European Accessibility Act

Key points for companies about the European Accessibility Act

European Accessibility Act is coming

The European Accessibility Act (EAA) is an EU-wide directive that will apply to many companies from June 28, 2025.

The new law establishes technical requirements for the digital accessibility of certain products and services for consumers. It also defines rules for the accessible presentation of digital media.

The directive is already mandatory for public entities and will come into effect at the end of June 2025 for private sector companies offering products and services to end consumers, and which meet specific revenue and employee criteria (details below).

What is the European Accessibility Act about?

The new law establishes technical requirements for the digital accessibility of certain products and services for consumers. It also defines rules for the accessible presentation of digital media.

The directive is already mandatory for public entities and will come into effect at the end of June 2025 for private sector companies offering products and services to end consumers, and which meet specific revenue and employee criteria (details below).

Dienstleistungen, die von Verbrauchern genutzt werden.

Produkte und Services, die ein Wirtschaftsakteur für Endverbraucher auf dem Markt bereitstellt, müssen ab dem 28. Juni 2025 neuen Anforderungen gerecht werden.

Grundsätzlich gilt: Hardware, Software und Dienstleistungen müssen für Menschen mit Behinderungen
  • ohne besondere Erschwernis und
  • grundsätzlich ohne fremde Hilfe
  • auffindbar
  • zugänglich und
  • nutzbar sein.

Who does the European Accessibility Act apply to?

In principle, the European Accessibility Act applies to all businesses – including service providers, manufacturers, retailers, and importers – that target consumers.

Their online offerings, hardware, operating systems, and operating instructions must be designed to be accessible.

Micro-enterprises (less than 10 employees and maximum 2 million euros in annual turnover) offering services are exempt from the European Accessibility Act.

Why it is also beneficial for these companies to create accessible online offerings is explained below.

Do the requirements also apply in the B2B sector?

As described, the European Accessibility Act regulates the accessibility of products and services used by consumers. A consumer is defined legally as “any natural person who purchases or receives a product or service falling under this law for purposes that are predominantly neither commercial nor self-employed.”  Services offered exclusively in the B2B (Business-to-Business) sector should therefore not be affected by the European Accessibility Act. We explicitly point out that a thorough (legal) examination of the applicability of the European Accessibility Act is advisable in any case. Good to know

>We explicitly point out that a thorough (legal) examination of the applicability of the European Accessibility Act is advisable in any case.

Good to know

The 6 most important reasons for digital accessibility

Even if you are not subject to the European Accessibility Act , there are good reasons to design accessible media, services, and products even without a legal obligation.

What are the consequences for your company?

If your company falls under the directive, you must meet the requirements. As a manufacturer, importer, or service provider for consumers, you may only offer your product/service if you meet the accessibility requirements of the European Accessibility Act.

Failure to do so can lead to warnings and hefty fines. The law lists fines of up to 100,000 euros.

Guidelines for the application of the European Accessibility Act can be found, among other places, as a PDF on the website of the Federal Accessibility Office.

What does this mean for your website?

Websites are not automatically covered by the European Accessibility Act. However, if you offer services in electronic commerce through your website, you are subject to the law. In this case, you must implement the requirements by June 28, 2025.

Websites are not automatically covered by the European Accessibility Act. However, if you offer services in electronic commerce through your website, you are subject to the law. In this case, you must implement the requirements by June 28, 2025.

The European Accessibility Act regulates the requirements for accessibility on websites of:

  • Banks, online banking, bank services
  • Passenger transport services by air, bus, rail, and ship (excluding regional transport)
  • Telecommunication services
  • Online shops and e-commerce (even if the products sold themselves are not subject to the European Accessibility Act).
  • Online appointment bookings (consultation appointments, hotel and travel bookings, etc.)

Practical example

The garden and landscaping company “Outdoor for you” operates a business with more than 10 employees and an annual turnover of more than 2 million euros. It is therefore not a micro-enterprise within the meaning of the European Accessibility Act.

The garden and landscaping company “Outdoor for you” operates a business with more than 10 employees and an annual turnover of more than 2 million euros. It is therefore not a micro-enterprise within the meaning of the European Accessibility Act.

On the company’s website, customers can book consultation appointments in the store and purchase products such as deck chairs, plant pots, terrace decorations, and more. Therefore, the company “Outdoor for you” must consider the accessibility requirements because it operates “services in electronic commerce” via its website. This includes both the sale of products (e-commerce) and the booking of appointments.

The entire website, including the check-out, must be designed to be accessible according to the provisions of the EAA.

How do you create an accessible website?

The European Accessibility Act follows defined standards at the WCAG Level AA. The WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) are an international standard for the accessible design of internet offerings.

The European Accessibility Act follows defined standards at the WCAG Level AA. The WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) are an international standard for the accessible design of internet offerings.

The accessibility of websites is classified into 3 levels (A – AA – AAA) and is based on four fundamental principles:

  • perceivable
  • operable
  • understandable
  • robust

These principles ensure that web content is accessible and usable for everyone, including people with disabilities.

These WCAG guidelines are very precise – and very comprehensive. 

Accessibility concerns us all. It should be a matter of course to include people with disabilities.

With years of expertise, technical knowledge, and design solutions compliant with the Disability Accessibility Standards, we assist companies in making their websites and online media accessible.

What are the next steps?

Check if your company is affected:

  • Based in the EU
  • More than 10 employees
  • Annual turnover exceeds 2 million EUR
  • Customers are end consumers
  • You have digital media

 

Test whether your online media comply with the guidelines

  • Using online WCAG tests, website plugins, and assessment software, you or we together with you will assess your current status.

 

Seek advice. Consulting by our digital experts

  • Our digital experts provide advice on an equal footing. What changes need to be made in which products and services

 

Implementation: Redesign/Recoding.

  • Our team of full-stack developers and designers adeptly and efficiently implements the new requirements in your digital media.

 

Evaluation of the measures

  • We retest your media and evaluate the success. You will receive test documentation for submission to the regulatory authority, if necessary.

 

Publication of the updated online media.

  • Your online media is now designed based on the WCAG, making it compliant with European Accessibility Act regulations. You will launch your new accessible digital media and services online by June 28, 2025.