We believe that everyone should be able to access our website regardless of any impairments or technical constraints. Please read our accessibility policy (PDF 260Kb) for full details.

Web accessibility

We have worked, and continue to work, towards full compliance with current legislation, including carrying out the recommendations of external audits we have commissioned of our website and products.

Throughout 2022 we have been working with AbilityNet who have tested our site against Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1.

Text on this website can be read aloud

Reachdeck buttonReachDeck reads web pages aloud for people who find it difficult to read online, and can simplify and magnify the layout so it is easier to read text. Reading large amounts of text on screen can be difficult for those with literacy and visual impairments. It is also useful for those with English as a second language. The image on the left which is displayed on every page is served directly from ReachDeck.

ReachDeck can also read aloud text from PDF documents, translate text into a range of different languages and read it in the selected language, and can convert selected text into an mp3 recording which can be listened to later.

To use ReachDeck, simply click the ReachDeck button at the bottom of any page. This will give you a toolbar where you can select various options. You can also change the settings to highlight text in different colours and alter the reading voice.

ReachDeck bar

To find out more about ReachDeck and how to use it, visit

British Sign Language plan

Our British Sign Language (BSL) plan details how we promote and support BSL in accordance with the BSL (Scotland) Act 2015. It also sets out the actions we have already taken and those we propose to take over the period 2018-2024. 

  Download our BSL plan - PDF 255Kb

 Text-only version of BSL plan - RTF 106Kb

Our BSL plan is also available in British Sign Language in this video:

Standards compliance

Where possible, all pages within the site comply with the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) Priority Level 1 and 2 guidelines.

Many Priority Level 3 guidelines have also been followed in the creation of this web site, and we intend to improve upon this in the future.

Access keys

We have included the UK Government's standard access keys to enable you to navigate the main website sections using the keyboard.

For Windows-based PCs, press the 'Alt' key and one of the numbers below, then press the 'Return' key. For Apple Macs, press the 'Ctrl' key and one of the numbers below.

Supported keys

S - Skip navigation
1 - Home page
2 - About us
3 - Site map
4 - Publications
5 - Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
6 - Media centre
7 - Complaints procedure
8 - Terms and conditions
9 - Contact us
0 - Access key details


All forms have been made accessible using labels that are explicitly associated with the text boxes, radio buttons and checkboxes that make up these forms.


Use of text

Where possible, and without compromising design, text has been used instead of images on this website. Navigation, page titles and subtitles, links and other elements have all been created using accessible html text.

Text size

To allow full user control over how text appears on screen, this site has been created using relative text sizes. Follow the instructions below to resize the text in your browser or use the resizing tool at the top of each page.

If you are using Internet Explorer

Click Tools > Internet Options > Accessibility. Check the 'ignore font sizes specified by Web pages' box. More detailed information is available on Microsoft's web site.

If you are using Firefox

Click Options > General > Language and Appearance > Fonts & Colors. Change size (pixels) to preferred settings.

Older versions of Netscape may not allow you to override this web site's font size settings. A solution could be to upgrade to a more recent version of the Netscape browser.

If you are using Opera

Click File > Preferences > Fonts & Colors. Change minimum font sizes as desired. If you are using other browsers, or cannot change font sizes, please view help information that is provided. This can usually be found within the browser software itself.

Contrast and colour


The site has been tested to ensure that pages provide sufficient contrast when viewed by users with colour blindness or when viewed on a black and white screen.


No information is conveyed through colour alone.

Abbreviations and acronyms

All abbreviations or acronyms have been identified with either an <ABBR> or <ACRONYM> HTML tag. They are displayed as a dotted underline and by placing the cursor over it, a tooltip appears explaining the corresponding definition.

Link context

Some browsers, for example JAWS, Lynx and Opera, can extract the list of links on a page and allow the user to browse the list separately. For this reason, wherever possible, links are written to make sense out of context.


Alt text

All content images include descriptive ALT text attributes. Structural graphics have been given null ALT text attributes.

Alternative formats

If you require an Audit Scotland publication in an alternative format and/or language, please contact us to discuss your needs. Publications are also available in digital format, as PDF and RTF documents, from our website, and we try to ensure these are as accessible as possible. PDFs on this site require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view them. Download Adobe Acrobat Reader for free.

Some documents on our site are produced using Microsoft Word, as they include forms or checklists. As Microsoft Word Viewer is no longer available to view these documents for free, you can install the Word mobile app to read these if you do not have Microsoft Office.


We produce sound files to accompany some reports which take the form of a short questions and answers session. These files are in MP3 format and can be played on any standard media player.

We also provide transcripts for these for the benefit of hearing impaired users. As well as aiding accessibility, these podcasts are intended to provide an introduction, in clear, plain language, to the content of our reports so that people can approach the main body of our work with greater confidence.


On some pages we have embedded videos from Youtube and Vimeo. Users of voice control software may have difficulty using some of the controls with the embedded video. Unfortunately we have no control over these video controls.

Video content produced by Audit Scotland includes the facility to display captions, however other Youtube content created by third parties is outwith our control and may not include this facility. We also provide transcripts for our video content which can be downloaded from our website.

Get more help using Youtube videos
Get more help using Vimeo videos

Home page featured content

The featured content on the Audit Scotland home page contains links that when hovered over with a mouse, display some extra text content. If you are using voice commands to browse the site you may find it difficult to view this extra text. The text is a short summary of the content that the item is linking to and if you navigate to the link that the item is wrapped in you can read the full content.

Links within our Twitter feed

The Audit Scotland website draws content from Twitter which may include links without descriptive text. We have no control over the construction of these links.

Unsupported browsers

Our website may not display properly on Internet Explorer version 9 or earlier versions. We recommend upgrading to a newer version of Internet Explorer, or trying a different browser if you have any problems.

Further information

Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)

International standards organisation, part of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)