Digital transformation is the modern-day Midas. Any industry, field, or process that exists has been touched and transformed by it. Accessibility is making all those digital services, products, and electronic documents consumable by all. People with disabilities (PwD) are generally provided with only the very basic features to work with, and their needs are often ignored.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), provides accessibility standards to follow, but it has no legal standing or means of enforcement. The European Union (EU) Web Accessibility Directive came into effect across all public sectors in the EU. The European Accessibility Act (EAA) was put forth to complement the directive in the private sector.
Mandating accessibility in the public sector kindled conversation about digital accessibility in the private sector, but the necessary actions were taken by only a very small minority. Now we have a deadline for compliance. By June 28, 2025, EU member states will ensure the implementation of EAA laws. The reporting and review of compliance will be completed by June 28, 2030, and every five years thereafter.
Why You Need to Act Now?
The EAA has a complex process to achieve compliance and requires professional effort. Born-accessible websites and mobile apps are ideal. The process can be easier for companies that already follow WCAG 2.1 standards. If accessibility is a new concept for you, you have a small window of time to commit to accessibility and make it your top priority.
Does the European Accessibility Act (EAA) apply to the UK?
Any company that is situated in the EU member states naturally must comply. If you are a company operating outside the EU but providing services or products used by the EU member states (this applies to the UK as well), you must also adhere to the EAA.
Benefits of EAA Compliance
Accessible websites, applications, documents, and so on potentially reach more people. This extends market reach, increases organic traffic, and generates more leads. As a company providing optimal, accessible user experiences to PwD, you also attain a positive brand image. Furthermore, when the EAA is mandated across all sectors, you will not have to rush to comply but will save on time and effort by building a strong foundation now. Accessibility-related lawsuits and litigation expenses or fines will not be a point of concern.
What Should You Do?
It's simple. Obtain an evaluation of your website's compliance with the latest accessibility standard (WCAG 2.1) through Digita11y Accessibility Scanners and Solutions. Amnet is also a Benetech-certified EPUB conversion vendor. We provide a comprehensive suite of digital accessibility services that not only remediates and transforms existing content but also creates born-accessible content. We ensure that our clients stay ahead and promote digital equality by adhering to regulatory standards like ADA, WCAG, Section 508, and EN 301 549.