Fast Facts on the European Accessibility Act

The European Accessibility Act promises a levelling up of access to digital products and services throughout Europe and beyond, but what is it?

Our Q&A answers common questions about the EAA at-a-glance.

What are the aims of The European Accessibility Act?

The EAA aims to improve the flow of accessible products and services within the European Union by replacing country-specific rules with a common set of regulations.

Image shows a light box with the writing "Time for Change"What products does the European Accessibility Act Cover?

The Act is largely focused on technology and covers the products and services deemed most important to people with disabilities. These include:

  • Computers and operating systems
  • Smartphones
  • TV equipment and related broadcasting services
  • Services related to various forms of transport
  • Banking
  • E-books
  • E-commerce
  • ATMs (cash machines), ticketing and check-in machines

How does the EAA differ from previous accessibility legislation?

Unlike previous accessibility legislation, which has largely focused on public-sector organisations, the EAA will also cover private-sector firms.

Are there any exceptions to the EAA?

‘Microenterprises’ – companies that employ fewer than 10 people and have an annual turnover of less than €2 million – will be exempt from this directive.

Is this already law?

The European Accessibility Act became law in 2019. Member states must publish the individual laws, regulations and administrative provisions required to comply with the Act by the end of June 2022. 

Three years later, by the end of June 2025, those requirements must be implemented in the products and services being sold in the EU. (See timeline below)

Even if the companies involved are headquartered abroad (e.g., Amazon), they must comply with the Act if they sell relevant goods or services within the EU (e.g., Kindle e-books sold in EU countries).

National laws will determine penalties for breaching the European Accessibility Act, but experts believe that member states may impose fines on those who do not comply with the regulations.

 

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