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Accessibility

This statement provides information on the accessibility of the Scottish Parliament website. It also explains how we've tested the website and areas that we still need to work on.

This website is run by the Scottish Parliament. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this website. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • view content with easy-to-read fonts and good colour contrast
  • navigate most of 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 (including the most recent versions of JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver)

We’ve also made the website text as simple as possible to understand and explained technical terms where we’ve had to use them.

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

How accessible this website is

We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible including:

  • we don’t have captions on live video content from the Chamber and committee meetings 
  • some areas of the website are not fully keyboard accessible including the:
    • on-page feedback form
  • our Bill documents and amendment documents are not accessible due to the limitations of the software used to create them
  • links do not always give a pre-warning when they open in a new browser window
  • there’s a limit to how far you can magnify the size of our website
  • some of our committee correspondence pages include inaccessible PDFs provided by external organisations

What to do if you cannot access parts of this website

If you need information on this website in a more accessible format contact the Web and Social Media Team.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page or think we’re not meeting accessibility requirements, contact the Web and Social Media 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’re not happy with how we respond to your complaint, contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

Contacting us by phone or visiting us in person

We provide a text relay service for people who are D/deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech impediment.

Our offices have audio induction loops, or if you contact us before your visit we can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

Find out how to get in touch on the Contact Us page.

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

The Scottish Parliament is committed to making its 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 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.

  • No closed captions or audio descriptions on multimedia before October 2020 due to legacy content: 1.2.2 (Level A) and 1.2.5 (Level AA)
  • Some features on the website such the on-page feedback form cannot be accessed using the keyboard alone and there’s ongoing work to fix this issue: 2.1.1 (Level A)
  • More context needs to be provided for links across the website, including contact details, icons and links that open in new browser windows: 2.4.4 (Level A)
  • Lack of underline style means some links are not visually evident without colour vision: 1.4.1 (Level A)

Disproportionate burden

Closed captions and audio description on video content for all Chamber and committee meetings fails 1.2.2 (Level A) and 1.2.5 (Level AA). Due to the scale of legacy video content from Parliamentary business, this is not something that we will be able to solve in the short-term. Our on-demand business video content now includes closed captions.

Legislation documents and amendment PDF documents (not included under WCAG 2.1 criteria). Due to the legacy system where the Bill documents and amendments are created, this is not something that we can solve in the short-term.

Some documents submitted by third-parties, for example as evidence to committees, are not accessible.  Where we are aware of potential issues we aim to make these clear on the page and provide a contact for you to get in touch with. 

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

PDFs and other documents

Many of our older PDFs and Word documents do not meet accessibility standards. For example, they may not be structured so they’re accessible to a screen reader. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 success criterion 4.1.2 (name, role value).

Any new PDFs or Word documents we publish will meet accessibility standards, except for the Bill or amendment documents and third-party submissions listed previously.  

How we tested this website

We commissioned an external specialist partner between December 2018 and January 2019 to do a full accessibility audit of our website. The audit was carried out using:

  • automated tools such as WAVE
  • going through content manually with screen readers for example Jaws and NVDA
  • testing with screen magnification software, for example ZoomText
  • using colour contrast tools across the website

We made changes based on the recommendations where we could and some of these changes are part of our improvement plan. 

A further audit was carried out on new sections of the website in Spring 2022.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

The website is continually being changed and updated.  All new content is created with accessibility standards as a priority.

Last updated on 6 July 2022.

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