European Accessibility Act (EAA)

What is the EAA (European Accessibility Act)?

The EAA establishes common rules on accessibility with the goal of removing barriers that affect people with disabilities.

The EAA applies to any product or service that is sold or used within the European Union, so even if your business has its headquarters in another country, you’ll need to take steps to ensure compliance.

What is Accessibility?

In short, nearly every website has a legal obligation to provide access for people with disabilities — and since accessibility also improves search engine optimization (SEO), user retention rates, and brand loyalty, businesses have strong incentives to earn WCAG conformance before the European Accessibility Act is fully enforced.

What is the EU Accessibility Law?

On June 28, 2022, the member states of the European Union must create their own digital accessibility law per the European Accessibility Act (also known as the EAA or EU Directive 2019/882) into their national laws.

What Are the EU Web Accessibility Laws?

On 22 December 2016, the EU Web Accessibility Directive was adopted, marking the first-ever European standard for digital accessibility. The EN 301 549 V1.1.2 standard was developed by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC), and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) as a harmonized European standard.

The European Union (EU) has developed an international accessibility framework called EN 301 549. It sets out the requirements for ITC products and services for all member states to implement, enforce, monitor, and maintain a uniform level of accessibility across Europe.

To comply with the law, the Directive refers to EN 301 549 which refers to WCAG 2.1 level AA as a set of functional accessibility requirements.

The European Union (EU) has been working toward making websites accessible for people with disabilities since 2011.

By 2020, the European Union has made accessibility for people who are disabled one of their top priorities, and a law was passed to ensure this happens. As of June 2023, each country within the EU must implement its own legislation to ensure compliance with the act.

What is the deadline for implementing digital accessibility laws?

 European Union member states must enforce their digital accessibility laws by June 28, 2025.

Digital accessibility laws often have long implementation periods to avoid creating an undue burden on private businesses.