The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 require public sector bodies, subject to various exemptions and conditions, to:

  • Make public sector websites and mobile applications accessible.
  • Provide an accessibility statement.

The accessibility regulations state that a public sector body does not need to meet the accessibility requirement if this would put a disproportionate burden on them, provided that a disproportionate burden assessment is undertaken.

We have carried out a disproportionate burden assessment on the possible steps we could take to ensure accessibility of our current website. This means we are not able to offer fully accessible versions of the website at this time. The assessment below sets out our reasons.


The issue

Our website is currently not fully accessible because:

  • there is a lack of ALT text and page titles in PDF documents relating to our Strategic Plan

A full audit of the website may uncover other accessibility issues.

PSOW operates two separate sites, in English ( and Welsh ( Any accessibility issues affecting the English language will also affect the Welsh language site.

Government Digital Service informed us of the intention to retest our website after it is fully launched in April 2024 to ensure that any accessibility issues have been addressed.


Benefits of creating an accessible version

Users would be able to use fully accessible PSOW website, helping to remove barriers that some users may be facing when engaging with PSOW content.



We have developed a new website, with a clear focus on meeting accessibility standards and an accessibility audit was undertaken in February 2024, prior to the website launch.

There will be a full accessibility audit of the website. At this time, we accept that documents about our Strategic Plan are not fully compliant. We will keep trying to improve the quality of these documents after the website is launched. Resolving the issues may take some time. However, we are satisfied that the general accessibility of our new website is much improved since the last audit.



The tender specification for the new website underlined that the product must be fully W3C compliant and enables easy access for vulnerable users. We ensured our website designers took these issues and requirements fully into account and we arranged accessibility testing of the new website during development.

The new website will be in place in shadow form on 12 March 2024.

We have requested that Government Digital Service delays retesting of our website until the full launch on 10 April 2024.