Accessibility Statement

Read our accessibility statement for the Stirling Castle website and its blog subdomain and discover our work on digital access.

This is the accessibility statement for the Stirling Castle website and blog subdomain: and

The statement below outlines the accessibility of our Stirling Castle website and blog subdomain and where any issues may be found.

Using these websites

We want as many people as possible to be able to use our websites and access Scotland’s history and heritage. We built these websites to allow you to: 

  • change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 200% without the text or images 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
  • watch most 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 these websites are

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

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

  • some buttons are not labelled descriptively
  • some parts of the websites, including images, videos, status messages and bulletins, online forms, page titles, headers, buttons and links may not be fully compatible with assistive technologies due to missing alt text, labels, descriptions, captions and website code
  • some images and links may not be customisable, colour contrasts may not be high enough and some text spacing may not match minimum requirements causing difficulties if you have a visual impairment
  • some text and images may spill off the screen at some screen resolutions, when you change the size of the browser window or when zooming to 200%
  • hovering over content does not always reveal essential information
  • keyboard navigation and its focus indicator do not work on every part of every website, active keyboard shortcuts cannot be turned off or changed and there is no option to skip to main content
  • tabbing through the websites may not show in a logical sequence and repeated content on the websites may not be displayed consistently
  • the language of the websites may not be set making it difficult for screen readers 

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

What to do if you can’t access parts of these websites 

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

We’ll consider your request and try to 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 these websites

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of these websites. 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 


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

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

Technical information about these websites accessibility

HES is committed to making these 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, 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

Buttons and labels

Some of the buttons on the websites are not labelled with a name that describes their purpose. Some of the buttons are also not labelled descriptively in the mark up of the websites. This may impact on you if you use a screen reader or voice control. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criterion 1.1.1 (Non-text content: controls).

Some of the forms on the websites have labelled fields but do not have labelled buttons. This may make it difficult to determine the purpose of the button used to submit the information and does not warn the user of a change of web page context. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criterion 1.3.5 (Identify input purpose) and 3.2.2 (On input: UI components and context).

For items on the websites like links and images that are repeated consistently and in the same order across multiple pages of the websites, we have not used standard or identical labels and alt-text for said repeated content. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 AA-level success criteria 3.2.4 (Consistent identification).

Some buttons may be missing labels or instructions. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criterion 3.3.2 (Labels or instructions).

Non-text content (media, tables, and text alternatives)

Some images or non-text content do not have alternative text or descriptive enough labels to explain their content. This means that the information displayed by them is not available to people using a screen reader and they cannot skip past the decorative images. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criterion 1.1.1 (Non-text content: sensory content).

Some images are used as decoration on the websites and should be marked as such.  People using a screen reader may not be notified that these are non-essential images and may worry they have missed some information. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criterion 1.1.1 (Non-text content: decoration, formatting, invisible).

Not all time-based media like prerecorded video or audio have alternative media like audio-descriptions, captions, or text transcripts to describe the content. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criterion 1.2.3 (Audio description or media alternative (Prerecorded)).

Sensory characteristics and colour contrast

Some instructions provided on the websites may rely solely on sensory characteristic components such as shape, colour, size, visual location, orientation, or sound. Some users may be unable to engage with, navigate, and access this content. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criteria 1.3.3 (Sensory characteristics) and 1.4.1 (Use of colour).

Some information and items (like links) on the websites are only distinguishable by colour. This means users might not be able to see or recognise the information and/or function of the item. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criteria 1.4.1 (Use of colour).

The colour contrast of large-scale text, images of text, and graphical objects on the websites may not be high enough to display content clearly (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).

Visual formatting (zoom, orientation, resolution, and text spacing)

At certain resolutions, content may not reflow and there may be a loss of information or functionality which requires scrolling in two dimensions. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 AA-level success criterion 1.4.10 (Reflow).

We cannot guarantee that all the website text meets the minimum text-spacing requirements. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 AA-level success criterion 1.4.12 (Text spacing).

