Exempt types of content

Some types of content and websites are exempt from the new regulations.

But even if something is exempt, all UK service providers have a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010.

Documents like PDFs and Microsoft Office files need to be accessible if they’re primarily intended for use on the web.

There’s an exemption if they’re both:

  1. published before 23 September 2018
  2. not essential for services being provided

There are also exemptions from making content accessible if it’s:

  • pre-recorded audio and video published before 23 September 2020
  • live audio and video
  • office file formats published before 23rd September 2018, unless such content is needed for active administrative processes relating to the tasks performed by the public sector body
  • using maps - but if the map helps users find a service you offer, you must provide directions another way
  • part of a heritage collection - for example, scanned manuscripts
  • third-party content that’s under someone else’s control if you didn’t pay for it or develop yourself - for example, social media ‘like’ buttons

Intranets, extranets and archives

There’s an exemption for:

  • content on intranets (Including VLEs) and extranets published before 23 September 2019 (unless you make a major revision after that date)
  • archived websites if they’re not needed for services your organisation provides

Disproportionate burden

An assessment needs to be carried out to prove that something is a disproportionate burden. Only factors that are relevant can be considered.

These include:

  • the benefits to users with disabilities of meeting the standards
  • the cost of meeting the standards
  • how it’s used by disabled people - how often and for how long
  • your organisation’s size and resources

Lack of time or knowledge, or because you haven’t given it priority cannot be taken into consideration.