How Google is approaching the European Accessibility Act (EAA)

The European Accessibility Act (EAA) is a crucial European Union (EU) legislation aimed at ensuring products and services are accessible to disabled people. Covering a broad range of items like computers, smartphones, banking services, e-books, and e-commerce platforms, the EAA sets unified accessibility standards across member states. 

The EAA aims to eliminate barriers and promote full societal and economic participation for disabled users. A European Union flag with profile images of Christopher Patnoe, Sabine Lobnig, Susanna Laurin and Vayia Malamidou smiling at the camera. Text displays: Free webinar recording. European Accessibility Act: One year to go

With the compliance deadline approaching on June 28, 2025, understanding and aligning with the EAA’s requirements is essential for businesses and public organisations. This legislation poses both a challenge to meet new standards and an opportunity to lead in digital inclusivity.  

Google's proactive stance on the European Accessibility Act is both instructive and inspiring. As part of our recent webinar "European Accessibility Act: One year to go - are you ready?" we spoke with Christopher Patnoe, the Head of EMEA Accessibility and Disability Inclusion of Google to share how Google is gearing up to meet the EAA’s requirements, ensuring their products remain accessible and compliant across Europe. 

From our chat with Christopher, he shared the below top tips. 

Top tips for navigating the European Accessibility Act 

  1. Engage early with legal teams: Ensure you understand the EU’s definition of a product, which may differ from your initial perceptions. This helps clarify the scope and prevents surprises later on. 
  2. Evaluate ROI with risk assessment: When discussing accessibility with middle management, provide a clear analysis of the risks, their likelihood, and severity. Collaborate with legal teams to prioritise features realistically. 
  3. Understand different standards: Don’t assume Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) compliance equals EN 301 549 compliance. Identify and address the specific gaps in your product according to EN 301 549. 
  4. Leverage corporate culture: Use existing training programs to educate employees about new legislation. Ensure timely updates to keep all teams informed. 
  5. Conduct scoping exercises: Start with a scoping exercise to understand the extent of the work required. This helps secure commitments and lays the groundwork for effective implementation. 
  6. Foster cross-functional collaboration: Create a common understanding and shared language about accessibility across the company. Allow individual product teams to adapt guidelines to their specific contexts. 

Video recording: How Google are approaching the European Accessibility Act (EAA)

Watch the full recording with Christopher on how Google are approaching the EAA below:

Find out more