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Accessibility Statement

Important Information

We have recently moved to a new website and need to conduct a full accessibility review as soon as we are able to, however this means some information below will be inaccurate. We will review this statement as soon as possible. Please check back for further updates.

This accessibility statement applies to and all our public-facing websites including

We want our website to be accessible to as many people as possible and we understand that some parts of our website aren’t currently fully accessible yet.

For example, that means you should be able to:

  • Zoom in up to 300% without the text spilling off the screen
  • Navigate most of the website using speech recognition software
  • Navigate the website using a keyboard
  • Listen to most of the website using a screen reader

We’ve made this 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 our website aren’t fully accessible. For example:

  • You cannot change colours on the website and some pages have a poor colour contrast
  • Live and historical video streams do not have captions
  • You cannot change the line-height or spacing of text
  • Older PDF documents and Word docs are not fully accessible to screen reader software

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on this website 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 in 7 days.

You can find instructions on how to access the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on our How to Find Us page. If you can’t view our map or need help, please call or email us.


Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We are always looking for ways to improve our website and communication. If you find any accessibility issues or pages where things could be easier to navigate or read, please email


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

British Sign Language (BSL) users can contact us using Contact Scotland BSL which is a free service.

If you contact us before your visit we can arrange a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

You can find all our contact information on our contact page.


Technical information about this website’s accessibility

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is committed to making its website accessible, in accordance with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Compliance status

Our website is partially compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines version 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances and exemptions.


Non-accessible content

The content listed below is non-accessible for the following reasons.


Non-compliance with the accessibility regulations

  • Alternative Text
    • Some images that were added to our site before August 2020 do not have a text alternative, so people using a screen reader cannot access this information. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.1.1 (non-text content).
    • As images are added, they may be added without alt text however we are regularly checking for missing alt text.
    • When we publish new content we’ll make sure our use of images meets accessibility standards and these are included in our web editing guides for staff.
  • PDFs
    • There are PDFS since 2018 which aren’t fully accessible. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.2 (page titled).
    • We are working our way through the PDFs but as we are a small team it is taking time to get through them all.
  • Link Text
    • Some of our link text doesn’t make sense to screen readers or when read on its own. For example, ‘click here’ or ‘visit this website’. Whenever these instances are found, they are changed and the content editors are made aware. This is also included in our web editing guidelines. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.4 (Link Purpose (In Context)).
  • Resizing Text
    • CSS animations that run for more than 5 seconds on our website do not give the user a way to turn them off. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.4 Resize Text.
    • However, users who have those extensions can disable these. The suggested code to disable this for browsers who have this setting has been added across the whole site.
  • Banner landmarks
    • On some pages we have the following errors ‘Banner landmark should not be contained in another landmark’ and ‘Document should not have more than one banner landmark’.
    • This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.1 Bypass Blocks.
  • Focus Visible
    • There are areas across the site where focus isn’t clear; download prospectus, take our virtual tour, donate to scholarship fund, visit the newsroom button, articles under news, links under short courses, covid 19, dropdown arrows on the Covid safety test and protect information.
    • Focus isn’t clear on the three news articles on the homepage and there is no focus on the Submit form button on the complaints page. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.7 Focus Visible.
  • Info and Relationships
    • On some pages, we have a ‘<dl> elements must only directly contain properly-ordered <dt> and <dd> groups, <script>, <template> or <div> elements’ and ‘<ul> and <ol> must only directly contain <li>, <script> or <template> elements’ error.
    • This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.3.1 Info and Relationships.
  • Contrast
    • A potential error was flagged using Axe about the contrast of our header menu when scrolling down the website, we have manually checked this and as it is white text on a black background it has passed the Web Aim contrast checker.
    • On some pages, there are links which are displaying red or pink, this fails WCAG 2.1 Succession criterion 1.4.3 (Contrast).
  • Pause, Stop, Hide
    • The pause button is not accessible using a keyboard. This fails WCAG 2.1 Succession criterion 2.2.2 (Pause, Stop, Hide).
  • Keyboard
    • We are aware of keyboard issues across the site which are:
      • the close button within donate now can’t be accessed using a keyboard
      • the dropdown menu options are not accessible using the keyboard
      • At 200% and more, the hamburger menu is not accessible using the keyboard and can be difficult to exit and view menu again using the keyboard.
    • This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.1.1 (Keyboard).
  • Reflow
    • When on keyboard at 400% and click on the donate button, the close button is difficult to click using the keyboard. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.10.
  • Video captions
    • Axe has flagged a potential issue that our videos should have captions, all videos on our website have captions, however the two videos that this error has flagged for have no captions as they contain no sound and are decorative.
  • Styling
    • Not all pages have colours set on body or elements. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 1.4.3, 1.4.6 and 1.4.8.
    • On one page, there is a CSS outline which can make it difficult for keyboard-only users. This fails WCAG 2.1 success criterion 2.4.7.

