The EAA Act is coming! What do you need to know?

Did you know that about 21% of the Dutch population has a disability and may struggle with interpreting information on websites? Or that they might not be able to find the right information via search engines? In this blog, we show how to ensure that people who are visually impaired, are hard of hearing, or have low literacy can optimally experience your website. We discuss European legislation, international guidelines, the urgency, but also the opportunities of a user-friendly website.

Explanation of the European Accessibility Act (EAA)

Next year, the European Accessibility Act (EAA) will formally come into effect. This is international legislation that regulates digital accessibility. As a result, ATMs, financial services, and e-commerce companies (websites and webshops) must be digitally accessible. There are exceptions: small businesses are exempt from certain obligations.

When will the law take effect?

The changes for the implementation of Directive (EU) 2019/882 are expected to come into force on June 28, 2025. Since September 2020, all government websites must be digitally accessible. From June 2021, this also applies to mobile apps of governments.

Why is it urgent?

As an entrepreneur, you ‘formally’ have until June 28 2025 to make your website or webshop digitally accessible. Our advice? Don’t wait too long. The fines are substantial and can go up to €100,000,- depending on the violation. Moreover, an accessible website can attract up to 15% more customers.

Research shows that about 3 million people in the Netherlands and Belgium live with a disability. And the number is growing. About 60,000 people suffer a stroke each year, often resulting in permanent physical, emotional, and cognitive impairments. 10% of the male population has some sort of color blindness and the increasing aging of the population strengthens the need for accessible digital environments.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)

WCAG, or Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, are international recommendations and guidelines for digital accessibility. The goal is to make websites and digital content usable and accessible to people with various disabilities, such as visual, auditory, physical, and cognitive disabilities.
Important WCAG Principles are:

Content must be presented in ways that can be perceived by everyone.
The interface and navigation must be usable by everyone, including those who cannot use a mouse.
Information and the operation of the user interface must be clear and understandable.
Content must be reliably interpreted by various user agents, including assistive technologies.

Examples of WCAG Guidelines

Text Alternatives: Provide text descriptions for non-text content such as images and videos.
Accessible Navigation: Ensure all interactive elements are accessible via the keyboard.
Readable Content: Use simple language and ensure sufficient contrast between text and background.
Compatibility: Ensure the website works with different browsers and assistive technologies.

Why is this also interesting for you?

Increase Reach:
More people visit your website, potentially leading to higher revenue.
Avoid fines by complying with the EAA.
Contribute to Inclusion:
Provide better digital accessibility for both employees and customers.
Save Costs:
Make your website accessible now to avoid higher costs later.
Higher SEO Ranking:
Accessible websites offer a better user experience and are rewarded by Google.
Competitive Advantage:
Companies that take accessibility seriously have an edge.
Customer Loyalty:
Satisfied customers are more likely to return.

The solution

We work with Eye-Able®, which offers solutions to improve the digital accessibility of websites and digital platforms. They do this through various services and tools that ensure your website meets international accessibility standards such as the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).
They offer tools like magnification options, color filters, screen reader support, and customizable text display. This includes an audit tool that detects accessibility issues and provides solutions based on the latest guidelines. Additionally, we offer translation options and a tool for simplified translation to make content more understandable.

We list them below:
Audit Program: Comprehensive analysis of your digital platforms.
Assist Program: Tools and support to make your website more accessible.
Translations: Professional translation services to make your content more accessible to a broader audience.
Simpler Language: Adaptation of complex texts into simpler language for better readability and accessibility.

By following the WCAG guidelines, developers and designers can create inclusive websites. This way, everyone, regardless of their disabilities, has access to the information and services offered online.

What the experts say

Interview: Pioneering Digital Accessibility with Eye-Able®

Oliver Greiner, one of the co-founders, was inspired to start his company by his best friend’s visual impairment. We asked him and Menno Hoekstra, the country manager for the Netherlands, to share their passion and vision with us. In the conversation they share insights regarding…

Be ready to make your website accessible to everyone

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