Accessibility statement for ROS Theses Repository

Website accessibility statement in line with Public Sector Body (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018

This accessibility statement applies to the “ROS Theses Repository” -

This website is hosted by the Digital Library Department, University of Edinburgh on behalf of Heriot Watt University. It contains full-text copies of all Heriot-Watt University PhD theses awarded from 2009 onwards. We want as many people as possible to be able to use this application. For example, that means you should be able to:

  • Using your browser settings, change colours, contrast levels and fonts
  • zoom in up to 200% without the text spilling off the screen
  • navigate most of the website using just a keyboard
  • navigate most of the website using speech recognition software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking
  • listen to most of the website using a screen reader (including the most recent versions of Job Access with Speech (JAWS)
  • Experience no time limits when using the site
  • There is no flashing, scrolling or moving text

We've also made the website text as simple as possible to understand.

Customising the website

AbilityNet has advice on making your device easier to use if you have a disability. This is an external site with suggestions to make your computer more accessible:

AbilityNet - My computer my way

With a few simple steps you can customise the appearance of our website using your browser settings to make it easier to read and navigate:

Additional information on how to customise our website appearance

If you are a member of University staff or a student, you can use the free SensusAccess accessible document conversion service:

SenusAccess Information

How accessible this website is

We know some parts of this website are not fully accessible:

  • The website is not fully compatible with assistive technologies (JAWS, TextHelp, Dragon Naturally Speaking)
  • It is not possible to tab through all the content on all browsers
  • Tabbing highlights sometimes obscure the content they are highlighting
  • Data entry and validation is not fully robust
  • Not all hyperlinks are formatted correctly formatted hypertext
  • Not all colour contrasts meet the recommended levels
  • Not all non-text content has appropriate alternative text
  • No 'skip to main content' button is present throughout the website
  • The website is not fully compatible with mobile accessibility functionality (Android, iOS)

Feedback and contact information

If you need information on this website in a different format, including accessible PDF, large print, audio recording or braille please contact:


Phone: +44 (0)131 451 3577

British Sign Language (BSL) users can contact us via contactSCOTLAND-BSL, the on-line BSL interpreting service

We'll consider your request and get back to you in 5 working days.

Reporting accessibility problems with this website

We are always looking to improve the accessibility of this website. If you find any problems not listed on this page, or think we're not meeting accessibility requirements, please contact:


Phone: +44 (0)131 451 3577

British Sign Language (BSL) users can contact us via contactSCOTLAND-BSL, the on-line BSL interpreting service

We'll consider your request and get back to you in 5 working days.

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 please contact the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) directly:

Contact details for the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS)

The government has produced information on how to report accessibility issues:

Reporting an accessibility problem on a public sector website

Contacting us by phone using British Sign Language

British Sign Language service Contact Scotland BSL runs a service for British Sign Language users and all of Scotland’s public bodies using video relay. This enables sign language users to contact public bodies and vice versa. The service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

British Sign Language Scotland service details

Technical information about this website's accessibility

The University of Edinburgh is committed to making its websites and applications 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 (WCAG) 2.1 AA standard, due to the non-compliances listed below.

The full guidelines are available at

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA standard

Non accessible content

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

Noncompliance with the accessibility regulations.

The following items to not comply with the WCAG 2.1 AA success criteria:

  • There may not be sufficient colour contrast between font and background colours, there are issues where text size is very small
  • Not all the content reflows when the page is magnified above 200%
  • Visual information to identify user interface components, such as keyboard focus, do not always have a sufficient contrast ratio
  • Screen readers are not able to identify some parts of the page
  • There are PDF's that are not currently accessible

Unless specified otherwise, a complete solution, or significant improvement, will be in place by October 2023.

Disproportionate burden

We are not currently claiming that any accessibility problems would be a disproportionate burden to fix.

Content that is not within the Scope of the Accessibility Regulations

At this time, we do not believe that any content is outside the scope of the accessibility regulations.

What we're doing to improve accessibility

We will continue to address and make adequate improvements to the accessibility issues highlighted. Unless specified otherwise, a complete solution or significant improvement will be in place by October 2023.

While we are in the process of resolving these accessibility issues we will ensure reasonable adjustments are in place to make sure no user is disadvantaged. As changes are made, we will continue to review accessibility and retest the accessibility of this website.

We are planning to upgrade the site to the most recent release of the system architecture before the end of 2023 and improving accessibility will be a key component of this process.

Preparation of this accessibility statement

This statement was first prepared on 1st August 2020. It was last reviewed on 13th October 2022.

This website was last tested by the Library and University Collections Digital Library team, University of Edinburgh in July 2022 following on from previous automated testing of the system the previous year. This was primarily using the Google Chrome (100.0.4896.127), Mozilla Firefox (91.8.0esr), Internet Explorer (11.0) and Microsoft Edge (100.0.1185.39) browsers for comparative purposes. Internet Explorer was considered the most commonly used browser by disabled people, notably due to its accessibility features and compatibility with assistive technology, as shown in a UK government survey:

UK Government Assistive Technology Browser Survey

However, a more recent world-wide usage levels survey for different screen readers and browsers shows that Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge are increasing in popularity and is now the favoured browser for screen readers:

WebAIM: Screen Reader User Survey

The aforementioned three browsers have been used in certain questions for reasons of breadth and variety.

We ran automated testing using Wave WEBAIM and then manual testing that included:

  • Spell check functionality;
  • Scaling using different resolutions and reflow;
  • Options to customise the interface (magnification, font, background colour, etc);
  • Keyboard navigation and keyboard traps;
  • Data validation;
  • Warning of links opening in new tab or window;
  • Information conveyed in the colour or sound only;
  • Flashing, moving or scrolling text;
  • Operability if JavaScript is disabled;
  • Use with screen reading software (for example JAWS);
  • Assistive software (TextHelp Read and Write, Windows Magnifier, ZoomText, Dragon Naturally Speaking, TalkBack and VoiceOver);
  • Tooltips and text alternatives for any non-text content;
  • Time limits;
  • Compatibility with mobile accessibility functionality (Android and iOS).

Change Log

Since our first evaluation and statement which was based on automated testing we have been doing extensive manual testing including with a range of assistive technology to ensure we have a clear picture of the accessibility issues and how best to resolve them.