Disproportionate burden

Disproportionate burden assessment

At the time of the assessment (January 2022) we found it to be a disproportionate burden to comply with the following:

Navigation and accessing information

  • It’s not always possible to change the device orientation from horizontal to vertical without making it more difficult to view the content.
  • It’s not possible for users to change text size without some of the content overlapping.
    CSS animations that run for more than 5 seconds on our website do not give the user a way to turn them off however users can disable these who have the extensions to do so.
  • There is historical content that has not been optimised/defined as being in an alternative language.
  • There are many tables on the website with accessibility problems and would require manual alterations to comply with the guidelines.

The size of our Website Team is very small with only 2 full-time roles managing all content across thousands of pages. We feel that currently it is a disproportionate burden in terms of size, resources and the estimated costs on our organisation to fix the issues above immediately as there are over 3,000 occurrences of these and some of these issues would require a design change.

The updates above would require more time to be spent manually updating and checking. As there are only two full time roles, we are already quite stretched with working on current updates to provide important information to our users so we feel currently there isn’t the resource to fix all the above issues. We have also never had any requests for information to be provided in a different format.

Paying for detailed audits

We have assessed using estimates from GOV.UK’s accessibility audit information that it would cost between £7,800 and £13,000 to do a detailed audit and re-check of our website. We are continuously adding new pages and content to our website so we would need to do regular checks which would add to this cost.

Instead of paying for a detailed audit, we have paid for a low-cost tool, SortSite and using Axe to check the website, which has allowed us budget to fix accessibility issues.

Fixing pdf documents

We have 1,778 documents on our site with the majority being old and unused documents.

We feel it’s a disproportionate burden to fix all documents given our small team and budget as many of these documents are old.

We are continuing to check that new documents are as accessible as they can be. We also state on our accessibility statement that we can provide another format if a user needed to access any information and was unable to do so.

Assessment of costs against benefits

We believe the issues above are a disproportionate burden due to the cost, resources and size of our team. However, we are re-assessing with our developers what can be fixed.

We believe that the cost of paying for detailed audits is a disproportionate burden, we can instead continue to fix issues within our budget which we feel will benefit users more.

We are regularly re-assessing our statement and where possible, hope to resolve the outstanding issues as soon as possible.

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

PDFs and other documents

Our PDF and Word documents aren’t fully accessible to screen readers. Any PDFs and Word documents published before 23 September 2018 will be as accessible as they can be however we realise that this still isn’t fully accessible.

The accessibility regulations do not require us to fix PDFs or other documents published before 23 September 2018 if they’re not essential to providing our services.

Currently, it would be a disproportionate burden to display PDFs and other documents published after 23 September 2018 as HTML on our website as it would require additional resource that is currently outwith the scope of the team. We are working on making our PDFs and other documents that were published after 23 September 2018 accessible.

Live video

We do not plan to add captions to live video streams because live video is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

Third-party content

We may display third-party content that we have not paid for or developed on our website which is exempt from meeting the accessibility regulations.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was prepared on 11 September 2020. It was last reviewed on 14 July 2022.

This website was last tested on 14 June 2022. The test was carried out using Axe, Sortsite and a manual check. We tested a random selection of pages from our website.