Hovering the mouse pointer over some content does not always reveal hidden content and the hidden content may not be easily accessible. If the content can be seen on hover over, sometimes it cannot be dismissed. Whether content appears on hover over or not, we cannot guarantee content remains visible and can be dismissed by other means. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 AA-level success criterion 1.4.13 (Content on hover over or focus: dismissible content, hoverable content, persistent content).

Website navigation and page timing

When using keyboard navigation, the keyboard does not highlight essential information on some parts of the websites. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criterion 2.1.1 (Keyboard interface).

The keyboard focus indicator may get stuck or trapped on specific content thereby limiting navigation. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criterion 2.1.2 (No keyboard trap).

There may be issues with the logic of the tabbing sequences on the websites. This means that the tabbing function logic may not be predictable and may cause confusion. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criterion 2.4.3 (Focus order).

In some places, the focus of the keyboard navigation or a box around the focused item does not appear. As a result, you may not be able to easily navigate the websites using a keyboard. Please also note that in certain parts of the websites, the keyboard focus indicator may only appear outlined in colour. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criterion 1.4.1 (Use of colour) and WCAG 2.1 AA-level success criterion 2.4.7 (focus visible).

Web page titling, language settings, and content

Some webpages may have multiple title elements or no title elements. This may lead to a user missing information or direction because a screen reader may not have a page title to read. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criterion 2.4.2 (Page titled).

The purpose of some links may not be described in the text or title of the link, so it may prove difficult to understand the purpose of the link. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criterion 2.4.4 (Link purpose: in context).

The language of the page is not set within the settings or mark up of the page. This may be confusing if a user attempts to find out the language or change the language of the website.  This does not meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criteria 3.1.1 (Language of page).

Website mark up and functionality

Some of the information, structure and relationships of items on the websites are not coded, labelled or grouped properly; therefore, assistive technologies may get confused. This can result in parts of the websites not being accessible to people using assistive technology. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criterion 1.3.1 (Info and relationships).

Some of our website code used to create content is not properly nested, might be missing start and end tags, have duplicated information, and IDs may not be unique. 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).

The name and role for all user interface components (things the user can interact with) may not be capable of being programmatically determined (verified in the website code); the website states, properties, and values (things used to interact with the websites) that can be set by the user may not be capable of being programmatically set (changed in the code); and notifications of changes to any of these items may not be available to user or assistive technologies. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 A-level success criterion 4.1.2 (Name, role, value).

By September 2022, we will work to update the websites with:

  • more descriptive labels and instructions for using buttons and links
  • better, more complete alternative text for all images
  • links that are distinguishable by more than just colour
  • more accessible PDFs

Disproportionate Burden

We are committed to improving the bulleted criteria above; however, we anticipate rationalising several our websites, including these ones, in the next one to two years. We have assessed the aged technology of the website and the cost of fixing all other accessibility issues against the websites’ planned rationalisation and believe doing so would be a disproportionate burden within the meaning of the accessibility regulations. We will make another assessment of this when we next review the websites and plans in late 2022.

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

PDFs and other documents

Some of our older office file format documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDFs) were published before 23 September 2018 and are not used for administrative or essential purposes and so may be inaccessible. Due to their age and non-essential status, they are exempt under Reg 4(2)(a).

Prerecorded video (created before 23 September 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. We don’t plan to add these alternatives because pre-recorded video from before 23 September 2020 are exempt under Reg 4(2)(b).

Third party content and technologies

Some types of content and technology used on these websites are provided by third party distributors (like YouTube or social media sites). We have not paid for, developed, nor controlled these services at any time; therefore, we are not liable for their accessibility compliance under Reg 4(2)(e).

How we tested these websites

The Stirling Castle website and blog subdomain were tested for most WCAG 2.1 A-AA accessibility requirements by a web crawler hosted by a third-party company called Siteimprove. They revealed accessibility issues that 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 manually tested a sample of pages on the Stirling Castle website and blog subdomain 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:

This statement was prepared on 19 August 2019. It was last reviewed on 23 December 2021.