We encourage everyone to ensure their digital content and websites are accessible and inclusive to all, and therefore you should always follow the Imperial standards for digital accessibility.

However, in certain cases it is not possible to fix all issues straight away and therefore you should add an accessibility statement to your website. The statement must provide details about content you are working to fix and what areas will not be fixed due to exemption from the Accessibility Regulations.

Website managers and content creators do not need to fix the following types of content because they’re exempt:

Pre-recorded audio and video published before 23 September 2020

Audio and video content that is recorded in advance of being published online must only comply with the Accessibility Regulations if it is published on or after 23 September 2020. Any of this content published prior to this date is exempt from accessibility compliance, but it is an Imperial standard to ensure that all videos in use should be made accessible.

Live audio and video

Audio and video content that is recorded and broadcast live to its recipients does not need to comply with the Accessibility Regulations.

For example, a live stream of a lecture or a live broadcast of an event.

However, once this video is uploaded post recording to a website or intranet the video is considered a pre-recorded video and must have an alternative format provided if published on or after 23 September 2020.

Find out how to make your videos accessible.

Heritage collections

Content such as archival imagery and scanned manuscripts may be exempt from the Accessibility Regulations if attempts to meet the requirement would cause authenticity issues, preservation issues or if there is no automated, cost-efficient solution to replicate the content in an accessible format.

Online documents published before 23 September 2018

PDFs or other documents (e.g. Microsoft Word) published before 23 September 2018 are exempt from accessibility compliance ,unless users need them to use a service (such as an administrative form published before that date but is still operational). Any documents published after this date will need to be structured correctly.

Find out how to make accessible documents.


Online maps are exempt, but essential information like addresses will need to be provided in an accessible format within your site.

Third party content

Content on your website that’s under someone else’s control and wasn’t paid for or developed by Imperial is exempt. Where you are paying to outsource website development or management to a third party, this would not fall within the exemption.

Intranet and extranet content

Content on intranets or extranets published before 23 September 2019 is exempt, unless you make a major revision after that date. This includes all password protected websites that are only available to a closed group of people. Content on intranets and extranets can include text, images, videos and documents.

Archived websites

Archived websites are exempt if they’re not needed for services Imperial provides and they are not updated after 23 September 2019.

Even if you’re exempt from the Accessibility Regulations, under the Equality Act 2010 you’re still legally required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people when requested. This could include providing your digital content in an alternative, accessible format.

Further help

For further information speak to your Faculty Web Officer.