Accessibility LAW

The European Accessibility Act (EAA) 2025: A New Era of Inclusive Design

July 5, 2024

In 2025, the European Accessibility Act (EAA) will come into force, marking a significant step towards a barrier-free Europe. At ENNOstudio, we believe this Act is not just a regulatory requirement but also an opportunity to develop innovative and inclusive design solutions that benefit all users

What the European Accessibility Act is all about

The EAA is an EU directive aimed at removing barriers for people with disabilities and improving the accessibility of products and services. It covers areas such as information technology, transport, and financial services. Companies operating in the EU must ensure their offerings meet these new accessibility standards to avoid legal penalties.

Example of the screen reader function we implemented in a BARMER DigiTal project

Areas of application for digital services and products

Here are some of the areas of application for digital services and products under the accessibility regulations:

  • Websites: All websites, whether informational, e-commerce, or interactive, must be accessible. This includes ensuring compatibility with assistive technologies like screen readers, providing sufficient color contrast, and implementing keyboard navigation options.

  • Mobile Applications: Accessibility standards extend to mobile apps, requiring developers to design interfaces that are navigable by touch, include text alternatives for non-text content, and offer adjustable text sizes.

  • Software Applications: Accessibility guidelines apply to all types of software, including desktop applications and web-based software as a service (SaaS) platforms. This ensures that users with disabilities can fully access and interact with the software’s features and functions.

  • Electronic Documents: Digital documents such as PDFs, Word documents, and presentations must be accessible. This involves using proper structure and formatting, providing alternative text for images and charts, and ensuring compatibility with screen readers.

  • Online Multimedia Content: Audio and video content published online, including webinars, podcasts, and training videos, should have captions or transcripts available. This enables individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to access the content.

  • E-commerce Accessibility: Online stores must provide accessible interfaces for browsing products, completing purchases, and managing accounts. This includes accessible forms, clear navigation, and alternatives for complex interactions like CAPTCHA.

In essence, digital services and products must adhere to accessibility standards to ensure they are usable by individuals with various disabilities, promoting equal access to information and services online.

A few of the starting points for implementing the Accessibility Act
A few of the starting points for implementing the Accessibility Act

Why Acting Now on the European Accessibility Act 2025 is Crucial

The implementation of the European Accessibility Act (EAA) in 2025 marks a critical juncture for businesses operating within the EU. Acting on this directive now is crucial, not just to comply with legal requirements, but to seize the numerous benefits of accessible design.

  • Legal Compliance: Proactively aligning with the EAA avoids potential legal penalties and demonstrates a commitment to ethical practices.

  • Expanded User Base: Catering to the needs of people with disabilities, a significant and often overlooked demographic, expands your audience.

  • Enhanced Brand Value: Adopting inclusive design principles positions your company as socially responsible and forward-thinking.

  • Improved User Experience: Inclusive design leads to a simpler, more enjoyable experience for all users.

“At ENNOstudio, we view the EAA as an opportunity to innovate and lead in creating a more inclusive world, ensuring that our designs are both compliant and user-centric.”

Guillaume Vaslin
Managing Director & Designer

Ethics and Commitment at ENNOstudio

At ENNOstudio, accessibility is not just a legal obligation but an ethical commitment. We firmly believe that everyone has the right to unrestricted access to digital and physical products. Our commitment to accessible design reflects our values: we strive to create a fairer and more inclusive world. By breaking down barriers, we help promote equal opportunities and contribute to a more sustainable society. This ethical approach motivates us to consistently pursue the highest standards in our projects. In a previous article, we’ve also declared our Inclusive Design Principles.

How to take Action: Accessible Design Tailored to Your Needs

At ENNOstudio, we offer comprehensive services to adapt your products and services to the EAA requirements:

We conduct detailed audits to identify barriers in your current products and services. Our team analyses your existing systems and processes, providing a comprehensive report with specific improvement recommendations.

We develop bespoke design systems based on accessibility principles, including:

  • Typography: Using readable fonts and appropriate sizes.

  • Colour Contrast: Selecting colours that are easily distinguishable for all users.

  • Navigation: Creating intuitive navigation structures that are easy for everyone to use.

  • Interactive Elements: Designing interactive components that are accessible to all users.

Our prototypes undergo rigorous testing to ensure they meet the needs of all users. This includes:

  • User Research: Involving diverse user groups to gather genuine feedback.

  • Usability Testing: Conducting tests to ensure the design is truly accessible and user-friendly.

Training und Workshops

We offer training to raise awareness of the importance and implementation of accessibility. Our workshops include:

  • Awareness: Educating about the significance of accessibility in software and services

  • Practical Exercises: Conducting hands-on exercises to implement accessible design principles in your projects

Conclusion

The European Accessibility Act 2025 is more than just a regulatory requirement – it is an opportunity for companies to position themselves as inclusive and innovative. At ENNOstudio, we are ready to support you on this journey. Let’s develop a design system together that not only meets legal requirements but also strengthens your brand and provides a positive experience for your users.

Want to learn more about how we can prepare your business for the EAA 2025?

Contact us for a consultation and discover the benefits of accessible design. We look forward to helping you make your products and services more inclusive and accessible. Send us a message and start your journey to accessible design with ENNOstudio.

team discussing design and innovation at ENNOstudio

We are a design and innovation studio creating engaging, accessible digital experiences for everyone. Our team of product designers and strategic consultants combine beautiful design and creative strategies to build and promote user interfaces that make a real difference to people’s lives.

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