anchor tag instead, e.g.

<div id="example"> ... </div>

Empty links (e.g. <a></a>) are often incorrectly used for buttons or controls in a JavaScript application. In these cases, you should usually define the link as having a more appropriate role, e.g. as a button. To do this, use the role attribute (e.g <a role="button">), or replace the <a> tag with a more appropriate tag, such as <button>.

For more details, see Technique H91 and learn about ARIA roles.

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HTML Found on page Issues
<a class="sys_16" href="https://www.autismeducationtrust.org.uk/sites/default/files/2021-11/Supporting-learners-with-autism-during-transition.pdf"><br></a> 1
<a class="sys_16" href="https://www.gov.uk/guidance/advice-for-young-people-16-to-19-bursary-fund-guide#the-16-to-19-bursary-fund">&nbsp;</a> 1
<a class="sys_16" href="https://gbsapprenticeships.co.uk/"><br></a> 1
<a class="sys_16" href="https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-area-send-inspection-framework"><br></a> 1
<a class="sys_16" href="https://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/council/have-your-say/community-involvement/participation/children-and-young-persons-feedback.aspx"><br></a> 1
5 distinct issues were found in the sample of 116 web pages.
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