Accessibility Statement for the Historic Scotland App

Our accessibility statement for the Historic Scotland app.

Accessibility Statement

This accessibility statement applies to the Historic Scotland mobile application (app) on Apple (iOS) and Android.

This app is owned by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and developed by Ping Creates. The accessibility of the content of the app is the responsibility of the HES marketing team.

Using this app

We want as many people as possible to be able to use this app. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • access closed captions or subtitles for any pre-recorded video content
  • resize text within your device settings
  • navigate most of the mobile application using speech recognition software or by using a screen reader
  • bypass blocks of repeated content
  • have enough time to read and use content
  • understand the topic, purpose and structure of the app through headings and labels
  • review and correct any data you’ve entered before submitting

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

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

How accessible the Historic Scotland app is

While we work hard to make our platforms and content accessible, we know some parts of this mobile application are not fully accessible yet:

  • we do not provide text alternatives for any non-text content, except for subtitled video content
  • content restricts its view and operation to portrait orientation only
  • some text, images and links may not be customisable, and colour contrasts may not be high enough, causing difficulties if you have a visual impairment
  • you cannot modify the line height or spacing or size of text within the app, but only through device settings

A full, technical list of currently inaccessible content and areas of the app 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 app

If you need information on this app 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 within 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 name of the app 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 app

We’re always looking to improve the accessibility of this app. 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 Documentation team:

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:

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.

Technical information about this app’s accessibility

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

Compliance status

This app 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

Text spacing
It is not currently possible to modify the line height, spacing or size of text within the app. This does not meet WCAG 2.1 AA-level success criteria 1.4.12 (Text spacing) and 1.4.4 (Resize Text).

Adjustment of font size and line height is possible through device settings and will vary on each user’s mobile device.

Non-text content
Some images or non-text content do not have alternative text or labels descriptive enough 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 app 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).

Colour and contrast
In some parts of the app, the use of colour within our interface or titles may be the only visual means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual element.
Large-scale text and images of large-scale text also do not entirely have a contrast ratio of at least 3:1, which is not accessible for users with visual impairments.

This does not meet WCAG 2.1 AA-level success criteria 1.4.1 (Use of Colour) and 1.4.3 (Contrast (minimum)).

Disproportionate Burden Assessment

See what we consider a disproportionate burden for our Historic Scotland mobile application.

Historic Environment Scotland is committed to meeting its legal obligations set out in the The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 ("No. 2 Regulations").

We have a complex collection of websites and mobile applications and limited resources to check them all for accessibility issues. The below lays out how we have assessed what we consider a disproportionate burden.

1.3.4 Orientation (Level AA)

The Historic Scotland app currently does not comply with WCAG 1.3.4, as the content is locked to portrait mode only. We are currently unable to comply with it for the below reasons.

Assessments of costs and resources

Depending on individual allocated budgets each year, we have a budget of £10,000-15,000 per financial year to make updates to the Historic Scotland app.

We do not have the internal resources or expertise to carry out the required updates ourselves at Historic Environment Scotland and therefore work with a web development agency. We have received a quote from them, and they have quoted us £31,250 to implement this change and make the app available in landscape mode. Since this is more than twice our annual budget, we consider this a disproportionate burden.

Assessment of the benefits

The WCAG 2.1 Guidelines specify that a web page or application should not be locked to a horizontal or vertical view, unless it is essential. It is difficult to assess the number of users that would benefit from this update on the Historic Scotland app. We currently have 7,500 monthly users, of which the vast majority is based in the UK. According to the latest fact sheet on disability prevalence estimates published by the UK government 11.6 million out of 63.7 million people in Great Britain were disabled, which is 18.3% of the population. Applying this percentage to the monthly app users, this would amount to around 1365 users per month. How many of these users would benefit from changing the orientation of the app

is hard to estimate, but it is reasonable to assume that this number is significantly lower.

Mitigating burden

Since launching the Historic Scotland app, we received no complaints or questions about the accessibility of the app or the locked orientation in portrait mode. We have no evidence that leaving this issue unresolved would impact any users.

We have also optimised the content of the app for portrait mode to deliver the best possible user experience.

We do not expect to be able to fix this issue in the future, as the cost of fixing it compared to the benefits it would bring to users is disproportionate and we anticipate that this will not change. However, we will review this cost-benefit analysis yearly.

Last update

The statement was prepared on 25 April 2022 and was published on 2 May 2022.

What we’re doing to improve accessibility

We are looking at making the Historic Scotland mobile application more accessible. We plan to adjust the colour contrasts by December 2021. When we publish new content, we’ll make sure our colour palette and use of colour meets accessibility standards.

By May 2022, we plan to add text alternatives for all images. When we publish new content, we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards.

How we tested this app

This app was last tested on 14 May 2021. The test was carried out manually by HES and in discussion with developers Ping Creates.

Last updated

This statement was prepared on 2 June 2021. It was last updated on 21 June 2021.