Accessibility Statement

Read our accessibility statement for this website and discover our work on digital access.

This is the accessibility statement for the Historic Environment Scotland (HES) sub-domain website: We are dedicated to accessibility and want as many people as possible to be able to use our websites. The statement below outlines how accessible our ‘Inspire Me’ website is and where any issues may be found.

Using this website

We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website and access Scotland’s history and heritage. We built this website so you can:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 200% without the text or images spilling off the screen
  • navigate the website using just a keyboard
  • navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader
  • watch videos with subtitles and captions

We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand.

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability

How accessible this website is

While we work hard to make our platforms and content accessible, we know some parts of this website aren’t fully accessible yet.

Here is a brief list of content that is not currently accessible:

  • images don’t have alt text image descriptions
  • videos don’t have audio descriptions
  • videos don’t have text transcriptions
  • some videos don’t have fully accessible closed captions
  • data tables that list costs / expenditures or other numerical values do not have captions or summaries
  • some button labels aren’t fully descriptive of the button's purpose
  • not all website content is listed in one place
  • some buttons aren’t colour contrast compliant

A full, technical list of currently inaccessible content and areas of the website can be found in the section of this accessibility statement titled ‘Non accessible content’.

What to do if you can't access parts of this website 

If you need information on this website in a different format like accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording, or braille:

We’ll consider your request and get back to you in 5 working days, or if your request is more complex, please allow us up to 20 working days for a full reply.

When contacting us please make sure you provide:

  • the service area, document name and/or the web address (URL) of the page the content is on
  • a description of the format you need. For example, audio CD, braille, BSL or large print.

Find out more about our customer services in our service standards.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems that aren’t listed on this page or think we’re not meeting the requirements of the accessibility regulations, contact the digital team:

Enforcement procedure

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is responsible for enforcing the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (the ‘accessibility regulations’). If you submit a complaint and you’re not happy with how we respond, contact the EHRC.

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

You can also visit us in person for more resources. Find us at:

Longmore House
Salisbury Place

For directions, please call 0131 668 8600 or view our location on Google Maps.

Our Access Guide is also available for visitors to the historic places in our care.

Let us know about any requirements you have in advance of your visit and we will endeavour to accommodate you:

Technical information about this website's accessibility

HES is committed to making this website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

This website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

Non accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons. 

Noncompliance with the accessibility regulations

Some of the buttons on the website are not labelled with a name that describes their purpose. This may impact on you if you use a screen reader or voice control. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content).

Images and text alternatives
Some images are used as decoration on the website and should be marked as such. Our website does not label these images as decorative and many images don’t have alternative text. This means that the information in them isn’t available to people using a screen reader and they can’t skip past the decorative images. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content).

Accessing information in tables
Tables on this website aren’t accessible to assistive technologies and don’t have descriptive alternatives. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criteria 1.3.1 (info and relationships).

Colour contrast
The colour contrast of graphics on the website may not be sufficient to allow you to understand the content (except for logos which are a contrast exception). This does not meet WCAG 2.1 AA-level success criterion 1.4.3 (Contrast minimum) and 1.4.11 (Non-text contrast: graphical objects).

Website navigation and sensory characteristics
Some links, buttons, and other interactive content are only identified as being interactive through sensory displays like colour, shape, size, location and orientation. This applies to the following criteria:

Without alternative text or more than one distinguishing sensory characteristic (shape, colour, sound, movement, etc.), some users may be unable to navigate and access this content. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criteria 1.3.3 (sensory characteristics) and 1.4.1 (use of colour).

In some places, the focus of the keyboard navigation is only indicated by one characteristic such as colour or a box around the focused item. As a result, if you use a keyboard to navigate, you may be unable to easily navigate the website. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criterion 1.4.1 (use of colour) and AA-level success criterion 2.4.7 (keyboard focus indicator visible).

Website code
Some of our website code used to create content isn’t properly nested, might be missing start and end tags, or have duplicated information or inconsistent labelling. This means that the technical computing languages like HTML, Javascript, and CSS may not be written in the most efficient, accessible way. This can sometimes confuse assisted technologies meaning that such users are unable to properly access the website. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criterion 4.1.1 (parsing elements and content).

By September 2020, we plan to update the website to:

  • support text alternatives for all images
  • allow people using assistive technologies to access tables
  • support alternative text labels for all links and buttons
  • include the correct metadata labels to buttons
  • include additional distinguishing characteristics to clarify if something is a button or link
  • define the keyboard focus by more than one characteristic
  • improve the colour contrast ratios of graphics
  • correctly parse coded elements

Disproportionate Burden

There’s no way to skip the repeated content in the page header (for example, a ‘skip to main content’ option). This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criterion 2.4.1 (bypass blocks).

Our videos created before 23 September 2020 may not have full audio descriptions or text transcripts that describe the events and content of the video or repeat the dialogue. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criterion 1.2.1 (pre-recorded video).

We’ve assessed the cost of fixing this navigation issue and providing alternatives to video content. We believe that meeting these criteria now would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. We will reassess this in September 2021.

Content that’s not within the scope of the accessibility regulations

Pre-recorded Video (before 2020)

Our videos created before 23 September 2020 might not have complete or accurate closed captions, alternative text, audio descriptions or transcripts that describe the events and content of the video in text format. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.2.1 (pre-recorded video), 1.2.2 (captions pre-recorded), 1.2.3 (audio description or media alternative pre-recorded) and 1.2.5 (audio description pre-recorded). We don’t plan to add closed captions, alternative text, audio descriptions or transcripts to all pre-recorded video from before 23 September 2020 because they are exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations. However, when we publish new pre-recorded video content to the website, we will make sure that they meet the accessibility regulations.

How we tested this website

The Inspire Me website is tested for most WCAG 2.1 A-AA accessibility requirements every 5 days. These tests are carried out by a web crawler hosted by a third-party company called Siteimprove. They reveal accessibility issues that might develop over time or require attention. We analyse and act on these tests to update our accessibility on a regular basis.

Siteimprove’s software does not test for some accessibility requirements outlined by the WCAG 2.1 A-AA. However, we tested every webpage of ‘Inspire Me’ on 28 May 2019 for these requirements and will test again on an annual basis.

What we're doing to improve accessibility

We’ll continue to update and audit our accessibility on an annual basis to ensure we fully meet single A and double AA standards.

We are always looking to improve our accessibility services and view accessibility as an ethical and professional obligation. If you have suggestions on how we can improve our accessibility, please contact the Digital Team and our Equalities Manager:

We hope your experience on our websites is efficient and enjoyable.

This statement was prepared on 15 August 2019. It was last updated on 13 September 2019.