European Accessibility Act (EAA) Summary

The European Accessibility Act (EAA) (Directive 2019/882) is a landmark EU law that mandates accessibility for certain everyday products and services for persons with disabilities. This law will improve access to public transport, banking services, computers, TVs, e-books, online shops, and more. For example, the EAA ensures that ATMs will have visual and audible signals indicating where to insert a bank card or where money is dispensed.

What Are Businesses Required to Do?

Businesses selling products and services covered by the Act must adhere to national laws and regulations that transpose the European Accessibility Act in their country. They have three years to ensure compliance with the common EU accessibility requirements.

What steps should businesses take to comply?

  • Businesses should review national laws for compliance requirements, adapt their products and services accordingly, and conduct necessary assessments and updates within the three-year timeline.

Are there penalties for non-compliance?

  • Yes, businesses that fail to comply may face penalties and will be required to take corrective actions as mandated by national authorities.

What Products and Services Are Covered by the EAA?

Products

  • Computers and operating systems
  • Smartphones and other communication devices
  • TV equipment related to digital television services
  • ATMs and payment terminals
  • E-readers
  • Ticketing and check-in machines

Services

  • Phone services
  • Banking services
  • E-commerce
  • Websites, mobile services, electronic tickets, and information sources for air, bus, rail, and waterborne transport services
  • E-books
  • Access to audiovisual media services (AVMS)
  • Calls to the European emergency number 112

Which products must comply with the EAA?

  • The EAA covers computers, smartphones, TV equipment, ATMs, payment terminals, e-readers, and ticketing/check-in machines.

What services are affected by the EAA?

  • Services including phone, banking, e-commerce, websites, mobile applications, e-books, AVMS, and emergency services must comply.

How Does the EAA Complement Existing Legislation?

The EAA complements, rather than amends, existing EU sectorial legislation on accessibility, especially in public procurement and EU structural funds.

This means that the EAA adds to the existing laws without changing them. For example, public authorities must now ensure that products and services they procure meet the EAA’s accessibility standards. Similarly, projects funded by the EU must also comply with these standards, ensuring that accessibility is considered in all stages of planning and implementation.

When is the Deadline for EAA Compliance?

As of June 28, 2025, companies must ensure that new products and services are accessible. Member States can allow more time for compliance with specific rules, such as for self-service terminals.

Are Small Businesses Exempted from EAA Compliance?

Microenterprises or small businesses (fewer than 10 employees) providing services are exempt from compliance, though they are encouraged to make their products and services accessible.

Even though small businesses are exempt, it is beneficial for them to adopt accessibility practices. Accessible products and services can attract more customers, including those with disabilities. Additionally, given the accessibility requirements for larger businesses, microenterprises will need to embrace accessibility to win contracts and compete.

Does the EAA Require WCAG Conformance?

The EAA does not require WCAG conformance but references the four principles of WCAG: perceivability, operability, understandability, and robustness.

Although the EAA doesn’t incorporate WCAG 2.1 AA or another version, it does align with WCAG principles for web and mobile application accessibility. Thus, striving to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is a good approach.

What Are the Requirements Requested by the Act?

The EAA specifies functional requirements for accessibility without imposing detailed technical restrictions, allowing for innovation and flexibility.

How is the EAA Enforced?

The EAA mandates regular compliance checks, complaint reviews, corrective actions, and public awareness about where to file complaints.

Consumers can file complaints from June 28, 2025, onwards if products or services do not meet the new accessibility rules.

Services

Accessible.org offers VPAT and ACR services along with audits, remediation, user testing, consultation, and accessibility training.

We can help your organization meet accessibility requirements and provide documentation including a conformance statement or user testing certification.

WCAG 2.1 AA Training

We have created the best training for learning the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Videos, Excel spreadsheet checklists, cheatsheets, and code examples included.

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