Accessibility statement

This statement applies to content published on the domain.

This website is run by NatureScot. It is designed to be used by as many people as possible. For example, you should be able to:

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
  • 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.

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.
For example:

  • some pages and document attachments are not clearly written
  • some heading elements are not consistent
  • some images do not have good alternative text
  • some buttons are not correctly identified
  • some error messages are not clearly associated with form controls
  • some of our online forms are difficult to navigate using just a keyboard
  • keyboard only users cannot skip to the main content 

How to request content in an accessible format

If you need information in a different format contact us and tell us:

  • the web address (URL) of the content
  • your name and email address
  • the format you need, for example, HTML or accessible PDF

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

If you have any difficulties accessing any areas of this website or have any queries or suggestions. Please send us your comments using our Feedback form

Enforcement procedure

If you contact us with a complaint and you’re not happy with our response contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS).

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’).

Technical information about this website’s accessibility

NatureScot is committed to making its websites 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.

Non-accessible content

The content that is not accessible is outlined below with details of:

  • where it fails the success criteria
  • planned dates for when issues will be fixed 

Issues due to the third-party website codebase;

  • Expanding controls and components need an appropriate name, role and value. This fails under: 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (Level A) 
  • Errors that apply to groups of controls need to be programmatically associated with that group. This fails under: 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (Level A) 
  • Landmarks are not used correctly on the page. This fails under: 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (Level A) 
  • Link text is not descriptive of the destination page. This fails under: 2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context) (Level A) 
  • Provide landmarks for page navigation. This fails under: 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (Level A) 
  • Repetitive landmarks do not have a unique, accessible name. This fails under: 2.4.1 Bypass Blocks (Level A) 
  • Link text does not inform users of a change of context. This fails under: 2.4.4 Link Purpose (In Context) (Level A)

We will continue to look for accessibility updates in the codebase and implement fixes as they arise.

Issues down to Gaelic dictionary table;

  • Caption heading in image description text has heading markup, but is not a heading. This fails under: 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (Level A) and 2.4.6 Headings and Labels (Level AA)
  • Code quality issues (parsing) mean that some of the content may not be accessible via software used by people with disabilities.This fails under: 4.1.1 Parsing (Level A)
  • (HTML) Groups of related form fields are not grouped using Fieldset and Legend. This fails under: 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (Level A), 3.3.2 Labels or instructions (Level A) and 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (Level A) 
  • Data table cells are left empty. This fails under: 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (Level A)
  • Some of the text on the page is not in the primary language, but this has not been marked up in the code. This fails under: 3.1.2 Language of Parts (Level AA) 

Fixes will not be made to this one-off table and fall under the category of disproportionate burden.

Fixes still required

  • Information conveyed through the presentation is not replicated programmatically. This fails under: 1.3.1 Info and Relationships (Level A) 
  • Links are visually distinguishable using colour alone. This fails under: 1.4.1 Use of Color (Level A) 
  • Frames are not programmatically identifiable. This fails under: 2.4.2 Page Titled (Level A) and 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value (Level A) 

The majority of issues no longer listed were fixed at the end of November 2020. When we publish new content, we will make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.

Disproportionate burden and Improvements Road map for PDF's

Some PDF documents created before December 2020 aren’t accessible to screen reader software. This doesn’t meet WCAG 2.1 success criteria.

Converting all of the documents immediately would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations, so we have put a plan in place to ensure most of the documents are made accessible over a period of time.

Most non-compliant PDF documents will be replaced with HTML or an accessible version before 31 December 2022. We will work in chronological order, starting with the oldest documents. Priority will be given to those that require immediate attention and high traffic volume.

The disproportionate burden for our scientific research reports (128 in total, dating between 23rd September 2019 and May 2021) means that they will not be converted to HTML. These documents may contain complex data tables using colour to convey information as well as scientific graphs and maps without long descriptions or appropriate alternative text.

However, should any users require an accessible version of any one of these documents please contact us and this can be arranged.

All documents published after December 2020 meet accessibility standards.

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

The following content does not need to comply with the accessibility requirements:

  • Third party content out with our control or not developed by NatureScot
  • PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018
  • PDFS containing map images
  • live audio and video
  • pre-recorded audio and video published before 23 September 2020

Other NatureScot Services

Each service has its own accessibility page, with details of how accessible the service is, how to report problems and how to request information in an alternative format. You can access these pages from the footer inside the service.

How we tested this website

This website was tested for compliance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1 level A and level AA, using the services of an independent Accessibility advisory.

We used the Website Accessibility Conformance Evaluation Methodology (WCAG-EM) approach to decide on a sample of pages to test. This included the Home page and other representative pages including, standard content pages with embedded media such as images, videos, iframes, maps, image galleries, forms, listing pages, news pages, FAQ pages and gateway pages. 

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We plan to identify and fix issues according to the timescales shown for each area above.

This statement was prepared on 23 September 2020.

Last updated: