Preparing for the European Accessibility Act: Make sure your website complies

Web accessibility has been the most prominent progressive business trend over the last few years, and it is set to become even more important when the European Accessibility Act (EAA) comes into force next year.
The EEA will apply from June 28, 2025, and aims to make products and services, including websites, more accessible to people with disabilities. Organisations across the EU must prepare to comply with its strict accessibility requirements, and implement the necessary changes. The process may seem complex, but here’s a comprehensive guide on what the EAA entails, and the steps that organisations should take to ensure their websites are compliant.

Understanding the European Accessibility Act

The EAA is a landmark directive that seeks to harmonise accessibility standards across the European Union. The primary goal is to improve the internal market for accessible products and services by eliminating barriers caused by differing regulations. Key areas covered by the EAA include:
Websites and mobile apps of private companies and public sector bodies
ECommerce services
Transport services (air, bus, rail, and water)
Banking services (including ATMs, banking terminals and websites)
Television services (electronic programme guides and related services)

Key requirements for websites

To comply with the EAA, websites must adhere to specific accessibility standards. These include:
WCAG 2.1 Guidelines: Websites should follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 at the AA level. These guidelines cover various aspects of web design, ensuring that websites are perceivable, operable, understandable and robust for all users, including those with disabilities.
Usability: Ensure that all functions on the website are usable with a keyboard. This includes navigation, form submission and content interaction.
Compatibility: Websites must be compatible with assistive technologies, such as screen readers, which are used by visually impaired users.
Text alternatives: Provide text alternatives for non-text content, ensuring that images, videos and other multimedia elements are accessible.
Adaptable content: Content should be adaptable and must be accessible on different devices and screen sizes without losing information or functionality.

Steps to ensure compliance

With the EAA deadline approaching, here are the steps organisations should take to ensure their websites comply with the new regulations:

1. Conduct an accessibility audit:

Start with a comprehensive accessibility audit of your existing website. This audit should identify current barriers and areas that need improvement. Utilise automated tools alongside manual testing to get a thorough understanding of your website’s accessibility status.

2. Develop an accessibility plan:

Based on the audit results, develop a detailed plan to address identified issues. This plan should include specific actions, timelines and responsibilities. Prioritise critical areas that significantly impact user experience and compliance.

3. Update website design and content

Ensure your website design follows the WCAG 2.1 guidelines. Key areas to focus on include:
Navigation: Simplify navigation and make it consistent across the site.
Contrast and colour: Use high-contrast colours for text and background to aid readability.
Text resizing: Ensure text can be resized up to 200% without loss of content or functionality.
Multimedia: Provide captions and transcripts for video and audio content.

4. Implement accessible coding practices

Ensure your website’s code is clean and follows best practices for accessibility. Use semantic HTML to create a meaningful structure that assistive technologies can easily interpret. Implement ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) roles and landmarks to improve navigation and interaction for users with disabilities.

5. Train your team:

Accessibility should be an ongoing focus rather than a one-time fix. Train your web developers, designers, content creators and other relevant staff on accessibility best practices. This training should cover both technical and content-related aspects of accessibility.

6. Engage users with disabilities

Incorporate feedback from users with disabilities throughout the design and testing process. Their insights can help identify practical accessibility issues that might not be apparent through automated tools or expert reviews alone.

7. Regular testing and updates

Accessibility is not a one-time task but an ongoing process. Regularly test your website for accessibility compliance and make necessary updates. This ensures that new content or features added to the site remain accessible.

Tools and resources

Several tools and resources can help organisations achieve and maintain compliance with the EAA:


A web accessibility evaluation tool that helps identify accessibility issues.


An accessibility testing tool for developers.

Colour contrast analysers:

Tools like the Colour Contrast Analyser can ensure your website meets colour contrast requirements.

Screen readers:

Testing with screen readers such as NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access) or JAWS (Job Access With Speech) can provide insights into the user experience of visually impaired users.

The EAA is a significant step towards a more inclusive digital environment. By ensuring your website complies with the EAA, you not only adhere to legal requirements but also make your content accessible to a broader audience, enhancing user experience and potentially reaching new customers. Start preparing now to meet the 2025 deadline and contribute to a more accessible internet for all.
For further details on the European Accessibility Act, visit the European Commission’s website and the Eur-Lex portal.

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