Skip to main content

Disproportionate Burden Statement


Children's Hearings Scotland (CHS) commit to making our website accessible. The requirement to do so is set out in the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018. Those are also known as "the accessibility regulations".

Under the terms of the accessibility regulations, organisations must undertake an assessment for disproportionate burden where compliance with the regulations may not be feasible to achieve.

This statement outlines our disproportionate assessment process. In this statement, we explain why we consider fixing issues on our current website platform to constitute a disproportionate burden to CHS.

The Regulations

Public bodies, including CHS, must comply with the latest version of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) AA requirements. At the time of publishing this statement, this is version 2.2.

The accessibility regulations states that a public body does not need to meet the accessibility requirement if this would put a disproportionate burden on them. This requires the public body to undertake a disproportionate burden assessment.

We believe that to fix issues on the current platform would constitute a disproportionate burden. We reach this decision as we prepare for the procurement of our web supplier contract during 2024. CHS is focussing our investment on ensuring our future website suppliers, and the replacement website, meets regulation requires.


This report outlines CHS' assessment of disproportionate burden for delivering compliance against the accessibility regulations for our website,

This website is used by members of the public, which includes users with additional support needs. We know that some parts of our website cannot easily be accessed by users with additional access needs, or users with assisted technology.

We identify several technical issues which may impact user experience on

Our approach to carrying out accessibility checks

We use a combination of methods to test the accessibility of this website. Those are within the guidance on deciding how to check your websites and in compliance with the accessibility regulations.

Detailed checks have been conducted on The process for doing detailed checks includes:

  • manual testing based on GOV.UK's guidance on doing a detailed accessibility check

  • automated testing using accessibility monitoring software
  • testing using assisted technology

  • asking staff who use accessibility monitoring software to check our site.

Disproportionate burden assessment

Our website is currently not fully accessible. Based on our testing, our Accessibility Statement determines our website as partially compliant with WCAG version 2.2 AA standard. This means that there are things across our website that are not fully accessible. 

Non-compliance with accessibility regulations

There’s no way to skip the repeated content in the page header (for example, a ‘skip to main content’ option).

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.

At 400% zoom and in mobile view on latest news, the webpage does not flow correctly. (WCAG 1.4.10 Reflow)

Interactive controls within the title banner on our website are nested. (WCAG 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value)

Elements i.e. links on webpages throughout the website do not have sufficient colour contrast. (WCAG 1.4.3 Contrast (minimum))

Components including carousels containing role="img" do not have alternative text. (WCAG 1.1.1 Non-text Content)

Links do not have discernible text. (WCAG 4.1.2 Name, Role, Value)

The carousel at the top of our home page cannot be paused, stopped or hidden. (WCAG 2.2.2 Pause, Stop, Hide)

Documents including PDFs and Word files are not in every case accessible.

Assessment of costs and benefits

In preparing this disproportionate burden statement, we assessed the current practice of how CHS support requests from users with additional access needs.

We believe that:

  • The time and cost of fixing all of the documents on our website would be a substantial burden on us and the public resources we manage. This is most pertinent as we prepare for an upcoming procurement process.

  • The upcoming procurement process will prioritise suppliers who can demonstrate compliance with the accessibility regulations.

  • We can support users with additional access needs in other ways.

Therefore, fixing all documents on our main website, at this time, would impose a disproportionate burden on us. In reaching this decision, we've considered the following:


As of January 2024, there were 178 documents on our website. Those are in Word and/or PDF format. Many of our older documents do not meet accessibility standards. For instance, they may not be structured to be accessible to a screen reader. This does not meet WCAGG 2.2 Criterion 4.1.2.

Of 178 documents on our website, 148 were published on or after 23 September 2018 (within scope of the accessibility regulations). We've assessed that it'd be a disproportionate burden to fix all PDF documents published on this website since 23 September 2018. Potentially, each document would require several hours of work to be recreated in a fully accessible version. This would depend of length and complexity and subject matter expert involvement.

If we estimate of four hours to review and fix each document within the scope required, fixing all 148 would take 80 working days (based on a 7.5-hour working day at Children's Hearings Scotland).

How we will address accessibility issues

During 2024, our web supplier contract is up for renewal. As part of this process, CHS will require prospective suppliers to evidence how their proposed web solution will meet WCAG 2.2 A and AA success criteria, in line with the accessibility regulations. We will request suppliers demonstrate how they will test the final product against WCAG success criteria and which tooling they will use. 

We will request prospective suppliers evidence how their solution supports content upload compliance. This would include accessible formats including HTML, OpenDocument and accessible PDFs. Where suppliers can demonstrate they do not currently meet compliance, we will request evidence of how they will roadmap fixes.

Before this occurs, our Communications and Digital teams will support staff to curate content with accessibility in mind. This will include future PDF documents being fully checked for appropriate tagging and annotation, correct reading order and colour contrast. Our team will ensure all staff, with responsibility in curating documents, are aware of our legal responsibility to ensure content is accessible.

We will explore alternative file formats, for uploading onto this website. Those include HTML and OpenDocument.

We estimate that this work with be complete in 2024. We follow guidelines relating to Scottish public sector procurement.

How to request content in an accessible format

CHS commit to supplying information in an accessible format. This includes accessible PDF, large print, easy read, audio recording or braille.

To request this from CHS, please contact us by:

When contacting us, please share either the hyperlink or the title of the document, or information, you wish to receive from us. 

We'll consider your request within three working days and we will aim to reply within 20 working days. Please note it may not be possible to meet the timescales in every case but we will keep you updated throughout the process.

This assessment is accurate as of 7 March 2024.